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Monday, March 4, 2013

BIG APPLE

Big Apple Circus' past still charms audiences today
Performances scheduled in Bridgewater through March 17



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03/02/13--Daniel O'Brien of Montgomery is pulled into the act by clown Christina Gelsone, at The Big Apple Circus performance at the Patriot's Ballpark in Bridgewater. B697479903Z.1 KATHY JOHNSON/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER COURIER NEWS
from:  mycentraljersey.com
Written by, Pamela MacKenzie
March 3, 2013
 BRIDGEWATER — Seth Bloom and Christina Gelson, clowns performing in The Big Apple Circus, wear partial masks rather than makeup. The high trapeze artist, Andrey Mantchev, has just one swing, rather than “fly” from one swing to another. And the circus’ slack-rope walker, Zhang Pan, wears a costume reminiscent of the Brooklyn Bridge, which opened in 1883, because it wasn’t until a parade of circus elephants crossed the bridge that many people began to trust it.
As the Big Apple Circus celebrates its 35th season this year, its current production, “Legendarium,” returns to the historic roots of the circus by employing many props and equipment that date back to the circus’ heyday in the late 19th and early 20th century.

This historic past, on display in performances in Bridgewater at the TD Bank Ballpark through March 17, still enchant, judging from the smiles on the faces of the children in the audience.
 

Ringmaster John Kennedy Kane, keeps the show rolling in the one-ring bigtop. As he introduces each act, he helps to put the historic traditions behind it into perspective. For example, he said the diameter of every circus ring was standardized in the 18th century to be the smallest circle in which a horse could gallop around the ring: 42 feet. Equestrian trainer Jenny Vidbel had her horses and ponies prancing, dancing and galloping in just such a 42 feet ring, which is still the standard for circuses today.

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The Big Apple Circus prides itself on being great family entertainment. And looking around the audience at last Saturday’s performance, the acts had young children, parents and grandparents spellbound and laughing.
“I want to thank The Big Apple Circus for coming to Somerset County and bringing wholesome family entertainment,” said Somerville Mayor Brian Gallagher at the beginning of Saturday’s performance. Moms, Dads, kids, grandparents, this is what it’s all about.”
Peggy Gens came all the way from Bordentown with her young grandson, Austin, to see the circus because her cousin, Raritan Mayor Jo-Ann Liptak, was one of the honorary ringmasters, along with Gallagher and Bridgewater Mayor Dan Hayes. Gens said she was “pleasantly surprised” by the circus. She especially enjoyed the antics of the clowns, who had climbed through her row during their act. Austin didn’t like that so much, however. Austin said this was his second trip to a circus, and in spite of the clown who climbed over him, he was enjoying the circus very much.
read more:
http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20130303/NJNEWS/303030041/Big-Apple-Circus-past-still-charms-audiences-today

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