2014 Convention



Friday, February 17, 2012



8-21-95, PART I

I visited ALLEN BROS CIRCUS in LeRoy, Il. The show look great, a great lot, great weather,and a good crowd.

Main entrance

April (2) & Simone (5) Dykes

Cat cages - Larry Grant

Phil Chandler,RM






Flat bed with 5th. wheel hook-up

Jody Fillman

Rudi, Anna, Steven Fassio
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Ringling Bros. Presents DRAGONS - Does the Spirit of the Dragon Live in You?

Uploaded by ringlingbros on Feb 15, 2012
Music video from the Ringling Bros. Presents DRAGONS DVD.
For the first time in circus history, myth and majesty will share the arena during this must-see family event that can only be witnessed at The Greatest Show On Earth®!

Experience circus spectacles so incredible that once again you will believe in the unbelievable! Dragon tribes from the far reaches of the earth are brought together in a single performance, displaying their breathtaking skills in a circus tournament of champions. Each tribe must prove that they have virtues of Courage, Strength, Wisdom and Heart to arouse dragons which appear right before your very eyes! Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime family event when The Greatest Show On Earth brings the world together... to bring your family together!
Local circus promises flying animals, BMX riders

Gail Mirabella is a dog trainer for the Circus Athena, Athens' first organized circus. ALLISON LOVE/Staff



February 16, 2012
ATHENS, GA--Ben Austin’s personal life is a sideshow to his day job.
As director of Circus Athena, Athens’ first organized circus performance featuring talented locals and visitors, Austin is seeking the most unusual way to recreate his past in the present.
But the University graduate’s journey to the circus started out-of-state.
“I was a cook for a traveling geology field school with my girlfriend,” he said “One of the students on the trip bought himself a unicycle when we were in Santa Fe … I play the accordion, and my girlfriend said I should have had it with me so there would be an accordion and unicycle. So I bought an accordion on the trip. It felt like we were in a traveling circus.”
Although Austin’s traveling circus ended, his interest in the unusual remained.
“I play the piano — it’s my main instrument,” he said. “I’ve had a couple of bands and we’ve always been really theatrical wearing costumes on stage. More and more I found that my friends were doing circus stuff — unicycle riders, fire spinners and trapeze artists.”
With ideas seeded in his mind, Austin’s circus show sought to be a reality.
“I came back to Athens after that trip and I was working with a catering company,” he said. “‘Be the change you want to see in the world,’ you know? I knew I needed to make something happen and not just chill forever. Once the Morton Theatre came through, and they were willing to have me, that got the momentum going.”
His momentum led him to the streets, where he found inspirational circus acts in all forms.
“I just looked around Athens and saw all these people doing their own thing, but there was no unified show,” he said. “Take hula hooping: you can’t just put on a hula hoop show. It can be super entertaining for like 10 minutes, but then it gets boring. You have to put it together.”
And so he did. With a cast of nearly 70 performers, Austin’s past few months have included hunting down talent from the area … in a not-so-traditional way.
“As far as finding people, a lot of it was word-of-mouth,” he said. “I did a lot of Facebook stalking. I had an idea that a BMX rider would be good, and I Googled ‘BMX riders Athens’ and came across this guy. I found him on Facebook, we met up and he agreed to be in it. If I were trying to do this 20 years ago, before the Internet, it would’ve been really hard to find people.”
With numerous talents in tow — including famed dog trainer Gail Mirabella and the Dynamo Flying Dogs —— audiences have much to look forward to.
“There hasn’t ever been anything like it before in Athens,” Austin said.
Not your standard circus

7 Fingers troupe's 'Traces,' a modern circus production, is coming to Orange County starting Feb. 28.

Bradley Henderson in "Traces." (Michael Meseke / October 19, 2010)

By Heather Youmans


February 16, 2012

Costa Mesa, CA--When the word "circus" comes to mind, you may envision clowns, circus tents, elephants and elaborate costumes.
But think again. This time, imagine a circus without exotic creatures and where the performers are not nameless, faceless or hidden by flamboyant costumes and face paint.
From Feb. 28 through March 4, 7 Fingers will present "Traces" —an eclectic fusion of the modern circus anti-spectacle with traces of traditional circus elements — during a limited, one-week engagement at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.
After world tours of "Loft," "Psy," and "La Vie," 7 Fingers brings "Traces," one of the newest projects coming out of the troupe's workshop at its headquarters in Montreal, a circus hub and home to world-famous Cirque du Soleil.
The 7 Fingers of the Hand Co. — whose name is a twist on a French idiom, "the five fingers of the hand," used to describe distinct parts united tightly, moving in coordination toward one common goal — is notorious for rejecting the production qualities of standard circuses.
So, this time around, the company's seven founding directors put their "fingers" to work and developed a modern circus production that would enhance how the audience could relate with the circus performers, who, historically, have been physically and socially isolated from onlookers and society as a whole.
"I just think they [7 Fingers] really wanted to cut down the boundaries and barriers between the audience members and the performers really making it clear to the audience members that we [the performers] are just like them," said Bradley Henderson, who joined the cast back in 2005.
"Technically, the tricks in the show are as good as any other circus. It's just more on a human level showing the audience we're not superheroes, we've just been training for this for a very long time."
In fact, "Traces" performers, including Henderson, who has been training for the circus since age 8, undergo years of rigorous training.
"This was the type of artist that 7 Fingers became attracted to," Henderson said in a phone interview. "People that were multitalented that couldn't just do one thing, but could survive on stage doing everything."read more:,0,6853659.story
Feld sisters follow in their father's footsteps to produce the greatest show on Earth

The funny folks of Clown Alley perform at the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus. / Photo provided/Heinz Kluetmeier

Written bySALLY FRIEDMAN For the Courier-Post

Feb. 16, 2012

It’s big, bold and brassy — the ultimate entertainment event.
It involves death-defying feats, wild animal acts and, always, some jaw-dropping moments that elicit a collective gasp.The “it,” of course, is the circus.And this season, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ “Dragons” arrives in Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center on Feb. 22 as spectacular as ever.Who knew that behind this gigantic production are now two young women, both under 40, who are in large measure responsible for making the circus live up to its familiar and ambitious anthem: “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
Feld sisters follow in their father's footsteps to produce the greatest show on Earth
Nicole and Alana Feld, two of the three daughters of Kenneth Feld of Feld Entertainment, which produces the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey extravaganza. / Photo providedNicole and Alana Feld, two of the three daughters of Kenneth Feld of Feld Entertainment, which produces the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey extravaganza, both hold the lofty title of executive vice president and producer of Feld Entertainment, Inc. The company, started by Kenneth Feld’s father, now reaches 30 million people each year with its G-rated family entertainment in 70 countries on six continents.And the circus continues to be a company cornerstone.For the Feld daughters, that means developing that spectacle with a crew of scouts, directors and designers, making sure that they perpetuate the legacy of this iconic family more:

Island Noodles at the Florida State Fair!

Uploaded by flstfairgrounds on Feb 16, 2012
WOW! Help these guys get to the next epic surf break by stoping by there noodle booth in the Mall. A delightful, tasty alternative for the health conscious fairgoer! Vegan if thats how you swing, to a delicious teriyaki chicken topper! These guys know how to dish it up!
Circus, bull riding performances in Atlanta this weekend

By Mandi Milligan from: (WGCL)
Feb 16, 2012
ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) - The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Professional Bull Riders are performing in Atlanta over the weekend.The circus will perform at Philips Arena Feb. 15 - 20 and Feb. 23 - 26 at the Arena at Gwinnett.Before each show, step inside the rings one hour before showtime to visit with the elephants and dogs, learn how to juggle with a clown, or participate in our dance party. It's free to all ticket holders.
For ticket information, visit, call Ticketmaster at 404-249-6400 or visit any Ticketmaster retail location.
The 2012 Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough series returns to the Georgia Dome this weekend for the first of four stadium events.
Atlanta is the seventh stop of the 2012 series, featuring the best bull riders and bulls in the world, on Feb. 18 for one action-packed night.
PBR will be transforming the Georgia Dome into a dirt arena, bringing in more than 1,500 tons of dirt on Thursday. Once the dirt is in place, seven 53-foot semi tractor-trailers, three pick-up trucks, and a gooseneck trailer will be unloaded into the arena, and over 300 individual pieces of fence panels will be erected using more than 1,200 hours of labor from the PBR's dauntless road crew before the first bull is bucked at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Bull riding starts on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at, the Georgia Dome box office, and by telephone at (800) 745-3000.

UniverSoul Circus Proposal Atlanta 2012

Uploaded by universoulcircus on Feb 16, 2012
He brought a diamond ring to center ring, she said "YES!"
The Circus is Coming: Take the Patch Poll, Enter to Win Free Tickets

What's your favorite part of the show?

By William Demarest


February 16, 2012

The Royal Hanneford Circus performs this President's Day Weekend in White Plains, transforming the Westchester County Center into an exciting three-ring extravaganza.
The show features tigers, acrobats, mother and baby elephants, the human cannon ball, ATV daredevils, trapeze stars, acrobats, high flyers, thrilling high wire walkers and the spectacular quick change artists among other internationally acclaimed circus performers—and more.
What's your favorite part of the circus? Take the Patch poll below to tell us. Also, share your memories of the circus in the comments section below.
To help celebrate the circus' visit to the area, Patch is giving away six 4-packs of tickets to the shows this weekend. To enter to win tickets, email Patch at by 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, 2012. See more about the rules below.

The circus includes performers from around the world.

Royal Hanneford Circus Hours: Saturday, Sunday & Monday: 10am, 2pm & 6pm Cost: Adults & Children, 2 & over, pay the same price $28.50 or $22.50, depending on the seat location. (The 6 Patch contest winners get a set of 4 tickets for free) Location: Westchester County Center, 198 Central Avenue, White Plains, NY 10606 read more:

Thursday, February 16, 2012



As PETA protests, Fulton, Atlanta clash over elephant bullhooks

PETA supports protested in front of Philips Arena Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, where Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus is being held.

By Joel Anderson and Johnny Edwards

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

February 15, 2012

While animal rights advocates staged a protest Wednesday against a circus at Philips Arena, Fulton County commissioners voiced displeasure with Atlanta's refusal to go along with the county's ban on a controversial elephant training tool.The issue started as a spat between Fulton and Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus over the use of bullhooks by elephant handlers. It quickly evolved into a territorial dispute, with county officials miffed the city would not support their ban on bullhooks inside city limits.The circus opened Wednesday night after winning a ruling two days earlier from a Fulton County judge, who handed down an injunction barring enforcement of the county ordinance in more:
Circuses and fairgrounds could be banned


by Judith Tonner, Airdrie & Coatbridge

Feb 15 2012

CIRCUSES and fairgrounds could be banned from all council land in Monklands following a major policy review.
Members of North Lanarkshire’s property sub-committee will tomorrow consider introducing the new rule – and must then immediately determine an application for a proposed circus in Coatbridge this summer.
Bobby Roberts Super Circus has applied to bring the company’s touring show to West End Park for a week at the start of July.
However, that had already been recommended for refusal after objections from Coatbridge North councillor Peter Sullivan and the council’s roads department, even ahead of any introduction of the more stringent policy.
Councillor Sullivan told the Advertiser: “The reasons for my objection is very simple – we have to consider the use of the park, which is meant to be for the public at all times.
“These things tend to cause a fair bit of damage when they’re there and it leaves us with number of repairs to carry out afterwards – every time there’s an event like this, we have to reinstate the ground.
“Coatbridge seems to be one of only a few places to allow circuses on public grassed areas; I don’t mind if it’s hard standing or private ground but the damage done to the grass thereafter isn’t fair on the public.
“I’m not keen on circuses at all because of the animals; if people like circuses, they’re entitled to their opinion, but I feel it’s unfair on animals.”read more:
PETA asks officials to cancel circus

By Stephanie Nelson


February 16, 2012

The circus is coming to Andalusia today, but animal rights groups aren’t pleased about it.
Curtains for the Great Ame-rican Fam-ily Circus big top will open at 5:30 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. at the Kiwanis Center.
The family-owned circus, which is based in Gibsonton, Fla., touts “seats no more than 30 feet from the ring…with 90 minutes of action-packed family entertainment” including performances by acrobats, aerialists, bare back horse riders, monkeys, hula hoop artists, contortionists, horses, magicians, fire-eaters and “the most enchanting(ly), loving elephant exhibitions in the circus industry.”
However, both the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and In Defense of Animals (IDA), each an animal protection organization, are protesting the event.
A letter, sent by PETA to the arena manager, has called for the cancellation of the appearance, claiming the Great American Family Circus is the most recent alias adopted by the notorious Liebel Family Circus – an operation owned by Hugo Liebel, who was cited for 33 federal violations of the USDA’s Animal Welfare Act in regards to the treatment of his elephant “Nosey.”
Court records, dated Dec. 7, 2011, show the violations stem from allegedly having the elephant chained so tightly by its two legs that she could barely move; by allegedly leaving an unattended monkey chained to a pony for more than an hour; and by allegedly allowing unsupervised public contact with “Nosey,” who attacked and sent a worker to the emergency room in 2004.
Other serious charges cited by the USDA include violating the AWA by failing to provide adequate veterinary care to “Nosey,” who has suffered for years from a condition that leaves “thickened layers of dead skin…with a dry, cracked appearance” on her legs, tail, back, sides, and face, and by allowing a spider monkey to escape and not recovering him for nearly six weeks.
Attempts to reach Kiwanis officials were unsuccessful; however, tickets are available at a multitude of area businesses, which are for a buy one, get one adult ticket free special for $18, and children 12 and under are $9 each.
Circus Sues for Right to Prod Elephants



ATLANTA (CN) - A traveling circus challenged Fulton County's "elephant ordinance," which prohibits the use of "bull hooks" on elephants.

Bull hooks, also known as elephant goads, are long-handled sticks with a sharp point at the end and a hook curving off from the point. They are used to control and direct elephants by poking and hooking them in sensitive areas.

Feld Entertainment, which owns Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, claims the ordinance should not apply to events in Atlanta, because the city has not adopted it and does not have an agreement for animal control services with the county.

Feld Entertainment sued Fulton County, its Board of Commissioners and the county's top code enforcer Tony Phillips, in Fulton County Superior Court.

Most of metropolitan Atlanta is in Fulton County.

Fulton County adopted the "elephant ordinance" in June 2011, at the urging of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other animal advocates. The ordinance bans the use of bull hooks on elephants within unincorporated Fulton more at:
Nyack Circus Story On Silver Screen

February 15, 2012
Nyack, Feb 15 — Tonight’s premiere of Runaway Circus at the Nyack Center is not too different from the real life story of the director of the Amazing Grace CIRCUS! “I ran away from college in 1972 to join the circus because it was a lifetime dream,” said Carlo Pellegrini, director of Nyack’s youth circus program. “With all of the hardships and all of the wonderful moments, it was the perfect year.” Tonight you can take a peek under the Big Top that Pellegrini brought to Nyack in 2009 and see the struggles and triumphs of a new generation of performers in Runaway Circus, a short documentary by filmmaker Angela Snow.

The film shows how Amazing Grace’s troupe of 12 teenagers learned the ropes to battle the rains, the mosquitoes and the bureaucracy to put on performances for 4,000 fans in Nyack’s Memorial Park. “They created magic under the stars for two and a half weeks,” says Pellegrini. “And they were rewarded with the magic moment of self-discovery… confidence beyond imagination, respect for themselves and the everlasting memory of creating something from nothing
read more:
Fair season arrives in Florida

Florida's mild winters make the months of February and March ideal for the many fairs and festivals that brighten the night Credits: Jeff Briscoe.

Ft. Myers Outdoor Recreation

Jeffrey Briscoe

February 15, 2012
While much of the rest of the country deals with wintery weather throughout February and March, these months are usually temperate in Southwest Florida. Not surprisingly, the chance to escape to mild weather delivers an annual influx of visitors. This may frustratingly clog traffic, but also beneficially fills cash registers.
Therefore, this great time of year is marked by the scheduling of numerous fun outdoor events. These include diverse activities such as baseball's spring training, air shows, celebrations of food, music concerts, auto and boat racing, and organized fairs and festivals.
While friends to the north battle wind chills and black ice, many Floridians instead contend with cotton candy and ferris wheels. If such carnival pleasures are closer to your style, here is a preview of some upcoming local events:
FLORIDA STATE FAIR: This annual event happens every February at the State Fairgrounds in Tampa. Located close to the intersection of Interstates 75 and 4, it is an easy drive for millions of Floridians, including those traveling from Southwest Florida. The Florida State Fair kicked off last weekend and continues through February 20, featuring a diversity of performances, music, animals, rides, and food. The state fair is perhaps best known for the Cracker Country exhibit that showcases the best of "Old Florida."Continue reading on Fair season arrives in Florida - Ft. Myers Outdoor Recreation

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hello. My name is Carl-Andre Hjelvik and I run a small circus in Norway.

Found your great blog on the internet. I wonder if you, or you know someone who can give away or sell the posters, programs etc. from the Zerbini Family Circus, Jordan World Circus and El Karubah Shrine Circus?

I am also looking for someone who can sell a used ring curbs.

Do you have the opportunity to check this out, or post a inquiry on your blog?

Mvh Carl-André Hjelvik. Best regards Carl-André Hjelvik. FOTOAdresse: Lidavegen 44 NO-6100 Volda. NORWAY. Tlf. (+47) 458 66 823. Hjemmeside: Facebook: Cirkus Minimax Organisasjonsnummer: 997 449 533
Experience BELLOMANIA at Circus Sarasota

Uploaded by HuBStudios on Feb 13, 2012
produced by HuB Studios/2012
Camden Courier-Post - June 15, 1933

Just in Fun

Clyde Beatty, celebrated daredevil animal tamer is telling Larry Ruch, manager of the Grand Theatre, Camden, that none of the scenes in his picture "The Big Cage" were faked. This animal thriller will be shown at the Grand tomorrow, and Saturday. Incidentally, the gun held by Ruch, right, contains nothing but blanks, as Ruch emphatically states he has no use for, bullets of any description.
Circus Lions No Longer Stranded on Russian Border

A performance involving Goncharov’s lions is scheduled in the Moscow Circus on February 23.


February 15 (RIA Novosti)

Ten lions belonging to Ukrainian animal tamer Vladislav Goncharov that were stranded on the Russian-Latvian border have been let through and are heading to Moscow, Yelena Olshanskaya, a spokeswoman for the Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoi Boulevard, said.
Russian officials did not let the animals through for two days as documents for them were filled in incorrectly. Should the lions have stayed on the border a few days longer, they could have died from cold and hunger running out of food, according to Circus Director Maxim Nikulin.
Nikulin on Tuesday said that the vans with lions arrived from Monte Carlo, where they participated in a festival. Officials did not want to let them through because their documents were “filled in line with EU standards,” he said.
Goncharov told RIA Novosti: “For the lions to be let through, Maxim Nikulin called the head of [Russian veterinary and phytosanitary watchdog] Rosselkhoznadzor [Sergei Dankvert].”
“No animal has been harmed or has caught a cold,” Goncharov said.
A performance involving Goncharov’s lions is scheduled in the Moscow Circus on February 23.
Goncharov this year won the Silver Clown prize at the world’s most prestigious circus art contest in Monte Carlo.


5 Couples Wed on Mall of America Ferris Wheel
The line for the ferris wheel at Mall of America looked a little different than normal this Valentine's Day.

Waiting for the ride of their lives were five brides and five grooms.

They all agreed to get married on the ride in celebration of National Weddings Month.

They boarded the ride and waited for the pastor to start the ceremony from the ground.

With a wave they signaled their "I dos." Then after their vows were sealed with a kiss, the ferris wheel started spinning.

Back on the ground, they were met with hugs from family and a little advice from the minister.

Reverend Paul Marzahn said, "Life is like a ferris wheel. You have your ups and downs but the key is to stay in the ride together. Don't jump out of the cart."
Circus is coming to town

Old Bridge graduate returns to entertain as a professional circus clown

Pat Cashin



OLD BRIDGE — Clowning around is serious business for Pat Cashin, who will soon return to his hometown as a professional circus clown with the Yankee Doodle Circus.
The circus is set for three performances on Feb. 26 at Old Bridge High School.
Cashin is a 1985 graduate of Cedar Ridge High School in Old Bridge.
“Never in high school did I believe I would become a circus clown,” said Cashin, who graduated from the famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College in 1997 and is a board member of the Clown Hall of Fame. “I loved to perform as a stand-up comedian in school but didn’t realize I’d end up with a fantastic career as a circus clown.”
Cashin has toured worldwide in the U.S., Europe andAsia with circuses including the Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus, the Hansen’s Spectacular Circus Thrill Show and the Kelly Miller Circus. Also, he spent a season with the Caesars Royal Roman Circus at Caesars Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.
Cashin has toured worldwide in the U.S., Europe andAsia with circuses including the Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus, the Hansen’s Spectacular Circus Thrill Show and the Kelly Miller Circus. Also, he spent a season with the Caesars Royal Roman Circus at Caesars Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.
“After I graduated, I did TV commercials, including an award-winning Super Bowl commercial for Visa, some standup comedy, film and stage work,” he said. “It wasn’t until I was 30 years old that I decided to apply to clown college.”
Admittance to the nowdefunct Ringling clown college, Cashin said, was very competitive, with about 5,000 applicants vying for a maximum of 60 slots. Only about five to 10 graduates are offered a job with Ringling, and luckily, Cashin was one of them, he said.
Though Cashin comes from a family of longshoremen, he has no regrets about his career choice and credits his father with introducing him to the world of clowns when they would go to the circus together. He married his wife, Terry, in the center ring of the Ringling Bros. circus in Madison Square Garden, and they now reside in Tinton Falls with their two sons, Shane, 9 and Jamie, 2.
When Cashin is not touring with a circus, he makes it a point to bring laughter to the children at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune, through his Jersey Shore Clown Doctor program, in which he portrays the Stupidvisor of Pedia-Tricks and more:

Windy City Circus cancels Chicago debut engagement

David Maas and his wife Dania Kaseeva Maas (both at far left) announced today that their Windy City Circus has cancelled its debut engagement at Navy Pier's Festival Hall


from: Chicago Sun-Times

February 15, 2012

Windy City Circus announced today that its debut engagement, Feb. 17-26 at Navy Pier, has been canceled. The circus, founded by the famous “Quick Change” husband -and-wife team of Dania and David Maas, was set to officially kick off the city’s 175th birthday celebration festivities. In addition to a variety of circus acts, scheduled entertainment also included strolling performers portraying historic Chicago figures.
The circus had also hoped to donate 80 percent of its net ticket sales to the Special Olympics and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.
“We are incredibly saddened to report that in this economy as a new non-profit organization, we have fallen short of our projected sponsorship and funding goals,” said David Maas, in a written statement. “We want to ensure that Chicago receives a high-quality production that befits our incredible hometown and will be a successful fundraiser for our charitable partners. We are looking forward to mounting Windy City Circus at a future date, and will continue to strive toward that goal.”
All tickets will be refunded at the point of purchase. Refunds for tickets purchased at will be automatically refunded prior to date of performance purchased.

Chaplin to judge circus competition

The Montreal Gazette

February 15, 2012

Eugene Chaplin, son of legendary actor Charlie Chaplin, will be in the off-island area this June for the 2012 edition of the Festival du Cirque Vaudreuil-Dorion which is holding its first-ever International Circus Competition.
Chaplin will be strolling the streets of Vaudreuil-Dorion at the competition, which will attract the top circus performers from around the world.
Chaplin, a renowned recording engineer and documentary filmmaker, and president of the International Comedy Film Festival in Switzerland, will be part of the jury at the circus competition from June 22 to 25.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Women find inspiration in the circus

Women’s Circus member Natasha Devonish-Jordan tackles the aerial cube.

Picture: Scott McNaughton


14 Feb, 2012

For more than two decades the Women’s Circus has been empowering and inspiring women through innovative and socially challenging circus programs and performances. It began in 1991 and was set up mostly for survivors of sexual abuse. These days fewer women identify as ‘‘survivors’’, yet the fundamental ideals of the circus have remained: building confidence, reaffirming control over one’s body, and above all, having fun. Reporter Robert Fedele went behind the curtain to shed light on the ever-changing culture of the Women’s Circus."JUST mainly these guns,’’ laughs Natasha Devonish-Jordan, when asked about the rewards of joining the Women’s Circus.
‘‘Check this out,’’ she declares, motioning towards her now fully flexed right bicep. ‘‘You have a feel. Two months!’’
Humour aside, Devonish-Jordan is one of hundreds of women who each year take the plunge and enrol in the new women’s program, a year-long introduction to all aspects of the circus geared specifically towards first-timers.
The Women’s Circus, as its name suggests, is a community circus run by, and for, women. There’s tumbling and trapeze, juggling and the German wheel, even a tightrope to walk if you’re game enough.
It began in 1991 as a project of the Footscray Community Arts Centre, then grew to become its own entity.
Its mission statement aspires to ‘‘provide an opportunity for women to build self-esteem and reaffirm control over their bodies in a safe and non-competitive environment’’.
Born in the US, Devonish-Jordan moved to Australia six years ago and has just become a qualified primary school teacher.
Because of her performing arts background back home, the Women’s Circus seemed the perfect outlet when a friend encouraged Devonish-Jordan to give it a go.
It’s a common story told by many women who, at least in spirit, want to run away to join the circus.
In the dusty former army drill hall in West Footscray which the Women’s Circus calls home, Devonish-Jordan loosens up with a routine of stretches so she can tackle the aerial cube, an aluminium apparatus that she’s soon dangling from gracefully. read more:

Judge's order halts Fulton elephant bullhook ban

Richard Miron (center), from Marietta, holds up sign supporting a ban on elephant bullhooks before the Fulton County Commission meeting on June 1, 2011.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Joel Anderson

February 13, 2012

A Fulton Superior Court judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday that could prevent the county from enforcing animal control laws in the city of Atlanta, according to a Fulton County commissioner.Commissioner Rob Pitts said Judge John Goger's order effectively blocks the county's ban of the use of bullhooks by circus elephant trainers.
The decision comes only days before Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus comes to Philips Arena in Atlanta. The show will run from Wednesday to Feb. 20.
Pitts, who has been an advocate for the bullhook ban, said the judge's order hinged on the lack of a specific intergovernmental agreement between Fulton and Atlanta.
"The fact is that Fulton County has been providing animal control services in Atlanta, and Atlanta has been paying Fulton County for those services," Pitts said in a written statement Monday night. "That amounts to an Implied Agreement/Contract.”
Pitts further suggested the order would prohibit the county from enforcing animal control laws in Atlanta, with the exception of rabies cases and cases of imminent danger to citizens by animals.
Anna Ware, a Buckhead resident and local animal rights' advocate, said she was disappointed with the judge's order.
"I believe that when the Fulton County Board of Commissioners passed the bullhook ban ... they heard and understood the concerns of their citizens relating to the use of the of the bullhook," said Ware, who attended the court hearing Monday.
Ware also said the judge's order could nullify previous citations issued in Atlanta by Fulton County Animal Control.
"This could have opened a big ol' can of worms," she said.
Fulton was the first Georgia jurisdiction to approve a bullhook ban, following cities and counties in Florida, South Carolina, New York, Kentucky and Indiana. Commissioners voted for the ban in June.
Officials with Atlanta and Feld Entertainment, which owns Ringling Brothers, could not immediately be reached for comment Monday night.

Circus not a family business anymore

Express News Service , The New Indian Express

Feb 14, 2012

When Sheela Jaisingh left home to join the circus in order to support her family, she assumed that it was the end of her happiness. But before she realised it, she met cyclist Suba Jaisingh and her life took a new turn when they fell in love at the circus, and got married. Suba recalls, “I was forced to join the circus because my parents were also circus artistes.” Mostly, Suba speaks on behalf of his shy wife. He takes a look at her and adds, “But we don’t want our children to come here; it is definitely a difficult job. They are studying in Kolkata.”
It is definitely refreshing to see a change that the circus is not considered a family business anymore. The story is the same for Seethu Rajesh. It is easy to assume that she might not understand the language because she is from Nepal, but the minute one asks her a question, she answers in Tamil with the ease of a local. “I am married to a Keralite, so I know Tamil,” she gushes.
Her husband, Rajesh, works in the same circus. Both of them were forced to become circus artistes because of their parents and because they have been through the drills, they don't want to put their kids through it. “Our kids are still too young. They are studying in Kerala. We told them they can do anything they want with their lives,” she says. “But when the kids do see us perform, they get excited!” she adds. read more:

Circus Coming to Richmond This Week

Credit: Media General

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

By: Staff

February 14, 2012

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is coming to the Richmond Coliseum this week and will have evening and matinee shows Wednesday through Sunday.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents DRAGONS is a once in a millennium event that honors The Year of the Dragon. Circus performers from the farthest reaches of the earth have assembled for Ringling Bros. Presents DRAGONS to showcase their astounding acts of bravery and astonishing athleticism.
Ringling Bros. Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson presides over this fantastical celebratory tournament of circus champions that brings together mystic dragon lore with authentic circus feats. DRAGONS is a never-before-seen blend of renowned spiritual and real life legends and is coming to the Richmond Coliseum inRichmond, Va. Feb. 15-19, 2012.

Tickets are now on sale.

A day at the circus!

Express News Service , The New Indian Express

Feb 14, 2012

As you enter the dingy Moore Market area to reach The Great Bombay Circus, you witness an omnipresent sense of doom all around. The parking lot is empty, not counting the circus vehicles, the big, colourful tent has lost its sheen over the years and even the supposed-to-be glittering logo within the tent looks like it’s straight from a low-budget Bollywood film. The Great Bombay Circus is definitely not what it used to be a couple of years ago.It is easy to get comfortable in the red plastic chairs with the hope that the acts are going to compensate for what the eyes have just seen. But as the show begins, the hope takes a mild beating. The clowns are visibly grumpy, yelling out their insignificant jokes in vain. ��However, the animal acts were pretty impressive, with the dogs performing fancy balancing routines and the elephant having a ball with his cricket bat. As the acts roll by and the damp dung stench is replaced (to an extent) by a freshly-popped, warm popcorn smell, it was hard not to lose focus. But this was good in a way because the few acts that did make you sit up did their jobs more than just well.Artiste Pooja with her hoola hoops was a delight to watch. No doubt, she was one of the few performers who looked like they took a certain pride in their routines and performed with a touch of showmanship. A natural charmer, she was!The two young dancers on the flying ring made everyone feel bad about the state of their own bodies, as they blithely slid off, climbed up and down and even danced on top of the ring with immense flexibility. The Kenyan performers were hands down the best in the business. Their strength, agility and the complexity of their routine were not the only strong points. What made them click were the uncanny charm they had, their wide grins and dance moves. They were a delight to watch. �The Russian girls showed ample skin and were definitely a pretty sight. Even their skills and tricks with fire, nails and broken pieces of glass were impressive, but they do make you cringe in slight fear (which can be good). The rest of the acts, minus a few young male gymnasts, the jugglers and the dancers, were easy to forget.With over 300 people to feed each day for the three months that they are in the city, how does the management make ends meet? Pradeep Kumar, the manager, says, “Only on weekday afternoons, we have less crowds. But on weekends and in the evenings, we have full houses,” he reveals. “Each aspect of the circus is taken care of and handled by a different department, so everything goes well.”Pradeep’s words definitely do not match the circus experience, but there definitely remains a certain rustic charm to the whole affair. Childhood memories and fears come rushing back with each familiar routine. And it is definitely something that needs to be passed on to each generation, maybe even an effective distraction from Facebook!
The Monday After: Stark couple's circus love story

This lift was in the large repertoire of William and Eva Loos when they performed together in a circus act.

By Gary Brown staff writer

Feb 13, 2012

The late William and Eva Loos of Alliance found love to be like a circus act. Actually, it was a circus act — performed in tents throughout North America, Central America, South America and the British West Indies.
A yellowed clipping from a 1922 Buenos Aires newspaper explains their “iron jaw” and “slack wire” act in these words:
“Mr. Loos and his lady partner perform all kinds of different stunts upon a slack wire which is held all the time in the teeth of Mr. Loos and, when his lady presents the finish of her act in which her body revolves at the rate of 160 revolutions a minute, there is a strain upon the teeth of Mr. Loos which represents the weight of several full-grown persons.”
That, indeed, is love.
And as Valentine’s Day approaches, it is appropriate, perhaps, to recall the interesting start to the relationship of these two circus performers.
The Canton-born William Loos and Eva Dannenburg of Schenectady, N.Y., met in a circus parade in Birmingham, Texas.
“We paid no attention to each other when we first met,” said Eva Loos in a story published in The Repository in December 1961, recognizing their 50th anniversary. “But we soon realized that if we were together, everything was fine, and we’ve felt that way ever since.”
The two became engaged when the circus reached Paw Paw, Mich. Then, on Dec. 22, 1911, when the circus was in Mayo, Fla., they were married, with the ceremony and reception attended by “100 carnival and city officials,” the 1961 article noted.
“Our romance was not smooth. The Sanger Circus, with whom we were traveling, was a pretty famous outfit in those days,” Eva Loos recalled for the Repository reporter who wrote the article. “They had a strict rule against their performers fraternizing, and every time my husband was caught talking to me, he was fined $5.”
They talked much. The tally of fines mounted. Mrs. Loos left the Sanger operation and joined a Florida carnival. Her husband was reunited with her when his contract with the circus ended.
Eva Loos had begun performing with a circus when she was 17, the article noted.
“She answered a Schenectady newspaper advertisement in 1904 and was hired to lecture on a circus personality,” the article reported. “As the show traveled across the country, fellow performers took an interest in her and taught her a dance routine. She soon had an act of her own.

The Greatest Show On Earth Comes To St. Augustine’s Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!

on Feb 14 2012


Get ready to travel back in time this Saturday February 18 as the outrageous stage antics of “Hellzapoppin” come to the original Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum in St. Augustine, FL. This vaudeville freak show of extreme stunts and dark humor recalls the 1920’s heyday of circus sideshows with a mix of modern and traditional performances — including the most famous living sideshow performer, Zamora the Torture King. All performances will be free to the public.Zamora hits the stage at 12 noon as he presents various death defying stunts, including lying on a bed of razor sharp swords while a giant brick is crushed on his chest by a sledge hammer. He’ll be joined by burlesque dancers, fire-eaters, and the infamous sword-swallower from New Orleans, Miss Chelsea.
Hellzapoppin’s performers have been featured on rock tours and festivals all over the U.S. and Europe, including OZZfest, the Warped Tour, and Lollapalooza.
For more information, please contact Kim Kiff by calling (904) 824-1606, (904) 624-9349, or by emailing

Monday, February 13, 2012

Yankee Doodle Circus is Coming to Old Bridge

As an Alumni of Old Bridge, Cedar Ridge High School Class of 1985, Circus comic, Patrick Cashin, returns to the neighborhood with fun and giggles straight from a tour with Ringling Brothers.

Maggie Naughton

Feb. 2, 2012

The Yankee Doodle Circus is coming to Old Bridge High School. Performances will be Sunday, February 26th at 12:45pm, 3:15pm, and 5:30pm at the Old Bridge High School Gym.

Free tickets for children under 14, available with advance purchase of an adult ticket.

Tickets available online at:

A limited number of $5.00 off Advance Sale Adult Tickets are available for just $17.00.

At the door adult tickets are $22.00 and $15.00 for children under 14 years

.The all-new 2012 edition of the Yankee Doodle Circus features world-class performers from the United States and Europe.Children of All Ages will watch in amazement at the sparkling spinning hula hoops of Elena, the National Champion who twirls 31 hoops at one time.

The Golden Girls of Magic, Trudy, Elfie and Honey wow the audience at every show with their Las Vegas style magic and illusions.

Father and son acrobatic duo, Alex and Alex, practiced their routine for 2 hours a day for 3 years before their debut with the world acclaimed Moscow Circus. This is their first American tour.

As an Alumni of Old Bridge, Cedar Ridge High School Class of 1985, Circus comic, Patrick Cashin, returns to the neighborhood with fun and giggles straight from a tour with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

The Fancy Poodles of Paris show off the latest styles with their International Fashion Show.Were the kid-friendly circus because the children will be entertained without being overwhelmed. says Mike Naughton, circus director.

The show was produced to entertain every member of the family, from the toddlers to the grandparents and everyone in between.Additional information at

Fair Day for Hillsborough County students


(Continued from Sunday)





La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil

Uploaded by cirquelasvegas on Feb 17, 2011
Trailer for La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil, performing at Walt Disney World Resort in Flordia. For more info, visit:
Yankee Doodle Circus in Holbrook MA

“Yankee Doodle Circus has won many awards for a family circus. They have pony rides and mini-trapeze artists. The poodles are always a big hit. There are quite a few talented puppies and dogs.”The circus is very interactive. They will have the kids come right down on the floor. They have a lot of kids helping.
Yankee Doodle Circus will arrive in Holbrook on Saturday, February18, performing three shows at the high school gym at 1pm , 4pm and 7 p.m.Proceeds from the circus will enable the parents group for activities such as the annual $250 scholarship for a graduating Holbrook High senior (the group hopes to establish a second scholarship), purchasing SmartBoard technology for classrooms, supplying lab equipment for science, and bringing academic enrichment programs to Holbrook.
Ticket presales are important. For presales, 25 percent is donated to the parents group. For ticket sales at the door, 10 percent is donated. One adult ticket is $17, and the price includes two free children’s tickets. Individual children and adult tickets are also available. Door prices are much higher.