2014 Convention



Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

One ring to rule them all
CIRCUS--Great American Circus
Dec. 21 to Jan. 4SMX Convention Center,Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City
The biography of Cornell "Tuffy" Nicholas reads like a John Irving novel. He was born in Sarasota, Florida, when the Ringling Brothers Traveling Circus made a stop there. His father was a ringmaster; his mother, a polar bear-trainer. At the age of three, Mr. Nicholas made a cameo appearance as ringmaster, shouting the words "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages..." at the top of his toddler-sized lungs.READ MORE AT:




Civic body & circus fail green test
JAYANTA BASU Save the green - TT for City Calcutta,India The circus tents at Park Circus Maidan. A Telegraph picture Park Circus Maidan deserves deliverance from the circus and the circus deserves a permanent place to pitch tent every winter, according to the city’s green brigade.
“Olympic Circus has violated various environment norms this year…. At the same time, we need to acknowledge that residents of the city look forward to a circus show every winter. There should be some dedicated areas in the city for circus troupes,” environment activist Subhash Dutta told Metro after a damage-assessment trip.
Residents of Park Circus have been protesting the Calcutta Municipal Corporation’s decision to allow Olympic Circus to set up base there for more than two weeks, leaving their only oasis mauled within a few months of being beautified at the cost of Rs 4 crore.
Dutta, accompanied by members of the Park Circus Senior Citizens’ Forum, found almost half the park overrun by the circus, which opened last Sunday.
“Apart from damaging the greens, the circus has been illegally dumping animal excreta on the ground. Old diesel generators are being used, causing both noise and air pollution. The sanitary arrangements for employees of the circus is also inadequate,” he said.
Biswajit Mukherjee, the chief law officer of the West Bengal Pollution Control Board, said his office had received several complaints about violation of environment norms by the circus. “It’s hard to understand how a circus can be allowed on a ground where Calcutta High Court had disallowed the book fair. We will look into the complaints and take appropriate action” Mukherjee added.
Md Hashim, one of those spearheading the protest, feels “robbing children of the area of their only play arena” is unpardonable.
“Next comes pollution. Heavy vehicles owned or hired by the circus have been regularly entering the ground, not only causing damage to the greens but also adding to the pollution,” he said.
Officials said Olympic Circus had violated most of the nine-point guidelines laid down by the pollution control board in 1999 and subsequently endorsed by the high court.
The flouted norms include sanitary disposal of animal excreta; arrangements for water sprinklers to keep the circus area dust-free and steps to restrict noise and air pollution through diesel generators.
The circus has also violated the ban on hanging decorative lights from trees.
Green activist Dutta said he was more concerned about the cause than the effect of such blatant violation of environment norms. “It is criminal to allow one lakh sq ft of green space at Park Circus Maidan to a circus and make it out of bounds for taxpayers,” added a colleague.
Circus owner A. Rajan, also the general secretary of the Indian Circus Forum, promised to “rectify” any damage that might have been caused to the greens.
“We will be more than happy if the civic body gives us space elsewhere to hold the circus every year,” Rajan added. from:
Circus brings old-world charms to Chandler

Chandler Center for the Arts Zoppé: An Italian Family Circus hosts shows at noon and 4 p.m. today at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave. Additional shows continue through Jan. 2, 2010. $15-$35 per person. (480) 782-2680 or

Circus gets upstaged in 'Cirque Dreams Holidaze'

December 23, 2010
"Cirque Dreams Holidaze," now playing at the Fox Theatre, is surprisingly short on cirque.
Not traditional clowns-and-elephants circuses, Cirque Dreams' shows are heavy on theatrics and original music. But those elements aren't particularly strong in this incarnation of the franchise, created and directed by Neil Goldberg.
While none of the circus acts in "Holidaze" are especially astounding, they are a pleasure to watch: A pair of aerialists twist and glide through a spinning ring; a cooing baby elf climbs high into the air on a tower of chairs and milk bottles; a pair of penguin roller-skaters race atop a circular platform; and a husband-and-wife team performs a beautiful aerial dance with a long piece of fabric, often soaring above the first few rows of the audience.
But there's a lot competing for attention, and too often the circus is upstaged by the other characters. Even the busy set is distracting, and the dim, neon lighting doesn't do much to highlight what we're supposed to pay attention to.
"Holidaze" attempts, like too many circuses, to have a plot: The Christmas ornaments have come to life. It's a fun idea, but there is little follow-through, making every scene feel random. Several odd characters come and go for no reason, including a moon-headed couple resembling onetime McDonald's mascot Mac Tonight and a group of eerie, floating children's faces. In one scene, actors appear, inexplicably, with hand puppets.
"Holidaze" comes with the requisite audience interaction, including a child who is plucked from the crowd and sent onstage (too soon we determine the child is with the cast) and a fun (albeit belabored) routine where a conductor teaches five audience members to play handbells.
The show includes a few familiar Christmas tunes, but the original music and lyrics by Jill Winters and David Scott are forgettable. It's often a struggle to decipher what the songs are about, though more than one hint, oddly, at the economy.
Emily Matheson, in a hoopy dress that seems taken from Lady Gaga's closet, is a standout, singing beautifully as the Ice Queen. It's a shame she doesn't have better material to work with.
There is plenty here for children to enjoy — if they're not scared by the show's dark undertones. But grown-ups likely will be the ones who leave "Cirque Dreams Holidaze" feeling a bit dazed and dazed.

Thursday, December 23, 2010




Review: 'Holidaze' dazzles senses with vaudeville, circus acts
Cirque Dreams Holidaze" incorporates original music, jaw-dropping acrobatics and colorful, imaginative costumes in a spectacular celebration of the Christmas season.Cirque Productions
December 22, 2010
Neil Goldberg sure knows how to decorate for the holidays.
Goldberg is the founder of Cirque Productions and the creator and director of “Cirque Dreams Holidaze,” a Christmas-themed circus extravaganza playing through Sunday at Heinz Hall as a special offering of the PNC Broadway Across America — Pittsburgh series.
Aided by his creative team — scenic designer Jon Craine, production designer Betsy Herst, lighting designer Kate Johnston and Cirque Productions costume designers Lenora Taylor and Santiago Rojo — he has decked the halls, walls and any other available surface with yuletide beads, baubles and icons.
Filled with prettily wrapped packages, candy canes and toys, it’s a scene fit for an old-fashioned downtown department store window. Ornaments on the towering Christmas tree come to life. For the next two-plus hours, they entertain the audience with a swift succession of jaw-dropping vaudeville and circus-style acts.
Goldberg has traveled the globe to assemble this international company that makes the impossible appear effortless.
read more at:

Galva Lions visitor knows his way around fairs
Galva Lions Club member Lion Bill Cardiff (left), stands recently with Jim Kopel after Kopel told the club about his trips to all 50 state fairs in the U.S. Cardiff arranged Kopel’s appearance at the meeting.
Galva News, Dec 21, 2010
Galva, IL — The Galva Lions Club recently hosted an interesting guest – a man who’s visited the state fairs of all 50 U.S. states.
Jim Kopel of Moline, spoke about his unique accomplishment, travelling from Alaska to Florida and all states in between.
It took him 14 years to visit all 50 fairs, traveling about 80,000 miles and spending about $40,000. He has seen some interesting sights – such as a 90-pound cabbage in Alaska.
Mr Kopel and his wife, Harlene, attended 13 fairs before she became too ill to travel. After her death in 2004, he decided to see the remaining states as both a memorial to her and a challenge to himself. His second wife, Betty, now accompanies him on trips.

Incoming governor's report: State fair needs oversight from an advisory board
Danielle Austen / The Post-Standard, 2000
Then-State Fair Director Peter Cappuccilli Jr. holds Lost Kid Tags to be given out to children during the state fair in this photo from Aug. 21, 2000. A report by state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo that was released Monday calls form more oversight of the fair.
Tuesday, December 21,2010 By Teri Weaver / The Post-Standard
Syracuse, NY -- The man who will be New York governor in 11 days is calling for more oversight, auditing and ethics training at the state fair.
Much of that oversight should come from an advisory board of political appointees with “experience and training necessary” to guide the $16 million in operations at the fair, according to a report released Monday from Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
But that 11-member board can only advise: It cannot set policy or veto actions of the fair director.
On Jan. 1, Cuomo will be sworn in as governor. Then he will be the person overseeing the appointment of the fair director and the fair’s advisory board, which has not met since 2006 and currently has no members.
read more at:
The Zoppe Italian Family Circus in Chandler
by Jessica Testa - Dec. 21, 2010
The Arizona Republic
The Zoppe Italian Family Circus has struck a chord with Chandler.
Soon after its first performance at the Chandler Center for the Arts in 2009, the programmers knew they never wanted to let the internationally acclaimed family circus go.
At first, assistant manager Michelle MacLennan booked the circus only because the center was closed for renovations and the Zoppes didn't need an indoor performance space. They bring their own tent and trailers.
"(But) people went crazy for the circus. Now it's become the priority on my list for when I book my season," she said. "It has changed our programming model."
The Zoppe Italian Family Circus will return to Chandler Sunday through Jan. 2.
Every European and major American city has a circus, Giovanni Zoppe explains. Now Chandler does, too.
"People welcome us greatly in Chandler. They know what we're doing," he said.
On the Zoppe Italian Family Circus website, a large portion of the guestbook entries are from people in Chandler, Zoppe said. The Chandler Center for the Arts also has received waves of correspondence in support of the circus from Valley residents.
"We've received more feedback in terms of e-mails and letters and phone calls than any show we've ever done," MacLennan said.
The circus was founded in 1842, by Napoline Zoppe, a French street performer who came six generations before Giovanni, who revived the circus in America three years ago.
Like any circus, it's a family show with laughter and awe. But unlike your average Barnum and Bailey show, the Zoppe Italian Family Circus is more of a tribute to circuses of yesteryear, or rather, yestercentury.
"We're very old-fashioned," Zoppe said. "We don't have flashing lights and we don't have smoke and mirrors. We do everything the way it was prior to the big huge corporate circuses of today."
In the Zoppe audience, no person is more than 25 feet away from the circus ring - even with the new tent. The tent, which took more than six years to build, will be used for only the fourth time during the show's Chandler run.
The tent was manufactured in Mexico and America, and engineered in Italy with material from France, Zoppe said. The new tent is larger, with more space for performers, but the intimacy of a one-ring circus remains.
"You fall in love with the family," MacLennan said. "You feel like you're going into their home. Literally - you're going into the same tent they perform in every night around the world. They live in trailers outside that tent. They're a very real family."
One member of that family was only three weeks old last time the circus came through Chandler. This December, there will be a 1-year-old in the show.Read more:


ERA awards elephant handler $26,000

Wednesday Dec 22, 2010
An elephant handler was sacked after being told that his long-time charge, Jumbo, was "lost", only to read in a newspaper the animal had been given to the RSPCA.
Tony Ratcliffe, who ran Whirling Bros Circus and looked after Jumbo for about 30 years, has been awarded more than $26,000 after he took Australian-based Loritz Bros circus owner Harry Weber to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) for unjustified dismissal.
Jumbo, an African elephant, attracted attention last year when animal welfare activists claimed she was suffering at the hands of the circus, allegations rejected by Loritz Bros.
According to the ERA decision, released today, Mr Ratcliffe retired from circus ownership in 2008 and arranged to sell Jumbo to Loritz Bros for $70,000 and work for them looking after her. He would be paid $1500 in the hand each week.
However, there was no written employment agreement and once the circus started touring Mr Ratcliffe became concerned no assistant elephant handler had been taken on, as arranged, so he could take a couple of days off each week.
read the rest of the story at:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010



Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey performers prepare for the upcoming 141st edition of The Greatest Show on Earth. TAMPA -
The circus is coming to town.
The 141st edition of The Greatest Show on Earth will perform Jan. 5 to 9 at the St. Pete Times Forum.
Clowns, elephant riders and other Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus performers rehearsed Tuesday at the Florida State Fairgrounds.
Tickets range from $15 to $85 and are on sale at or at You can also call (800) 745-3000 or go to the box office.

Rome's Zenit News
Circus Is Sign of Hope, Says Archbishop Archbishop Antonio Maria Veglió stated this in an address at the 8th International Congress for the Pastoral Care of Circuses and Fairs, which took place in Rome last week.
The congress, which ended Thursday, was attended by 70 people who work in the pastoral care of this sector, including bishops, priests, men and women religious and laity, entrepreneurs, workers and artists.
Archbishop Veglió stated, "With their art and ability, with imagination and creativity, persons of circuses and fairs are prophets of a humanity rich in promises and hopes."
The environment of circuses and fairs "is the place in which, beyond the cultural barriers and linguistic and religious separations, persons meet, recognize one another as brothers and sisters, accepting each other in their diversity," he noted. "It is in this that the importance and value of the circus and of Luna Park consists."
The prelate stated that those who work at circuses and fairs "are bearers of peace, joy and serene relaxation."
The archbishop observed that the reality of these workers, "positive because of the values with which these 'artisans' of celebration, of marvel and wonder give joy to the societies of the whole world," is characterized by "a certain temporariness of life" and a "continuous uprooting of environments and persons."
Because of the "singular mobility of their life," he added, these workers "do not have a sense of belonging to a parish community and this is reflected negatively on religious practice, frequentation of the sacraments and catechesis."
"Yet their itinerant nature increases in them the desire for genuine ecclesial participation and spiritual growth," Archbishop Veglió affirmed.
more at:
Tulsa State Fair Wins Award

Expo Square CEO Mark Andrus and key Tulsa State Fair staff were presented with several top awards at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions conference held recently in Las Vegas, Nev.
In total, the 2010 Tulsa State Fair won 17 awards in the top division of fairs with more than one million attendees.
“I’m so proud of our 2010 Tulsa State Fair,” says Commissioner John Smaligo, Fair Board Chairman. “Our staff worked extremely hard to put on a quality, entertaining fair, and this long list of awards shows that our peers at other fairs and IAFE members agree that we held the top fair in the world. This is a huge deal and I hope we can continue building from here.”
Included in the photo are Fonda Cooper, Kara Eschbach, Amanda Bretz, Amanda Blair, Mark Andrus, Tresa Tryon, Sarah Thompson, Phil Cooper, Brandi Herndon and Commissioner John Smaligo.
Four circus bears go into hibernation
Published: Dec. 20, 2010
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- A Russian circus bear trainer said four of his animals went into hibernation after a truck carrying them broke down during a long trip.
Vladimir Dobryakov said the female bears, named Varya, Manyasha, Lyalya and Lyusya, were making a 2,800-mile trek from Irkutsk to Vladivostok, RIA Novosti reported Monday.
"It took us eight days to cover the distance ... which was, of course, a lot of strain for the animals," Dobryakov said.
Dobryakov said he attempted to keep the bears awake with strong tea and chocolate candies, but the strain of travel coupled with low temperatures caused the bears to go into hibernation.
Cirque du Soleil coming back to Baltimore

Courtesy of Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil is known for its acrobatics and whimsy.
Baltimore Business Journal - by Rachel Bernstein , Staff
Date: Monday, December 20, 2010

Cirque du Soleil is heading to the city's Westport waterfront for its latest return to town.

The high-flying French-Canadian circus will hold its new “Totem” show Apr. 7 at Patrick Turner’s waterfront proposed development along the Middle Branch in South Baltimore. Turner is working on infrastructure at the sight currently.

Cirque du Soleil will pitch its famous Grand Chapiteau — otherwise known as a large tent for those non French speakers — on the property until April 24.

Tickets are available to Cirque club members for an exclusive period through Jan. 15. Membership is free. Until Jan. 15, ticket prices range from $28.50 for children to $350 for front row seats for adults.

In 2009, the troupe set up its blue-and-yellow grand chapiteau, in Lot O off Ostend Street near M&T Bank Stadium for its show “Kooza.” Previously, Harbor Point was the tent's home for a bit.

Meanwhile, Cirque — a mix of acrobatics, music and dance — has said it may bring its indoor “Quidam” show to First Mariner Arena toward the end of next summer.

Cirque operates 20 shows simultaneously around the world. Since 1984, more than 90 million spectators have attended Cirque shows in more than 200 cities.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Circus Clowns Bring More than Laughter to Area Children

The Chinese State Circus At The Spa Bridlington
Published: 18th December 2010 22:02
From the land of legends and warrior Shaolin monks comes the incredible new Chinese State Circus production - the live acrobatic spectacular - Mulan.
A breathtaking fusion of precision acrobatics, Shaolin martial arts, dazzling circus skills, colourful characters from Peking Opera, physical theatre and drama choreographed to an original music score, Mulan is based on the legend of one of China's greatest heroines. Although the tales of how a peasant girl led an army to save her nation from invasion have spread over the world in poems, songs, books, and films, this is their first incarnation in the all-action world of international circus. Entertainment for all the family- from the world's leading Chinese acrobats.
"A show of daunting athleticism" -The Observer.
Band A £25 adult/ £22 conc./ £65 family (2+2)Band B £18 adult/ £15 conc./ £50 family (2+2)Band C £12 all
Wed 2 Mar 2011 19:30 Thu 3 Mar 2011 17:00 and 20:00
Baby Bison Party

The circus is coming to town
By Maridol Rañoa-Bismark (The Philippine Star) December 19, 2010

Set for Dec. 21 to Jan. 4, 2011 at the SMX Convention Center, the Great American Circus features breathtaking acts.
MANILA, Philippines - Performing in a circus is an exercise in trust. You trust the guy on the other flying trapeze will show up just in time to catch you fall. You trust your co-performer in the human pyramid act won’t sit down or step out of line lest you stumble and fall — to your death.
That’s why the revered Ringling Brothers Circus depends on its members’ family ties to pull through, show after show. The Great American Circus is no exception. It has seven generations of families who perform around the world. The acts are so dangerous performers just have to pray the other guy won’t fail them when the time comes.
Says ringmaster Cornell “Tuffy” Nicholas, “We treat each other like family. And many of our members come from the same family.”

The Valencia brothers, for instance, come from a seven-generation family of performers who trace their roots to Argentina. They will show off their acrobatic skills on a 30-foot human-powered Wheel of Death when the Great American Circus mounts shows on Dec. 21, 2010 to Jan. 4, 2011 at SMX Convention Center. The cast will also perform at the Waterfront Hotel, Lahug, Cebu on Jan. 8 to 10 and at Cebu Coliseum on Jan. 11 to 11.

The Valencias’ derring-do is matched by a husband and wife in their forties who shoot apples on their respective heads in the daring Crossbow Act. One false move and the arrow can just slice through one of the husband or wife’s vital parts.

“You entrust your life to the other every day,” says Tuffy. “So there should be a lot of trust and honesty in the relationship.”

And there is. Tuffy — and the rest of the circus members — have known each other for years. They’ve traveled, rehearsed and performed together — for the longest time.

They’ve done a mean aerial ballet on silks, the classic flying trapeze and other numbers in a two-hour show, without missing a beat.

Raved Guam’s Pacific Daily News: “(The show) is ‘a real crowd-pleaser (with) plenty of head-scratching acts that leave you in how did they do that?’ amazement… truly a jaw-dropping spectacle!”

That spectacle didn’t happen by accident. Tuffy attests to the performers’ dedication in practicing for years on end and “knowing their limits.”

Age is clearly one of them. Those who hang precariously by the cable wires, for instance, must be young and nimble. So you have people in their teens or early twenties.

Tuffy himself used to do all those daredevil acts until he decided to leave them to younger performers.

Thus, no one knows more than he does that you just don’t go out there and put your life on the line without making sure you’ll live to tell the story.

“We check everything thrice. We replace all the cables often,” he reveals. That’s how they’ve kept their record of no accidents intact all these years
The group literally sets the stage for their shows— aerial trusses, building risers and all.
“We’re transforming the venue from that of a convention center into a grand circus arena,” crows Tuffy.
The result, he goes on, is something borrowed and something new. You have the traditional elements — the flying trapeze, the crossbow and balancing act, etc.
But must always keep with the times. Tuffy promises special effects galore and a Michael Jackson impersonator named Michael Kiss, whose resemblance to The Gloved One — not only in terms of looks but voice — is uncanny.

To make sure everyone has the time of his life, Tuffy and friends have prepared clown face painting and picture-taking sessions with the circus artists before the show and during intermission.
Those who go for other types of diversions can visit toy and souvenir stands in the venue.
The Manila leg of the Asian tour is special for Tuffy and company because it’s their very first stop.
“We have managers from several other countries coming here to the Philippines to watch our show,” explains Tuffy. “That’s why it’s that crucial. What they will see here is a showcase of what we are.”
The Hawaii-based ringmaster has another reason for performing in Manila first.
“When I visited here for the first time, I noticed right away that the families here are large,” he observes. “The circus is the perfect family entertainment. It’s the best Christmas present you can buy for your family.”
From one (circus) family to another this Christmas — that’s not a bad idea at all.



FROM BILL PRICKETT--- are two pics of American Circus Corp.,Winter Quarters, Peru, Ind. The first is circa 1924 and the second is circa 1928.
#3 is the Circus Big Top, Circus Hall of Fame, Peru, Ind, circa 1996 #4 are clowns Pat Kelly (L) and Bob-O (Bob Hurley),Circus Hall of Fame, Peru, Ind, circa 1996 #5 is Larry Allen Dean, Circus Hall of Fame, Peru, Ind, circa 1996 Bill Prickett

The Great American Circus is out-of-this-world amazing!
from: manila-life blog--
Get ready to stay on the edge of your seats as Nicholas Harris Entertainment and Tropical Productions, Inc., present the biggest, the best - the Great American Circus.
Featuring an astounding roster of acts that is sure to rivet the kids and the kids-at-heart at very affordable prices - truly the Must-See event this holiday season.

Showing at the SMX Convention Center from December 21, 2010 to January 4, 2011.
For tickets call TicketWorld 891.9999, or visit SM Ticketing.
The Great American Circus is out-of-this-world amazing! It is 90-minutes of breath-taking, high-energy entertainment for adults and children that showcases internationally-acclaimed daredevils, aerialists, dancers and acrobatic artists. The jaw-dropping acts and side-splitting comedic antics is something to marvel at. Cornell "Tuffy" Nicholas, producer and show maker of the Great American Circus explains, "This is a huge, modern day circus, with everything from the best clowns in the business to trapeze artists." Some of the acts featured in this circus are the Montalvo Troupe who shows off their synchronized acrobatic skill on a 30-foot human-powered "Wheel of Death". The circus also pays homage to the late, great American Pop icon Michael Jackson with a performance by entertainer Michael Kiss whose uncanny resemblance and powerful vocals are nothing short of a Thriller.

The Great American Circus has travelled expansively across the US. According to Pacific Daily News in Guam, the show is "a real crowd-pleaser [with] plenty of head-scratching acts that leave you in "how did they do that" amazement" truly a jaw-dropping spectacle!" As the show kicks off its Asian Tour in Manila, aside from the fascinating acts of the show, audiences can engage in a wide-array of activities such as clown face painting and picture-taking with the circus artists during the pre-show and intermission. Also, those who come can visit the delightful concessions and toy and souvenir stands in the venue.

The Great American Circus is being produced by Nicholas Harris Entertainment, based in Honolulu, Hawaii, in partnership with Tropical Productions, Inc., Guam's largest event organizer and concert promoter for nearly 20 years. Nicholas Harris Entertainment also operates the International All Star Circus and Cirque Polynesia at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa.