2014 Convention



Saturday, February 5, 2011

From the Live Web Cam at the Florida State Fair, Tampa
(this morning at 7:20am)
The best time of the year
It's the 107th Florida State Fair.
Opening day is Thursday, February 10, and the fun and games run through Monday, February 21. Excitement is in the air all over the fairgrounds with plenty of free entertainment included with admission. Make sure to plan your day in advance to enjoy all the sights, sounds, and tastes the state fair has to offer.



Circus Sarasota creates an exciting thrill ride
The Jose Michel Clowns perform / STAFF PHOTO
By Jay Handelman
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Saturday, February 5, 2011
The 2011 edition of Circus Sarasota is like an amusement park thrill ride.
It revs you up, reaches dizzying speeds, slows to allow for a laugh or too before powering up for a big finish.
It's inspiring to think of how many new and interesting variations on traditional circus acts these performers come up with.
The show is presided over by the genial and strong-voiced ringmaster Joseph Dominic Bauer Jr., who closes the evening with dramatic impact on the spinning wheel of death. He runs around on the tall, gyrating ring while juggling flaming pins, jumping rope and then doing one loop blindfolded.
You can see impressive strength from the Azzario Sisters, a surprisingly graceful hand-balancing act, and the human pyramids formed by the acrobatic Moroccan Connection.
Picaso, Jr., carrying on an act created by his father, does some magical things by juggling ping pong balls with his mouth, and then sending plastic plates soaring around the arena like boomerangs.
Tightrope walker Erik Niemen demonstrates determination (and skill) as he dances, skips and jumps his way down a thin wire. He surprised himself by missing a jump over a flag, landing on the floor, but he got right back up and jumped even higher on his second succesful attempt.
There is some excitement created by the Alanian Riders, who jump, flip and ride standing on galloping horses, and it's always a pleasure to watch the graceful aerial ballet of Dolly Jacobs.
The Fornasari Family offers a cute but repetitive dog act, and the Jose Michel Clowns (with Sarasota's Chucko) perform a chaotic water act that doesn't go far beyond an initial touch of whimsy.
This year's quick-change costume act, Krisztina and Szebasztian, are impressive, especially in their glittery finale, but they change more slowly than past performers, which dilutes the excitement.
Water for Elephants Official Poster Released

Written by fashionfame on Feb-5-11
Water for Elephants is one of the most eagerly awaited film of year 2011.
This upcoming romantic drama, starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon is actually based on the best-selling novel of the same name. Finally, the official poster for Water For Elephants has been released.
Water for Elephants poster features Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon romantically holding each other. Robert is wearing a cream full sleeved t-shirt with dark bottoms while Reese is looking gorgeous in a sexy black outfit. An elephant and a man behind them are also shown on the poster.
Water for Elephant is the story about a veterinary student (played by Pattinson) who becomes a vet for a traveling circus after his parents are killed. After then he falls in love with head trainer’s wife, played by engaged actress, Witherspoon.
The movie hits theaters on April 22, 2011. It means everyone has to wait long to see the sizzling on-screen chemistry of Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon. So, what are your thoughts about Water for Elephants poster? Do you find it interesting and promising?
Share your views with in comment box below and also don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more latest Hollywood news.
UniverSoul brings funky, fresh circus, along with a lesson in morality
By Lynn Peisner
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

UniverSoul may be Atlanta’s hometown circus, but the season rarely opens on home turf.

We like to get all the kinks out of our show before we go to Atlanta,” said founder Cedric Walker on the phone from Miami, the second stop on a 28-city tour. “Atlanta is the apple of our eye. We need to get a little bit of juice and energy going before we hit home.”

With all the action compressed in one ring, UniverSoul may be smaller than some of its big top competitors, but in 17 years, it’s never been short on energy. Performances are famous for drawing crowds to their feet, and for infusing pop, hip-hop R&B and jazz into the program.

The show was born from the idea that circus-style entertainment should be more relevant to inner-city audiences. Walker also wanted to present African-American talents that went beyond singing and dancing, while keeping the intimacy and authenticity of an old-fashioned, one-ring circus with a Vaudeville edge.

The performances have grown beyond Walker’s vision of “Hip-Hop under the big top” into a worldly troupe of aerialists, contortionists, dancers and animal trainers, as well as a progressively diverse audience.

“Our non-black patrons are increasing every year and loving the show. It's about how it's funky and fresh and cutting-edge. We have Chinese, Latino, Russian performers. The circus, in and of itself, is about people from around the world performing together and bringing this global performance to one venue. We haven’t done or discovered anything new, we’ve just mixed it with an urban lifestyle.”

After a five-year hiatus, French aerialist Jean Claude returns this year, along with Ricardo, a Cuban-born contortionist and ringmaster Shuckey Duckey (Def Comedy Jam’s Cecil Armstrong) and his sidekick, Zeke. Female Chinese bicyclists compete in an impressive daredevil act, and high-speed motorcycles race around the Globe of Death.

Not many circuses incorporate spiritual messages into the program, but UniverSoul ends on a gospel note this year, with a message Walker said is aimed at young women.

“It speaks to how young ladies can get dragged into a lifestyle because of music videos and flesh that has to be shown. The next thing you know, a young girl has lost her life to stripping and prostitution. Church is where God and Christian beliefs can build self-esteem and fortify you.”

read more at:

Friday, February 4, 2011



February 3, 2011
by Scott Bundy


Life on ‘The Edge’ at Circus Sarasota
By Madison Chapman, Herald-Tribune
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
With this winter season’s show “The Edge,” Circus Sarasota wants to leave audience members on the edge of their seats.
For the performers in the nine acts featured this year, life on the edge is practically all they have known.
Ringmaster and daredevil Joseph Dominick Bauer Jr. is a ninth-generation circus performer and native Sarasotan who has spent years touring North America, Europe and Asia.
In his fourth year as ringmaster, Bauer will also headline the show, which opens at 7 p.m. today. He recently gave a public preview of his act on top of the Watergate One condominium in the Wheel of Destiny, in which he runs circles inside and atop a giant, 40-foot high cage.
Chasing danger is just a typical day for Bauer, but he is careful each and every time he sets foot on the wheel.
“Safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless,” Bauer said. “But I’m very sure of what I do.”
Along with Bauer, the new show includes horse tricks by the Alanian Riders; quick-change magic by Krisztina and Szebasztian; balancing acrobatics by the Azzario Sisters; antics by the Jose Michel Clowns and more.
Circus Sarasota co-founder and audience favorite Dolly Jacobs-Reis will carry on her 35-year tradition by performing her popular aerial ballet.
read more at:


Big Cat Habitat: Come one, come all!

Ellian Rosaire, pictured with one of her horses during last year’s Animal Extravaganza
By Christine Hawes, Herald-Tribune
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Come to spend time with dozens of animal species, including Mia, one of the few hundred ligers that exist worldwide, or Ricky, the chimpanzee that graces the cover of comedian Jon Stewart’s best-selling book.
Come to show support for the Rosaire family, which has been helping animals for nine generations and will pay tribute this year to bear trainer Derrick Rosaire Jr., who passed away last spring.
Or come just to help out the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, which has for six years been providing homes for exotic animals that can’t be housed anywhere else.
The sixth annual Animal Extravaganza kicks off this weekend. Sanctuary founder Kay Rosaire promises the biggest event to date, a two-hour show featuring more than 50 animal experts from across the country, and their animal companions, combining education with entertainment.
“This is the only show of its kind in the world,” says the 62-year-old big cat lover. “It’s a novel concept because it’s actually animals supporting animals.”
Animals to be featured include big cats, primates, bears, elephants, camels, buffalo, lemurs, horses, dogs and more. All proceeds from the event go to help the sanctuary support its ever-growing collection of animals, which come to the sanctuary from overwhelmed private owners, generous zoos, and an entertainment industry that tends to reject older animals, Rosaire says.
The show’s growth is a testament to the sanctuary’s increasing popularity and its growing responsibilities, Rosaire says. The extravaganza has grown from a one-weekend, two-night show under a small tent six years ago, to this year’s four-weekend, three-night show beneath a tent that seats 1,200.
Rosaire, whose background is mainly in big cats like lions and tigers, says this year’s event will be a tribute to her brother Derrick, who used to put on a show with brown bears that also featured his two sons. Derrick passed away in April, leaving Kay and sisters Ellian, Pam and Linda to carry on the show. Ellian, 53, will once again present her equestrienne show, while Pam, 64, showcases Ricky and other primates she has trained. Linda lends her hand to all of the sanctuary’s animals, says Kay.
Kay’s son Clayton, who continues his mother’s tradition of working with big cats, will guide the behaviors of not only Mia, the 3-year-old liger (offspring of a male lion and female tiger), but white tigers and other felines from the wild. Rosaire says, big wild cats will be a special focus of this year’s show, Kay Rosaire says, because of reports last fall predicting tigers may be extinct by the year 2022 unless many Third World countries stop hunting them and destroying their habitat. Those reports estimated that only 3,000 tigers exist worldwide — 2,000 less than estimates from just a year before.
“Tigers need to be saved in the wild,” Rosaire says. “They’re getting pushed all the way to the edge of extinction, and nobody’s really paying

Every weekend through February with shows at 2 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 6 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, 7101 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota. $12 for adults, $7 for children.
Circus Kicks Off Amidst Fanfare In Greenville
By Staff Reports Published: February 03, 2011
GREENVILLE, SC -- Thousands filled Greenville's Bi Lo Center as the the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus kicked off its annual tour.
From music to clowns to elephants, children and adults took delight in the festivities and the atmosphere surrounding it. They animal shows, tricks and highlight performances from everone involved.
The show started at 7:30 and Friday night's show will also begin at 7:30. The show will continue on Saturday and Sunday with show times at 11 am and 7 pm Saturday and 1 pm and 5 pm Sunday.
Ticket prices are $15-24 for General Seating, $40 for VIP, $50 for Front Row and $89 for Circus Celebrity.
New shows added to the Lycian Centre spring schedule

Goshen, NY Chronicle
Sugar Loaf — Several new shows added to the Spring line-up at the Lycian Centre for the Performing Arts in Sugar Loaf.
On Saturday, March 5 at 8 p.m., the New Shanghai Circus will appear. Organizers said these athletes “defy gravity and execute breathtaking feats as they stretch the limits of human ability in this spellbinding show.”
Circus Gatti brings rings of fun to town
Troupe plans eight performances with aerial acrobatics, elephants and much more

February 3, 2011
Amazing acrobats! Daring stunts! Incredible animals!
Spectators can expect three rings of circus thrills when Circus Gatti brings its production to Amarillo next week.
Eight circus performances are scheduled from Feb. 10 to Feb. 13 at the Amarillo Civic Center Cal Farley Coliseum, 401 S. Buchanan St.
Circus Gatti presents a weekend-long series of performances each year in Amarillo.
The 2011 tour, titled "Pushing the Limits," features a mix of traditional and modern circus acts for all ages to enjoy.
"We keep the show engaging with lots of variety," said Leo Acton, who performs as a circus clown throughout each performance. "It will consistently surprise you and keep you entertained."
Highlights of this year's show include:
• Moto Metal Riders.
Not two, but three motorcycle riders will enter Circus Gatti's Cage of Death.
The riders will zip around inside the enclosed metal globe that reaches only 13.5 feet across.
"It's an amazing feeling," said Alejandro Mesa, one of the riders in the motorcycle act. "Your adrenaline goes up. People go crazy with excitement."
• Aerial acrobatics.
Circus-goers should look up for some of the circus's most impressive acts.
Performers will attempt to shock and awe audiences with gravity-defying ballet, swinging, high-wire walking and more.
"You'll see a lot of daredevil moves in the air," Acton said.
• Circus Gatti Elephants.
Dubbed "world famous," the elephants of Circus Gatti are a staple of the circus.
Two of the pachyderms will be featured in next week's performances, led by their trainer and handler John Pelton.
"These animals are a cornerstone of the show," Acton said. "They present a very fast-paced and fun act."
A series of other acts are planned, from humorous dog tricks to entrancing balancing feats and more.
Acton, now in his second season with Circus Gatti, said audience members should expect an engrossing and interactive show.
"They'll be cheering and clapping, and some will have a chance to enter the rings," he said. "That's a key to good live entertainment: You can really be a part of it."

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Circus family wows crowds

From left, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus performers and their family Olga Urias, Melvin Urias, Ramon Esqueda, Rosemary Esqueda, 13, Jodie and Erwin Urias with their children Alyssa, 6, and Geovi, 10, at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center in Salisbury. (Matthew S. Gunby photo)
By Gwenn Garland • Staff Writer • February 3, 2011
SALISBURY, MD -- Most families caught up in the day-to-day chaos of life with kids might think that between school, activities and playdates, life is like a three-ring circus and an icy commute can feel like a Globe of Death.
But the fact is, most parents would envy the life of a real circus family.The Urias family has performed its motorcycle stunt act for close to 100 years, wowing crowds with tricks in the steel cage know as the Globe of Death -- you can see them with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus that will be performing in Salisbury at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center tonight through Sunday. The daredevils on the motorcycles are also parents."When your kids go to play with their friends, you not only know the children they're playing with, but you also know their parents -- and maybe their uncles, cousins and grandparents," said Jodie Urias, who with her husband, Erwin Urias, performs in the act and take cares of Geovi, 10, and Alyssa, 6.
It's a life that is exciting, educational and secure for their children."I think it's the best family environment to grow up in; your family is always with you and you become really close," said Jodie's brother-in-law, Melvin Urias, 35, who grew up in the circus and is a fourth-generation performer. "And it's a really close-knit community, with a lot of other families with kids."His nephew, Geovi, agrees: "You always have people around you."And, adds Alyssa: "You have a lot of friends."Rose Esqueda, 13, travels with her father, Ramon Esqueda, who is the elephant trainer. The elephants "are kind of like my older sisters," she said.Rosie even gets to be part of the act during the pre-show, an hour before the circus begins, when people can come to meet some of the performers. ("I help Ms. Jodie," she said).Of course, it can be a little stressful to work with your family all the time. In general, "it's really brought us closer together," Melvin said. His girlfriend, Olga, is also a rider in the motorcycle act; sometimes her tour coincides with her sister and brother-in-law, who head the trained dog more at:
Circus employees eat, sleep and travel on 61-car train
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus head chef Michael Vaughn hangs out in the pie car between cooking meals. Located in a rail car, this is where many of the circus staff's meals are prepared. Free Starbucks coffee and danishes are available for the staff every morning.
- C. Aluka Berry
Thursday, Feb. 03, 2011By OTIS R. TAYLOR JR. -
The bone-in rib-eye was prepared medium, almost rare. The beef’s red juices flowed recklessly on a white plate after each slice of the knife.
I didn’t consider adding salt and pepper as I devoured the steak placed before me. I was successful, even after a small choking incident. More on that later.
On Tuesday, I had lunch on the Pie Car of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey train. The train isn’t just the mode of transportation for the circus performers and staff; it’s also where they live while touring the country. And the Pie Car is their cafeteria or dining hall, the place where Mike Vaughn and his staff cook to order.

Located in a rail car, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus' pie car is where many of the circus staff's meals are prepared. - C. Aluka Berry /

From grilled cheese to cheeseburgers to steaks, one can request just about anything when the rail car is open, including breakfast all day. Cooks also will “Torres” any item.
“That just means they want an egg on that,” Vaughn said, referring to the family of motorcycle daredevils who put seven bikes into a 16-foot sphere and then race around at 70 miles per hour.
The family, from Paraguay, always asks for eggs on their food.
Though I was tempted, I didn’t ask for an egg, and I didn’t ask Vaughn or his two assistants to clean the grill before they made our steaks. But that’s something the Pie Car staff will do for those who don’t eat pork.

Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus sous chef Mark Guzman prepares scallops in the pie car. Located in a rail car, this is where many of the circus staff's meals are prepared. - C. Aluka Berry /
Each morning, 71/2 gallons of coffee — Starbucks coffee! — is brewed, and about four dozen pastries are baked, Vaughn said, handing me a freshly brewed cup as the meat hissed on the grill. The aroma tickled my nose.
The train is parked in a bleak train yard that stretches parallel to Shop Road. Two buses, which also travel on the train, ferry circus performers to and from the arena and places like Walmart, Keith Anderson said.
Read more:

Roll up! Roll up! for circus memories
Wed Feb 02 2011
ARTHUR Pinder was one of those people who had talents as soon as he could toddle.He was a circus performer and had the bruises to prove it.
Hartlepool was his hometown from the 1940s onwards. His workplace was wherever the circus took him.
CHRIS CORDNER looks back to the day he made the headlines in 1965.
FROM the flying trapeze to juggling, Arthur Pinder could do it all.
But in a lifetime under the Big Top, performing had its hazards and the West Hartlepool man revealed them to the Mail in February 1965.
He’d had six major falls from the high wire and had seen a circus pal badly mauled by a lion. He’d seen a Big Top collapse in Hartlepool under the weight of snow.
With a name like Pinder, he was always likely to join the circus.
His forebears formed the world famous French Pinder circus. Arthur himself was born in a caravan in Cornwall when the circus was in town. His parents ran it.
He could do circus tricks as soon as he could walk. By 21, he was a trapeze artist.
He spoke to the Mail in the 1960s when the then dwindling world of the circus was featured in a movie at a Hartlepool cinema.
Our reporter said at the time: “I met him and was shown an ancient silk programme advertising the circus, and was treated to a few stories from this sprightly character.”
Arthur toured with about 36 different circuses during his career.
One of them was the West Hartlepool Tin Circus, the Mail recalled.
Others were Dick Chipperfields and another run by Rico of Darlington.
His first visit to West Hartlepool was just after the Second World War. He returned in 1947 when the Big Top came to the Rift House Recreation Ground.
The Mail said: “Arthur remembers that the weather was so bad, the tent was covered in inches of snow. It eventually collapsed.”
He explained how he managed to keep fit for so long.
“Keeping on the move for 18 hours a day would keep anyone fit.”
We would love to know more about the travelling circuses which came to Hartlepool and more about Arthur.

Wildwood hesitant about Morey's plan to offer mimosas in the sky
Karen Morey enjoys breakfast during the first trial run on the Giant Wheel in July 2010.
Thu Jan 27, 2011.
WILDWOOD - At least 700 people enjoyed breakfast aboard Morey's Piers Giant Ferris Wheel on Mariner's Landing Pier last summer, but a plan to add mixed drinks to the menu has met with mixed reviews.
Morey's planner Clark Doran said Thursday that the company's Breakfast in the Sky offerings had been a popular addition to the piers operations and that someone in the company suggested adding brunch drinks such as bloody mary's or mimosas to the menu choices.
"It's something we thought would be nice," Doran said.

Last summer Morey's added a chance to eat breakfast atop the pier's Ferris wheel. This year, the theme park wants to serve liquor, too.
The company took the idea to the Planning Board, but the board had plenty of questions about how the service would work or if it should even be permitted under the regulations guiding amusement rides in the state.
Planning Board Chairman Bud McGrath said Thursday that the board had concerns about serving drinks to anyone while on or before boarding an amusement ride.
He said the board wanted to know if anything like that had been done before, if the company would be adding another bar on the pier and more details about the operation.
McGrath said he also suggested the company could look into getting a special liquor license from the city specifically for the drink service on a temporary basis to see how it works.

Server Courtney Dougherty sets the breakfast table for Fiorucci family of Cape May Court House: Mike, Merideth, and children Drew, 14, and Michaela, 17, as they prepare to have breakfast atop the Giant Wheel last summer. Now Morey's wants to add mimosas to its menu.

Questions about the state law governing alcoholic drinks and amusement rides were also left to interpretation, McGrath said.
In an e-mail, Lisa Ryan, spokeswoman for the state Department of Community Affairs, said Thursday that the Carnival and Amusement Ride rules state that, "The owner of an amusement ride may not permit a person who is perceptibly or apparently under the influence of alcohol or drugs to enter or ride an amusement ride."
Ryan then offered the agency's interpretation of those rules.
"We read that to mean that someone may have had a drink before getting on the ride, but cannot be in any way impaired. So while the rules do not necessarily prohibit the serving of alcohol on a ride, any such service would have to be both limited and policed by the owner," Ryan said in her e-mail.
At Wednesday's City Commission meeting, resident Sandra Richardson said she opposed the drink service because of the possible dangers it presented.
"How can we serve alcohol on the ride," she said, joking that next Morey's may allow people to drink and drive the go-karts.
The company's application has been tabled for now and no date has been set to revisit the idea.
"I don't know if we'll bring it back or not," Doran said.

The Jordan World Circus is in town

Practice is key to circus performance
New Shanghai Circus comes to the Paramount Theater in Aurora Feb. 13. Courtesy of Paramount Theater
By Randall G. Mielke By Sun-Times Media
Feb 2, 2011
It has been said that “practice makes perfect.” For the 22 performers who make up the New Shanghai Circus, practice is essential in creating an amazing show and in keeping themselves from getting injured.
“Practice is the most important thing,” said Kate Kong, production manager for the New Shanghai Circus. “Our acts look easy, but they are actually very difficult. Our performers need training to perform the acts that they do and they need to practice every day. And it is important to keep the flexibility of the body.”
The New Shanghai Circus will perform on Feb. 13, at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora.
In the show, astounding contortionists and masterful acrobats defy gravity and execute breathtaking feats as they stretch the limits of human ability.
It was during the Han Dynasty, more than 2,000 years ago, that the Chinese saw the first acrobats, magicians and jugglers. Various demonstrations of acrobatics, with amazing skill of strength and balance, developed out of the annual village harvest celebrations. Chinese farmers and village craftsmen, with little to do over the long winter, decided to spend their time improving their societal positions by becoming acrobats. They practiced the art form with anything they could find around the house and farm: cups, saucers, tables, chairs and plates. With their own bodies they formed human walls and pyramids. Building on these traditional performances, today’s artists have added new techniques and spectacular stunts.
“The show takes this traditional art and adds modern lighting, modern choreography and modern music,” said Kong in a 2009 interview. “It is all done to make it more entertaining.”
The New Shanghai Circus, with performers ranging in age from 13 to 45, boasts such unusual acts as Rolling Cups in which a performer creates various sculpture-like poses while balancing 108 separate pieces of glassware on various parts of the body. After many contortions, the performer ends on her stomach with the glass sculptures sprouting from her forehead, her mouth, her arms and her feet. The demanding act requires a performer with the phenomenal flexibility combined with a superb sense of balance.
Another act is Hoop Diving: performers take high risks attempting to outdo each other by seeing who can go through the highest hoop or the most hoops. Their success depends on highly-disciplined practice and complete focus on the task.
And, according to Hong, audience members will be completely focused on the New Shanghai Circus show.
“Our show is family-friendly,” she said. “A two-year-old could sit on a parent’s lap and enjoy the show. The show provides colorful costumes and a lot of movement. No one is bored watching our show.”
Shrine Circus at Dow Event Center in Saginaw still on for Thursday Wednesday, February 02, 2011
By Lindsay Knake The Saginaw News
SAGINAW -- The winter storm isn't stopping the Elf Khurafeh Shrine Circus from coming to Saginaw.
Elephants, tigers, camels, horses, ponies and pigs arrive Wednesday at The Dow Event Center for nine shows Thursday through Sunday.
One hour before each show starts, attendees can take elephant and pony rides, get a face painting, receive clown autographs and play in bounce houses.
The circus will perform at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday, noon and 7 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets are available at The Dow Event Center Box Office.
For more information visit The Dow Event Center website or the Shrine Circus website.
Nik and Erendira Wallenda bring family, tradition to Michigan International Auto Show

Nik Wallenda poses with his daughter Evita and wife Erendira at the Michigan International Auto Show.
February 02, 2011,
By John Gonzalez The Grand Rapids Press
“My wife is nine generations on one side of her family, so it's something you're generally raised doing. I wouldn't trade what I do for the world.”
Wallenda proposed to Erendira in 1999 on bended knee on a wire 30 feet high during a performance in Montreal, Canada before a packed house of 18,000 people.
Despite their unusual occupation, Erendira said they're a pretty normal family, especially at dinner time.
“We talk about our kids, and schooling and laundry,” she said. “We're normal people, except for we have dangerous jobs.”
“Not a lot of normal people talk about laundry during dinner,” Nik said.
“Yes they do...women do,” Erendira said.
Nik and his wife are to perform at tonight's Charity Gala to benefit the DeVos Children's Hospital Foundation.
This is Nik's fifth time performing at the auto show. It's his first time using the “sway poles.” Also making an appearance this weekend is their daughter Evita, an eighth generation Wallenda who is her dad's biggest fan.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Festival International du Cirque de Monte Carlo 2011 - Bello Nock

Big Apple Circus cancels visit to Stone Mountain
The Big Apple Circus isn’t coming to town this year.
Feb 1, 2011 Reporter: By Heather Darenberg, Staff Writer

STONE MOUNTAIN — The Big Apple Circus isn’t coming to town this year.
Because of operating deficits, the circus canceled this season’s engagements in Stone Mountain and Dulles, Va., executive director Gary Dunning said.
“The last two seasons have been challenging for everyone, and the Big Apple Circus is not exempt from feeling the effects of the recession,” Dunning said in a released statement. “The general decline in fundraising and ticket sales has led to operating deficits that diminish the company’s cash reserves. When combined with the general trend of financial institutions reducing the availability of credit, the company’s cash flow has been constrained.”
To address the changes in the economic climate, the circus implemented layoffs and wage reductions and re-engineered its business model to decrease operations from $22 million to $17 million, Dunning said.
“Simply put, the company cannot afford to underwrite the losses incurred in these engagements (in Stone Mountain and Virginia) this year,” he said
Dunning said the company will seek to return to both markets in the future.
For those who still want to see a circus, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s “FUNundrum” will be at the Arena at Gwinnett Center from Feb. 24 to 27. For more information, visit


Circus, magic and variety .. it’s Showzam!
By Adam Whittaker– February 2, 2011

THE REGION’S highly anticipated Showzam! festival is making a welcome return to Blackpool this month, in what is thought to be the events best year yet.
Showzam! has been wowing crowds in the town since 2008, and is a ten-day event celebrating circus, magic and new variety. In the past, the festival has featured high-profile performers, dangerous feats and local stars – and this year, the line-up certainly won’t disappoint. The variety of events include a mixture of adult-only shows and events catered especially for families. A number of high-profile companies in the town are supporting Showzam!, and 2011 promises a schedule that will amaze young and old.
Highlights for this year include Soap! The Show , a bubbling variety show at the Globe Theatre which adds water, acrobatics and bathtubs into the mix. At the Tower Circus, Mooky and Mr Booo’s International Circus Carnival is a family-friendly celebration of all things associated with the ‘big top’, with a Latin flavour.
Carnesky’s Ghost Train is now into its third successful year at Flagstaff Gardens – this is a dark ride with a theatrical difference! Among other highlights, both the Grand Theatre and The Blackpool Tower will be hosting behind-the-scenes heritage tours, looking into what goes on once the curtain call has concluded.
For more informations, take a look at the official Showzam! website; .

Snakes elicit a hiss? Davis County Fair show might change your mind
By Bryon Saxton
Standard-Examiner Davis Bureau
Tuesday, February 1, 2011

FARMINGTON, Utah -- Indiana Jones will likely not attend this year's Davis County Fair. Jones, played by actor Harrison Ford, has made it clear he hates snakes. And snakes -- in this case, rattlesnakes -- just happen to be the entertainment up the sleeves of Davis County Fair organizers.
The Davis County Commission on Tuesday approved a $4,800 contract with The West Texas Rattlesnake Show to be one of the premier shows for the fair.

The contract requires the snake entertainment act to provide $1 million in liability coverage, said Commissioner Louenda Downs.

The rattlesnakes are from west Texas, while the handler, David Richardson, is out of Syracuse, N.Y., said Davis County Fair Coordinator Megan Hatch.

"This rattlesnake show is our big animal piece for the fair."

The show will be performed three times daily during the four-day fair.

Last year, the fair featured tigers. "We're taking a mammal break and having snakes," Hatch said.

read more at:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Free circus shows for unemployed
Jan. 31, 2011
Written byDesert Sun staff reports
Circus Vargas is offering unemployed families free admission to weekday performances at Westfield Palm Desert through Feb. 7.
“The economy has hurt so many people lately and has affected our business as well,” said Nelson Quiroga, president of Circus Vargas.
“As a family show, we are very sensitive to the economic situation and how it affects the local communities. We know that many people can’t afford to take their families for entertainment like Circus Vargas so we want to help them,” he said.
More than 10,000 people have been admitted free since Circus Vargas started its unemployment program in 2009, Quiroga said.
The program allows two adults and two children to be admitted.
To receive tickets, bring your layoff notice or stub from an unemployment check to the circus box office the day of the performance.
Circus Vargas shows are being performed at Westfield Palm Desert through Feb. 7.
Weekday performances are at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 31, 7:30 p.m. Feb.2-Feb. 4 and 6 p.m. Feb. 7.
Information: (877) 468-3861 or

Animal rights advocates protest circus

Circus Aotearoa coming to town
The Rope Warrior, Michael Armstrong, of Christchurch, dazzles in mid-air, while Nick Name, of Auckland, bases the rope. Photo supplied.
Queenstown Lakes
By James Beech on Fri, 28 Jan 2011
A modern New Zealand circus is coming to Queenstown in early February, with tertiary educated performers and no animals on show. Circus Aotearoa announced this week it will raise the big top on Warren Park, Gorge Rd, and entertain Wakatipu audiences from Friday, February 4 to Sunday, February 6.
A cast of eight New Zealand and Australian performers play multiple characters in 15 acts. The line-up for the 90-minute summer spectacular includes aerial acrobatics, swing trapeze, juggling, contortionists, "red-nose and contemporary" clowning and more.
The Raglan-based directors and troupe are venturing to the South Island for the first time on their third tour.
Co-director Paddy Gordon told the Queenstown Times it was a very modern circus, with the cast qualified in the diploma in circus arts, at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology.
The days were over of travelling circuses providing the only opportunity for rural communities to see exotic animals, and circuses had to move with the times.
"It's like a theatre version of what our view of the traditional circus is like," Mr Gordon said.
"It's more vaudeville, with banter from the ringmaster and the audience gets to interact with the acts. A little bit of magic and a lot of laughs."
Circus Aotearoa opens in Queenstown, next Friday, at 7.30pm, with performances on Saturday, February 5, at 11am and 7.30pm, and Sunday, February 6, at 2pm.
Tickets start from $17 for adults and from $12 for children, depending on age and seating option. Three-year-olds and under are free.
Tickets are available on site an hour before the show. The box office is cash only.
Group and family discounts are available.
High hopes of successStock Show & Rodeo starts Thursday with new events, exhibits.

Workers dump and spread 2,160 tons of dirt in the ATT Center in preparation for the 2011 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. Bob Owen/
By William Monday, January 31, 2011
With a sub-freezing arctic front barreling towards San Antonio, it will soon feel about right for the city's winter ritual.
Yep, it's rodeo time in San Antonio, and the 62nd annual edition of that Western tradition has stirred up high hopes before it races out of the gates Thursday.
The roller coaster is about finished, and red dirt has replaced the gleaming court that the San Antonio Spurs call home.
“So far, it looks real good,” said Pam Rew, assistant executive director of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo as preparations for the 18-day celebration of rodeo skills and country culture revved up.
Advance ticket sales are strong, the number of commercial vendors and junior livestock exhibitors have grown and pre-rodeo events produced solid financial support.
“We're planning for a big show,” said Rew. “We're excited.”
Whether that means another record show won't be known for a while and will depend to a great extent on how agreeable the weather is. This week, overnight lows in the 20s are expected, but no showers have been forecast.

Cowboys lead Longhorns on Houston Street toward the Alamo during the Texas Longhorn Cattle Drive in downtown San Antonio.Photo: LISA KRANTZ/ / SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS
Rodeo attendance, which counts those attending the rodeo in the AT&T Center and those who come to watch the livestock judging and taste the other rodeo offerings outside the arena, has set records the last two years. Last year, attendance fell just short of 1.4 million.
Tom Cannon, who teaches marketing and tourism at the University of Texas at San Antonio, said the popularity of the event stems from several factors: it's a well-managed activity that supports a good cause, education, while rekindling memories of the enduring themes that built the state, Cannon said.
“Cattle and cowboys are synonymous with Texas,” he said. “They come for the mystique and the fun they have.”
The rodeo raised $8.5 million for scholarships and other educational endeavors last year.
Rew said the event also has some new offerings to give people another reason for visiting.
An activity area for children, sponsored by H-E-B, demonstrates through interactive exhibits how food and dairy products go from the farm to grocery stores.
Children and adults might be attracted to a new wildlife and natural resources area where hunting, fishing, kayaking and other outdoor activities will be explored. In addition, a wine garden has been set up for adults to taste winning wine varieties from a competition earlier in the year and to learn about Texas wines.
Wade Shows Inc., which is putting on the carnival, reportedly is bringing in new rides after it recorded three, record-breaking attendance counts in 2010, said rodeo spokeswoman Jenny Nagelmueller.
“There is something for everyone here,” Rew said.
The cost of attendance has not changed this year. Getting on the grounds for the horse shows, livestock judging, commercial exhibitors and other activities costs $7. Tickets to the rodeo itself cost $10 or $25 and include admission to the grounds, a seat for the rodeo competition and the musical performance afterwards.
Sugar Reim, with Circle R Ranch Wear, one of the nearly 700 exhibitors who will be selling goods at the rodeo, said she's ready to get going.
“We've loved San Antonio since the beginning because they loved us,” said Reim, whose firm coordinates Resistol hat sales. “This is Western culture here. This is where people want to come.”
Read more:

Monday, January 31, 2011

February 10-21, 2011

Billy Martin's Cole All-Star Circus amazes crowds in Oneida
Sunday, January 30, 2011
People watch during the Billy Martin's Cole All-Star Circus on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011, at Oneida High School. The circus was sponsored by the Zonta Club of Oneida.
Photo by JOHN HAEGER A circus performer balances atop a basketball during the Billy Martin's Cole All-Star Circus on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011 at Oneida High School. The circus was sponsored by the Zonta Club of Oneida.

Photo by JOHN HAEGER Joanne Wilson performs with her dogs during the Billy Martin's Cole All-Star Circus on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011 at Oneida High School. The circus was sponsored by the Zonta Club of Oneida.

Photo by JOHN HAEGER Nine-year-old Vincent performs on a unicycle during the Billy Martin's Cole All-Star Circus on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011 at Oneida High School. The circus was sponsored by the Zonta Club of Oneida.

Every detail counts when setting up Cirque

Workers help build the set of the production of Cirque du Soleil, a company out of Quebec, Canada, playing this week at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. January 25, 2011 Michael Smart~Sun-Times Media
By Mike Danahey, Jan 30, 2011
Alain Gauthier and Erin Sweeney can tell you from firsthand experience: It takes a lot to bring a modern version of the circus to town. And it might even help to have sports backgrounds to do so.
Gauthier, a former hockey player and coach, is an arena production manager for Cirque du Soleil, one of the world’s most critically and commercially successful entertainment enterprises. He has that role with the tour of the Montreal-based company’s “Dralion,” which ends a four-day run at Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates today.

Sweeney, who earned a master’s degree in sports management from Central Michigan University, is event manager at the venue. The Sears Centre contracts out running the venue to Sweeney’s employer, Global Spectrum. Sweeney had served an internship at the Chaifetz Arena (on the campus of Saint Louis University), which also is run by Global Spectrum. That led to a job there, then a move to the Sears Centre last summer.
Coincidentally, the Cirque show comes to Hoffman Estates from St. Louis in a way that Gauthier said is typical of how the company sets up its stops. Usually, there are shows Wednesday through Sunday in a town. Crews take down the elaborate set Sunday evening, and equipment is moved by 18 semitrailers to the next arena or hall, with another truck carrying catering equipment as part of the entourage. Meanwhile, performers and other staff head for the airport for a late-evening flight.

Workers work high above the stadium floor in preparation of Cirque du Soleil playing this week at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. January 25, 2011 Michael Smart~Sun-Times Media
The last trucks packed have to be the first ones unloaded at the next performance space. That’s because they contain the rigging and set, which in the case of “Dralion” is quite elaborate.
“The weight of the show is 95,000 pounds,” Gauthier said.
read more at:


50 years on, still ‘clowning’ around
January 31st, 2011
DC Correspondent, Bengaluru
Jan. 30: He made people laugh for 50 years with his performances in the circus arena.
Today, the 64-year-old Thulasidas Chaudhary made people emotional by performing to the immortal song, ‘Jeena Yaha, Marna Yaha’.
There’s a lot to learn from the life of this clown, who entertained audiences under the Big Top for almost 5 decades. Mr. Thulasidas started his career with the Great Bombay Circus at the age of 13. After working here for almost 5 decades, he considers the circus his home. For his contribution to the circus fraternity, he was felicitated on Sunday for his achievements.
Pouring his heart out, Thulasidas Chaudhary said: “Even when I really cry, the audience thinks I am just putting on an act to make them laugh. I have my own sorrows, but it is my duty to make others laugh, which I have done successfully for the past 50 years and will continue to do till my last breath
read more at: