THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO MY TWIN BROTHER, BILL DYKES (1943-1995). WE WERE NOT ONLY BROTHERS BUT PARTNERS IN BUSINESS AND BEST FRIENDS!AND TO ALL THE "BUTCHERS" THAT HAVE PASSED ON TO THE BIG LOT IN THE SKY!
John Schultz, QUAD-CITY TIMES Kelli Argott, a member of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from Syracuse, N.Y., hangs out the door of the pie car, where performers eat their meals.
By Bill Wundram
Aug 30, 2013
ABOARD THE PIE CAR On this day, circus performers will be gnawing on ears of sweet corn, Polish sausage, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes in the pie car. They need stick-to-your ribs food if they are jumping and tumbling and getting lions and tigers to do tricks.
We’re astonished to be guests in the pie car of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Outsiders normally are banned.
“Pie car” is a crazy name for a rolling railroad restaurant coach where food is served daily to circus performers … menus for 16 different cultures from around the world, prepared by five cooks.
“You are the only outsider ever invited to dine in our railroad pie car,” says Emily Ritter, a national coordinator for Ringling, which is making its traditional Labor Day weekend run at the iWireless Center in Moline. “You are a rarity.”
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus chef Matt Loory delivers plates of shrimp pasta to performers in the pie car of the circus train.
We had rumbled along a dirt access road, not far from where the old International Harvester Farmall Works once turned out tractors in Rock Island, to find the pie car. In the hot sun was a shiny, silvery string of passenger train coaches parked on a shabby siding. All coaches — with the blue Ringling logo — were numbered; we were on our way to car number 181.
We climb aboard, passing a shiny chrome buffet line where performers fill their china plates.
“Greetings,” says Kelli Argott, a clown with a blond poofy wig and superb clown makeup. Alongside was her husband, Wages, whose exhausting job is to lead the Ringling band. My wife sits with them while I share a booth with Paulo DeSantos, a Brazilian clown.
We expect chips and dip. But Matt Loory, chef of the pie car, says: “For you, we have a special dinner.”
read more: http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/bill-wundram/circus-pie-car-serves-everything-but-pie/article_2673f705-c1ca-574e-94d6-2058f024aa9d.html
31st August 2013
A NEW circus is coming to Chelmsford and it promises audiences a magical experience.
Kriss Freear and Paul Carpenter, also known as Kakehole and Popol, have toured the country for a decade as part of different circuses, but now they are launching their own show.
They’ll be appearing at Central Park from September 4-8.
The duo, who both ran away from home to join different circuses before forming their act together, have always dreamed of owning their show, but they are finding that the romance is very different from the reality of life on the road.
“Our biggest problems used to be aiming a custard pie in the right direction or not losing our rubber chicken,” said Kriss, otherwise known as Kakehole.
“Now we are worrying about paying the wages, losing our ground deposits with the mud and generally how to get people in through the door.”
Now we are worrying about paying the wages, losing our ground deposits with the mud and generally how to get people in through the door.”
Kakehole and Popol have toured the length and breadth of the UK and twice been named Best Circus Comedy Act in the annual circus awards.
As well as his own comedy routines, Kriss has booked in a host of international circus acts including the daring Duo Stefaneli who fly into the roof of the Big Top in their glittering spaceship, and the fearless Miss Klaudia, who perches at the top of a 20ft pole which is balanced on her husband’s head.
“The circus is special because with such a mix of acts, there is something for everybody,” he added.
“The kids like the clowns and puppets, there are glamorous young ladies for the dads and the mums enjoy seeing our trapeze star Alejandro flying about wearing very little costume.
“In spite of all the hard work involved, we all love what we do and believe the circus is still the greatest show on earth.”
By NICHOLAS SCHROEDER
August 30, 2013
Much of Portland was shocked last week when it was announced that the tenants for the forthcoming Thompson’s Point development would include a Circus Conservatory of America, the first accredited and degree-granting circus school in the country.
But does it really come as such a surprise? Maine has been a hotbed of nontraditional and original theater arts for decades now, much of it circling around Oxford County, where the Celebration Barn was founded by Tony Montanaro in South Paris in 1972. A residential theater and workshop space, the Celebration Barn has produced countless performance artists in Maine and internationally, and is no doubt one of the reasons why, as Circus Conservatory director Peter Nielsen put it, Portland is “the best place for [a circus school] in the world.”
While it’s only natural that a discussion about the viability of a circus college would invite questions — maybe even a little doubt — from some, many of the state’s theater performers are optimistic about the project, and how it will affect the Maine theater community moving forward.
One of those is Buckfield resident Fritz Grobe, a former actor and clown with the Birdhouse Factory, a modern circus founded in New England in 2004. Grobe believes that future Circus Conservatory students will benefit from the specialized curriculum at the Celebration Barn and vice versa.
“To provide this incredible pool of young talent with an accredited training ground in the US is really fantastic,” he says. “So far the only real option had been in Canada and in Europe.”
In 1989, Grobe left Yale University, where he was pursuing a degree in mathematics, to study juggling at the Celebration Barn. Subsequently, in addition to performing in award-winning, internationally touring circus acts, he also founded Eepybird Studios, the viral video marketing group that began with dramatized Diet Coke and Mentos experiments in 2006.
Yet despite finding professional success, Grobe still lives and works in theater in the small town of Buckfield, in part because he is inspired by the surroundings. “One of the things that makes Maine great as a place to create theater is that it encourages the more rural Maine sensibilities. It gets people creating work that isn’t just out to shock or be edgy, and lends itself to real substance. People take the time here to make work of real value.”
Filer, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) County fairs like this one have been around for hundreds of years. But what will they look like in the future?
Bigger cities often have commercial fairs, where big ranches are paid to bring in cattle to show. But since its beginning, the Twin Falls County Fair has been all about the people on the frontlines of agriculture.
Shadow Seaman says, "I love to have the competition. The kids learn so much more, the parents and adults alike learn so much more because of the agricultural aspect and the competition part."
Seaman loves to see the spark in small communities like this one. He explains this fair is brand new to people who move in from out of town. But it will take passing the torch to the next generation if this fair is going to survive into the future.
The cast of "Pippin" at Music Box Theatre in Manhattan. (March 2013)
By LINDA WINER
August 30, 2013
If you say circus, I think big-top Ringling (and sad elephants). If you say circus again, I think Cirque du Soleil, global aerial spectacle (and glitz Vegas). If you repeat the word once more, my thoughts go to Diane Paulus' Tony-winning revival of "Pippin," where astounding circus performers do enough impossible feats on Broadway that, for long stretches, I can ignore the sappiness of the 1972 musical.
And that, apart from the flying-
circus title of Monty Python's delirious TV series, pretty much covers the mental and emotional effort I have devoted to the popular and historic entertainment through my life.
I'm exaggerating, of course -- but probably not enough to make up for all the cliché-challenging ideas I encountered late last month at a daylong seminar (and consciousness-raising session) called "Speaking Circus."
The subject was contemporary circus, also referred to that illuminating day as new circus and physical theater. The lectures, plus two evening programs at Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, were co-produced by a 6-month-old American advocacy group called Circus Now, plus the wonderful circus-friendly, family-oriented New Victory Theater on West 42nd Street and the City Parks Foundation SummerStage.
What was I doing there? Basically, I thought experts were going to explain the proliferation of circus -- or at least circuslike acrobatics -- in Broadway musicals. "Pippin" is the most conspicuous example, but certainly "Spider-Man" has plenty of aerial gymnastics, such as they are, and so, as I understand it, will the upcoming mega-musical, "King Kong." Even "Chaplin" had a tightwire walk and "Bring It On," last season's bright little show about cheerleaders, required daunting piles of human pyramids.
But I was the only one who even mentioned "Pippin," even though its circus was -- what's the word? -- choreographed? by Gypsy Snider, a founder of the Montreal company Les 7 Doigts de la Main (The 7 Fingers of the Hand) and creator of "Traces," an Off-Broadway acrobatic hit that I never saw because, well, I didn't know better.
Snider is the daughter of the founders of the Pickle Family Circus, the formative San Francisco troupe I do recognize because it was once the home of Bill Irwin. And Bill Irwin is the wizard who made New Yorkers pay attention to a clown style he was calling new vaudeville.
Teamsters Dean Kruger and Mary Ann Tempus guide the Ringling Bell Wagon through the streets of Baraboo during the 2013 Big Top Parade
By News Republic staff
August 29, 2013
A wagon that’s been on display at Baraboo’s Circus World Museum for three decades will soon be departing. The Ringling Bros. Bell Wagon will travel to Florida shortly after Labor Day to be with its corporate owner, Feld Entertainment. The company will display the wagon as part of its 50-year anniversary of ownership and stewardship of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
The wagon was part of the Feld family’s 1984 loan to Circus World. It was rehabilitated by the museum along with three other wagons, all of which are on display in the W.W. Deppe Wagon Building. Feld Entertainment also lent the museum 1980s costumes, props and floats.
“Not only has the Feld collection brought enjoyment to hundreds of thousands of visitors over the years, but it has emphasized the significant role that Wisconsin plays in the grant history of circus in America,” said Interim Director of Circus World John Lloyd, adding that the museum is grateful to the Feld family.
Lloyd said the Bell Wagon was the first “fancy wagon” built for Ringling Bros. Circus in 1891 by the Moeller brothers – cousins of the Ringlings – at their Baraboo shop. He hopes the wagon can return to Baraboo for the upcoming 125-year anniversary of its first appearance in a Ringling Bros. street parade.
Feld Entertainment Vice President of Corporate Communications Stephen Payne said the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s circus will continue to make circus history, and the Feld family will continue to help Circus World preserve it.
DESIRESS'S hand-balancing act.
29th August 2013
BILLY Smart’s world famous circus is coming to Taunton’s Vivary Park this September.
It’s a triumphant comeback for the circus, which has a reputation built on fiery innovation, making its first full tour across Europe after three decades.
Known as ‘The Guv’nor’, Billy Smart was the definitive 1940s showman, dominating the big top and capturing the public imagination to become a household name.
Today’s vircus is a fantastic mix of modernised tradition in one of the biggest shows ever to travel across the UK, complete with clowns, hand-balancing and flaming ladders inside the heated big top.
“I’ve been with the circus all my life,” said Portugal-born Angelo the Clown in conversation with the County Gazette.
Circus Smirkus PREVIEW 2013 Big Top Tour OZ Incorporated - Highlights -
Published on Jul 22, 2013
Grab your Ruby Slippers and click your heels together, as Circus Smirkus takes you "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" with a new spin on the Wizard of Oz. It will take acrobatic thinking, highwire hearts, and courageous clowns to embark on this Emerald City adventure! This time it's all flying monkey business as we cartwheel down the yellow brick road to a new twist in the tale. Pull back the curtain and discover fun for the whole family as Circus Smirkus presents Oz Incorporated..
ZANY: Pole dancing Circus Oz-style. Source: PerthNow
Review: Lisa Quartermain•PerthNow•
August 30, 2013
THERE'S no end to some people's talents. Like juggling five balls with one's feet. Spinning a coffee table on one's toes. Playing a musical instrument one-handed.
Or tight-rope walking. Or squishing oneself inside an esky and emerging cat-like, walking around on your hands. Or just doing backflips . . .
It's these zany tricks that are on display in abundance by the 12 Australian acrobats/musicians/performers in Circus Oz, now playing at His Majesty's Theatre.
LEAN ON ME: Some of the cast of Circus Oz. Source: PerthNow
From the Ground Up is set on a big-city construction site - juxtaposed with the elaborate ceilings and inner surrounds of The Maj - and begins with a limousine-length piano suspended three quarters above the stage.
As the mid-air pianist hits the notes, the shenanigans unfold, including bizarre pole-dancing - imagine a burly bloke in a pinafore dress slithering up a pole and suspending himself sideways as sexy jazz music is performed live. That's Circus Oz.
There's a crooning construction cowboy, magic tricks aplenty and some memorable antics from the standout character of "I-love-myself'' Des who unashamedly tells us he's so hot and "like the sun. Beautiful to look at, but going to hurt you in the end''.
What could be better than watching the mullet-haired comic Des spinning a baton at electric speed? Des spinning two batons at electric speed - then repeating the process in slow-mo!
Circus Oz is fast-paced, loads of fun and a blend of unpredictable and standard acrobatics. It pays homage to indigenous Australians and even tries to get the audience thinking about "constructing'' a sense of community.
There were a few mistakes, as might be expected in the juggling sequences, but all's quickly forgiven as the show goes on and more eye-popping tricks abound.
The live music was integral to the Circus Oz experience. Just about every genre and instrument - jazz, rock, blues, disco, big brass - cleverly setting the scene. The unique bit: the musos and acrobats were one.
Roll up, roll up - because the limited-season Circus Oz finishes in Perth on Saturday night. Tickets available through Ticketek
Jim Hand-Show Painter
Midway scene Allan C. Hill's Great American Circus in 1985. Concession trailer, office truck and marquee by Jim Hand.
LE Barnes 3 Ring Circus was the largest show I ever booked...I was originally hired as an agent but the sign painter they had hired was slow...VERY good but slow...I went back to quarters and painted 5 semis and a couple of other units in less than a week.
Carson & Barnes brings bigtop back The thermometer was in the 90s but that didn't stop both young and old from entering the big top Wednesday to see the Carson & Barnes Circus at the Fulton County fairgrounds in Lewistown.
ByLarry Eskridge, Daily Ledger Reporter
Aug. 29, 2013
LEWISTOWN — The thermometer was in the 90s but that didn't stop both young and old from entering the big top Wednesday to see the Carson & Barnes Circus at the Fulton County fairgrounds in Lewistown.
Sponsored by the Lewistown Chamber of Commerce, performers from all around the world performed feats of strength, acrobatic skill and comedy for an enthusiastic audience at the early show, with another scheduled for later that evening.
For some, the show began early as members of Lewistown Fire and Rescue hosed down some of the animals. The elephants seemed to enjoy the experience, although the camels did not seem so sure.
Dereck Hardisty, a fire and rescue member, said showering the animals was "a lot different than a house fire."
As show time drew near, audience members were greeted by the clowns who juggled, joked and posed for pictures. One little girl was not particularly interested in getting too close, but her grandmother had no trouble.
"It happens sometimes," the clown shrugged.
According to circus employees, the tent housing the "world's biggest big top show" takes about four hours to put up. That's not counting all the other attractions, which included a petting zoo, concessions and elephant and camel rides.
The show inside the big top had all the trappings of a traditional circus — acrobats, jugglers, trapeze artists, animals, dazzling costumes in the form of butterflies or Native American dress and, of course, clownsWhether competing in a juggling contest, dancing "gangnam style," performing a slapstick salute to the Rocky movies or performing a knife throwing act, which included local volunteer B.J. Stone putting his life and limb on the line, the three comedic performers entertained the audience as well as keeping the pace moving while the crew set up for the next acts.
Also popular with the audience were the animal acts, which featured one dog doing a moonwalk to Michael Jackson's "Beat It," horses moving in a precision dance pattern and elephants showing agility as they circled the ring.
In addition, there were acrobatic and aerial displays, many of the latter performed without nets. Some acts included two men taking part in an exhibition of strength and balance with precise, almost balletic movements and a group of trapeze artists from Italy who drew gasps as they performed their feats of daring high above the ring.
Singer Franchesca Cavallini also performed her original song, "I Am the Circus" while riding on an elephant. CDs of the song were on sale after the show, with proceeds being donated to help the endangered Asian elephant.
The show ended with a salute to America by the performers, most of whom came from South and Central America and Europe.
After the show, a number of youngsters shared their favorite moments with the Ledger, although one young man, three-and-a-half-year-old Alex, declined as he was in a bad mood because he hadn't had his nap.
Read more: http://www.cantondailyledger.com/article/20130829/NEWS/130829211/1001/NEWS#ixzz2dTRSMaqu
Michael Okoniewski, NYS Fair Camels and Llamas perform their routine at the free Walker Brother Circus at the NYS Fair on Sunday. There are several free shows daily for fairgoers. (Photo by Michael Okoniewski-NYS Fair)
Photos: Circus Vargas prepares for its performance in Milpitas Circus Vargas’ crews pitch a tent at the parking lot of Great Mall on Aug. 27, 2013 in Milpitas The circus group will begin its performance beginning Thursday, Aug. 29 in Milpitas and from Sept. 5 at Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. Many crews that set up the staging area are also performers at the show. from: photos.mercurynewscom Aug 27, 2013
Vittorio Arata, assistant to the tent manager at Circus Vargas holds an American flag before raising it high at the site of the circus show on Aug. 27, 2013 in Milpitas. The circus group will begin its performance beginning Thursday, Aug. 29 in Milpitas and from Sept. 5 at Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)
A flying trapeze catcher for Circus Vargas Robert Urban works on raising a supporting structure of a circus tent at the site of the circus show on Aug. 27, 2013 in Milpitas. Many crews that set up the staging area are also performers at the show. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)
Crews for Circus Vargas work on raising a tent at the site of the circus show on Aug. 27, 2013 in Milpitas. Many crews that set up the staging area are also performers at the show. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)
Bombay circus draws crowds in huge numbers From: timesofindia.indiatimes.com Aug 29, 2013, JAIPUR: People are flocking from all corners of the country to the Bhawani Niketan Ground at Sikar road to witness the breathtaking live acrobatic acts at the Great Bombay Circus
The circus venue is giving direct competition to the multiplexes situated near it by managing to sell 80% of the tickets on Wednesday on the occasion of Jamanmashtmi.
One of the main highlights is the dragger act which left the audience biting their nails where an artist tries to support itself on the sharp tips of six draggers.
The show runs for 2.5 hours, wherein the acrobats hold the audiences captivated, sometimes thrilling them, sometimes making them laugh. Every act is accompanied with live orchestra keeping the mood high.
From: fltimes.com By Sarah Pruys Summer reporter 28 August 2013 Fort Francis,ON--Although the Emo Fair may be over, people now have the Clark and Barnes Family Fun Circus to look forward to at the fairgrounds. The Rainy River Valley Agricultural Society is bringing in the circus on Wednesday, September 11 as a fundraiser for the new exhibition hall it hopes to build next year. The show will take place at 7 p.m.
“We figured that in September, everybody’s back to school, nobody’s at the cabin—there’s not a whole lot to do for the whole family,” explained RRVAS second vice-president Krista Kellar. Advance tickets, which cost $15 for adults and $7 for children, are available by contacting any RRVAS member (listed at emofair.com). If organizations are looking to purchase bulk quantities, we can accommodate that, as well,” said Kellar. “We definitely did our research on this one,” she stressed, noting the circus is on PETA’s list of cruelty-free circuses so the RRVAS is assured the animals are well taken care of. “Animals, acrobats, performers . . . it’s the full experience for the kids,” Kellar assured. “I’m thrilled for the circus coming,” she enthused. “I know my kids are asking me daily and the countdown is on in my house. “I’m a huge advocate for typical family traditions—any safe event I can take my family to.” read more: http://fftimes.com/node/262042
Circus Oz's mischief and mayhem - Carl Polke and Dale Woodbridge
Circus Oz are in Perth for their latest show. Circus Oz musical director Carl Polke and acrobat Dale Woodbridge. Picture: Matthew Poon Source: PerthNow From: PerthNow.com.au By Kristy Symonds August 28, 2013
MISCHIEF and mayhem are their middle names. Meet Circus Oz musical director and performer Carl Polke and performer Dale Woodbridge.
Meet Circus Oz musical director and performer Carl Polke and performer Dale Woodbridge.
Polke first joined the company 20 years ago in Sydney and, much to his horror, even recognises an Oz show poster plastered on the wall of His Majesty’s Theatre from the same year.
While Woodbridge, on the other hand, began his rollercoaster ride with the troupe of tricksters just last year in Melbourne.
Polke towers over Woodbridge with a twirling moustache and long silver strands spilling out of his top hat.
Circus Oz are in Perth for their latest show. Picture: Matthew Poon Source: PerthNow He says getting to goof around on the job, composing "a hell of a lot of music" and travelling the world makes for a pretty good gig - that’s why he’s done two stints with the company, from ’93-’98 and from 2009 to now.
“Performing is enjoyable and it’s great fun to create work and put it on stage,” Polke said.
“You see a hell of a lot of the world and interesting parts of it too.”
Plus, it doesn’t get old when each of the shows in the quirky circus’s 35 year history is a once-off that embraces improv and encourages the performers to play on stage.
“Whenever we go into a different theatre, invariably certain things have to change because the spaces are always different ,” he said, explaining they sometimes find themselves scrambling to work things out 30 seconds before a show.
“(But) you’ve got to have your head on your shoulders - you need to know what’s going on and pull it off professionally really and look like a goose at the same time. We all enjoy it.”
Woodbridge, who quit his job as a legal secretary and took up dancing at age 20, agrees.
“I just thought there’s got to be a little bit more (out there),” Woodbridge said.
“I was like ‘who says these have to be my memories when I’m old? I’m just going to go out and throw myself into something completely different’.”
After studying at the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts he got a gig with Circus Oz through the BLAKflip program for indigenous performers and now relishes the opportunity to let go a little on stage.
“I would find it difficult to merge back into the dance world because of how serious it is and how fun circus is - it’s just two completely different worlds,” he said.
“There’s room for mistakes in circus. You’re allowed to make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes become hilarious comedy or it might be a beautiful moment within the show.”
Cranked Up, which builds on the themes of their previous show From The Ground Up aims to deliver stacks of laugh-out-loud moments, gravity defying acrobatics, graceful aerial acts and a live band. read more: http://www.perthnow.com.au/entertainment/circus-ozs-mischief-and-mayhem-carl-polke-and-dale-woodbridge/story-fnhocr83-1226706033754
Co-owner Nelson Quiroga ratchets down a support strap while Circus Vargas pitches the big tent in preparation for a weekend of performances at the Great Mall of the Bay Area in Milpitas, California, on August 27, 2013. (Stan Olszewski/SOSKIphoto) From: mercurynes.com By Milpitas Post Staff 08/28/2013 Circus Vargas' long celebrated "star attraction" has been its blue and gold Big Top tent. Handmade in Milan, Italy, this theater-style tent comfortably seats 1,200 people and is one of the most contemporary, state-of-the-art Big Tops in use today.
On Tuesday the decades-long tradition of raising the Big Top was happening from 11 a.m. through 2 p.m. outside the Great Mall.
Each set-up day, at least a dozen men begin the hours-long process of raising the Circus Vargas tent. It consists of tens of thousands of square feet of canvas fabric, dozens of poles, hundreds of individually placed stakes, and miles of rope and cable weighing several tons.
Jefferson Masa gathers a draping rope inside the tent as Circus Vargas pitches the big tent in preparation for a weekend of performances at the Great Mall of the Bay Area in Milpitas, California, on August 27, 2013. (Stan Olszewski/SOSKIphoto) "The ambiance, the feeling you get when you walk into the Big Top is incomparable," said Katya Quiroga, owner and producer of Circus Vargas. "The entire atmosphere changes. There is magic in the air. The Big Top is a place where incredible things can happen, a place where anything is possible. That feeling has been the inspiration for this year's incredible new extravaganza." Circus Vargas will present an array of artists in "Magikaria," casting its spell on the Bay Area (opening Aug. 15) through Sept. 23.
It will be in Milpitas through Sept. 2, before the production moves to San Jose at the San Clara County Fairgrounds Sept. 5-9; Oakland off Interstate 880 at Zhone Way Sept. 12Ð16; and Vallejo at the Solano County Fairgrounds Sept. 19Ð23.
Meet and mingle with the cast of "Magikaria" by arriving 30 minutes early for an interactive pre-show. read more: http://www.mercurynews.com/milpitas/ci_23966448/circus-vargas-raises-big-top-milpitas