2014 Convention



Saturday, May 26, 2012

You Can Call Me Bruno!

Rick Brown, Kearney Hub 
May 25, 2012
Hannah Ahrens, 4, with her face painted like Spiderman, poses with her mother, Chelsie Ahrens, and Ryan Palu at James Cristy Cole Shrine Circus at Viaero Event Center Thursday. Bruno’s trainer, Ari Steeples, said the 20-year-old bear began performing at the age of 7 months. Posing with Bruno was part of the circus pre-show and intermission entertainment.

The annual meeting of the Byrd Family - Bellatti Tent, #164, C. F. A., was held Thursday, May 24, 2012, in Jacksonville, Il. There were 22 members, family, and guests in attendance. Rick Purdue was installed as President, Bill Prickett asVice President, and Charlie Bellatti as Secretary.
 Joe Frisco, Sr., veteran Elephant and Animal Trainer, was the featured speaker. After a short review of his 55 plus years as a Elephant/Animal trainer, a review of all the family members presently engaged in elephant and tiger training, a lively question and answer period followed. There were alot of questions on elephant/animal
treatment, training, care, and USDA regulations. Everyone agreeded that this was indeed a timely
and very informative program.

 Members and Guests  
Annual meeting 5-24-12, Jacksonville, Il.

Charlie Bellatti,Sec, Bill Prickett, V-Pres, Rick Purdue, Pres.

Joe, Sr., and  Carol Frisco  

Members and Guests

Preview: Cirque de la Symphonie
May 25, 2012
By Alexis Vance, FOX 10 News, PhoneixPHOENIX -
A big cirque de soleil show opens Friday night in the valley. The Phoenix Symphony will play along to some of the show's best acrobatic acts.

It's called "Cirque de la Symphonie."


Uploaded by BigTop77 on Apr 6, 2010
The Great British Circus - Clips from the new DVD 'Thrills & Skills'

Circus owner defends use of animals as attraction arrives in Sutton Coldfield
by Matt Lloyd, 
Birmingham Mail
May 26 2012
A RINGMASTER who reportedly claimed he would have to shoot his tigers if a ban on circus animals was passed has brought his troupe to the Midlands.

The Great British Circus began a three-week run at Kingsbury, near Sutton Coldfield, on Tuesday.

Now operating under the name Big Top Productions, the circus is recreating children’s favourite Black Beauty and Friends. It features horses, tigers, camels and even a llama.

But owner Martin Lacey, who has trained animals for more than 40 years, said the accusations of cruelty were “absolute rubbish”.
He told The Birmingham Mail: “These animals are worth a lot of money, are we going to be cruel to that investment?

“I’m not big or brave enough to beat up tigers – they would eat me.
“I have to be their best friend. It has to be organised play. That is how you train a dog – with organised play, this is the same.”

Mr Lacey, whose tigers descend from a cat he collected in the 1970s from a back garden in Birmingham, said there had only been seven prosecutions for animal cruelty against circuses in more than 150 years.

“Daily in the courts there are pet owners who have mistreated their animals,” he said.

“In every industry there are some people who behave badly but you don’t close the whole industry.”
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WANTED: Circus knife dodger who falls apart easily

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BOX-ING CLEVER: Paul Martinez and Lizzy Springthorpe Photo:OBS0829162
DODGING knives and being sawn in half are just two of the daily chores in Bishop’s Stortford’s newest and most nerve-wracking job opportunity.
Promising performers in and around town can run away with Russell’s International Circus, which is looking for a new magician’s assistant to join the troupe for the rest of its 2012 UK tour.

The show, which stops off on Sworders Field this week, hopes someone looking for a complete change of scene will be willing to take part in the show until November. No experience is needed, although a background in dance and performance would be preferred. Anyone who is interested can contact the team in advance or simply turn up between now and tomorrow (Sunday, May 27).

The successful applicant will star in the show’s opening ceremony and grand finale, as well as getting five minutes in the spotlight during the magic act.

Circus clown Alex Morley said the previous assistant, who had held the role for several years, had been forced to quit because of personal circumstances last week.

He said: “It was very unexpected – we all came out one morning to find that she’d just gone, though we’ve since had contact with her and everything’s okay.

“We’re kind of desperate – we need a new assistant now, and wondered whether there was anyone in the area that fancied having a go at this sort of thing.

“It’s very seasonal work, although the magic act might be able to go on and do events and other jobs over Christmas, so there is a chance it could lead to year-round work.

“We’re just looking for the right person; obviously if they’re a dancer or they’ve done performing arts it’s a plus, but we just need someone who’s willing to come and have a go, to learn and to get on with everyone.”

The new assistant will share the bill with a colourful cast including clowns, athletes from the Hungarian State Circus, aerial acts, fire-eaters, jugglers and more. Performances are held several times a week.

“There can be difficult times, like if it’s muddy ground or bad weather, but when you’ve got a tent full of people who are all enjoying the show it definitely makes up for it.”

To find out more, email or ring 07717 771333.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Children of All Ages! 
Youth Appreciation Week concludes with the Cole Brothers Circus on Sunday and Monday

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By Jeanne Thiemann 

A Human Cannonball, elephants and tigers and trained poodles, Romanian acrobats, clowns and aerialists....the circus is coming to town!

Livingston will top off Youth Appreciation week with a 2-day visit from the Cole Bros. Circus.  The big top will be set up at Eisenhower Corporate Campus‎ located at 290 West Mt Pleasant Ave. in Livingston with shows on Sunday at 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. and Monday at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m.  Tickets are available in advance from the Livingston Senior & Community Center; by calling 1-888-332-5200; or visiting

The Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars appears much as it did when founded in 1884 by William Washington Cole.  According to the circus' website, Cole Bros. has survived through the death of William Cole, several changes in ownership, the Great Depression and the modernization of circus equipment to still deliver traditional, family-centered circus entertainment.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Parades, fairs, fun for Memorial Day weekend

Altamont police officer Melanie Parkes rides Humphrey as she carries the American flag at the head of the annual Memorial Day parade on Main Street, on Sunday May 20, 2012 in Altamont, NY. (Philip Kamrass / Times Union )
The unofficial start of summer is this weekend, with a full slate of Memorial Day and outdoor events.
Find an event near you!

Ticket booth at the Gillette Shows carnival Wednesday, May 23, 2012, at town hall in Halfmoon, N.Y. (Lori Van Buren / Times Union)

From left, Keenan Howard, 7, and his friend Nate Walker, 9, both of Halfmoon, enjoy the Cliff Hanger ride at the Gillette Shows carnival Wednesday, May 23, 2012, at town hall in Halfmoon, N.Y. (Lori Van Buren / Times Union)

Anthony Morelli and his girlfriend Brittaney Schneibel, both of Clifton Park, enjoy the Orbiter ride at the Gillette Shows carnival Wednesday, May 23, 2012, at town hall in Halfmoon, N.Y. (Lori Van Buren / Times Union)

Alexia Smith, 10, of Clifton Park waves to her mother as she has the Typhoon ride all to herself at the Gillette Shows carnival Wednesday, May 23, 2012, at the town hall in Halfmoon, N.Y. The Gillette family has agreed to donate 20% of all ride tickets sold during the entire week to the Southern Saratoga County Relay For Life event to be held June 8 at the Shenendehowa High School Track. (Lori Van Buren / Times Union)

Brayden Jacobs, 2, of Mechanicville rides the Convoy at the Gillette Shows carnival Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at town hall in Halfmoon, N.Y. (Lori Van Buren / Times Union)
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Daisy Filkins of Altamont, 4, keeps her hands on her ears just in case any loud noises should occur, while sitting on the shoulders of her father David, during the annual Memorial Day parade, on Sunday May 20, 2012 in Altamont, NY. (Philip Kamrass / Times Union )
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WOODALL: Real magic at the circus in Hershey
CANDY WOODALL The YorkDispatch
I've always believed in a little magic.

And after a cross-state move, starting a new job, getting children acclimated to a new school system and learning to navigate York County, I was definitely in need of some enchantment.

So my husband, our three children and I set out for Hershey's Giant Center to see the opening night of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's latest incarnation "Dragons." We expected tricks and treats, athleticism and acts of bravery, well-trained animals and whimsy.

I did not expect to have a large fountain drink spilled on me, someone else's toddler firing a sippy cup at my head, a tall gentleman (the same person who spilled the drink) behind me repeatedly kneeing me in the back of the head, or leaving the event with what is probably a broken toe (thank you, lady at the end of the row who decided to wear high heels to a circus).

But I've never been one to let a few mishaps spoil some magic.

The thing about talented performers is they make you forget what just happened because there's always something better to see.

read more:


Job in circus was always entertaining

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Ann Margret Montemayor
Sam Bachman collects programs and ticket stubs when he goes to the circus to remind himself of fond memories of his days working for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Ann Margret Montemayor 
May 24, 2012
For 15 years, Sam Bachman worked with a bunch of clowns, beasts and show-offs.
It wasn’t your regular desk job at Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and there were always a few dangers.
Bachman’s main job was to care for three horses, but he also set up props and helped with general circus setup. One of his most dangerous tasks was when he had to lead three horses into the ring for their performance. After releasing the two horses on either side of him, he had to jump out of the way so he wasn’t trampled by the third coming behind him.
Although he always made it out of harm’s way in time, he was dragged by a horse while training one day.
“I was black and blue and sore for a while after that,” he said.
Bachman, Osawatomie, started working for the circus in the early 1960s when he was 19. He traveled by train to 49 states, Canada and Mexico, getting the chance to sightsee and meet celebrities everywhere he went.
“I liked traveling around and seeing things,” he said.
While in Seattle in 1962, during the World’s Fair, he met Elvis Presley while Presley was filming “It Happened at the World’s Fair.” During his travels, he also met Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Sonny and Cher, and Harland David Sanders, better known as KFC’s Colonel Sanders.
Sanders was filming a commercial with the circus, and afterwards, he bought chicken for the entire crew, Bachman said.
“I saw him in advertisements ,and he looked so good in that white suit,” Bachman said. “I didn’t know if he looked as good in person, but he did.”
Life in the circus was always exciting, but Bachman frequently found himself in precarious situations, like the time he was rigging lights just a few feet from the ceiling of the Astrodome in Houston.
There were always lions, elephants, zebras and tigers — one so tame Bachman could reach his hand in the cage to pet it. A friendly two-headed zebra also caused a stir, Bachman remembers.
“You could go up and pet it just like it was a horse,” he added.
Audiences loved the animals, but the high-wire act was the biggest hit while he worked in the circus.
Hearing loss and medical issues caused Bachman to leave the circus, but he still goes to watch it every time it comes to Kansas City.
Bachman lost all of his personal photos from his circus days in the 2007 Osawatomie flood, but he helps keep the memories alive with the ticket stubs and programs from each performance he attends.

Enjoy one night of big top action
Canterbury Times
Thursday, May 24, 2012
RED Dragon Chinese Acrobats will be performing their lion dance, hoop-diving, hat-juggling and plate-spinning when Circus Starr rolls into town next week.

The big top will be at Merton Farm, Merton Lane, off Nackington Road, Canterbury, for one night only on Wednesday May 30.

There are two shows, at 4.45pm and 7pm.

Also on the bill are comedy from the clowns and magic from the Circus Starr Illusionists.

The circus, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, will be raising money for Pilgrims Hospices, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Circus Starr director Neville Wilson said "I am very excited in this special year to bring such a varied line-up of world-class acts guaranteed to bring laughter and smiles to audiences. "

The circus generates income with sponsorships and donations from local businesses to run its "donated ticket" scheme for children's charities. Last year it gave away £1.3 million of tickets.

For details call 01260 288690, e-mail or visit
New Levitation in the Learning

Uploaded by noonco on Nov 1, 2007
This is a magical levitation that was suggested to me by Matthew Roddy.
It looks a great deal like Tesla's Egg for those who are fellow Tesla fans.
I originally shot this from a "wide" angle so that there would be no suspicion of camera tricks, but found the coin was too hard to see, hence the close ups.
I plan to put the wide shot on a separate web page, along with several other angles and some explanations.
The magic looked as strange to me doing it as it looks in the video.
There is no CGI (I wouldn't even know how), and this can be done live.
I hope you enjoy it and will pass it on to many friends!
Walt Noon

World of Mirth vitalized the city
Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal
by Dave Sargent
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
That kind of bally-hoo echoed through the so-called mile-long midway at the Lewiston Fairgrounds when the World of Mirth Show was in town.

In 1957 and 1958, the show was paired with the "always Labor Day week" Maine State Fair.

Carnivals and fairs always were, and still are, a strange juxtaposition - the weirdest of sideshows, racy dancers and thinly-veiled con games next to exhibition halls displaying grandma's quilts and apple pies.

During World of Mirth days in Lewiston, thousands of fun-seekers passed beneath a towering orange gate advertising the "Largest Midway on Earth."

In its heyday, it arrived on 50 railroad cars. Memorable features were the Dancing Waters lighted fountain show, jazz revues and exotic dancers - and several politically incorrect shows, by today's standards.

There were two or three huge Ferris wheels, as well as the Octopus, Tilt-A-Whirl, Round-Up, Chair-O-Plane and lots of kiddie rides.

Games of chance abounded, and somehow I always thought I could snare a camera with the Pitch-Til-U-Win hoops.

Our farm is directly across the Androscoggin River from the fairgrounds and the World of Mirth's signature searchlights pierced the night sky. For several nights we heard the midway music and the screech of the Motordrome siren.

The World of Mirth didn't always play at the fairgrounds. Garcelon Field on Sabattus Street was an early location, and it was there that some exceptional events took place.

The show had a bull elephant named Teddy, and in addition to exhibition, he was animal-power for midway work. In July 1941, Teddy staged a minor rampage, upsetting automobiles with his five-foot tusks and refusing to submit to his handlers.

An account in a book by Bob Goldsack, "World of Mirth Shows ... a Remembrance," says a boy from the monkey show was used as a decoy. Teddy was lured to a corral of wagons where buckets of water were placed. When Teddy stopped to drink, workers quickly clamped cables on his legs. After a similar scene in Raleigh, N.C., later that year, Teddy came to a sad end: The show's owners ordered his destruction.
Wild weather hit the World of Mirth on Sept. 16, 1943, when a "miniature tornado" ripped through the Garcelon Field midway. Goldsack's book says show tents and large canvas posters were ripped to shreds and wagons were overturned.

The World of Mirth's first Lewiston appearance was in 1938 and its final show was in 1961.

In 1952, during the 97th Maine State Fair, the Lewiston Fairgrounds welcomed a particularly prominent visitor. Richard Nixon, on a vice-presidential campaign swing through Maine, stopped to shake some hands. B.J. Atwood of Sabattus and Clyde Luce of Farmington were two of the livestock exhibitors he greeted.

The Lewiston Fairgrounds was also the site of a marathon rock concert in September 1980.

About 130,000 "Deadheads" descended on Lewiston (population 30,000) when the legendary Grateful Dead band played through the afternoon and into the evening, accompanied by a spectacular sunset.

It was an astonishing event for local people. A recent Internet post from one of the attendees said, "Between sales and theft, the stores broke about even."

Nik Wallenda needs no harness
ABC wrong to institute safety measures for Niagara Falls tightrope walk 

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Nik Wallenda is being harnessed by ABC television
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
The sober governments of New York State and Ontario, Canada, gave daredevil Nik Wallenda permission to walk on a tightrope across the Niagara Falls.

This was a splendid idea in the tradition of Philippe Petit’s 1974 walk between the twin towers and the Great Blondin’s 1859 jaunt over the same falls, about which more later.

To finance his walk across the falls, Wallenda enlisted the ABC television network, which plans a prime-time reality show. Except now, ABC has wussed that the stunt can’t go forward unless Wallenda wears a safety harness.

As B.B. King immortally sang, the thrill is gone.

If ABC insists on a harness, the network could just as well recruit ordinary Joes and Janes to try their balance in a program that would put “Fear Factor” to shame.

Then again, Wallenda could decamp for a pay-per-view special that would surely bring in monster revenue. Or, if he’s really into raising bucks, he should visit Jamie Dimon or Lloyd Blankfein on Wall Street, where banks have figured out how to peddle financial instruments pegged to anything. They could expect brisk trading in Wallenda futures — or no-futures.

As for the Great Blondin, he crossed the falls — harnessless — on stilts, on a bicycle, blindfolded, carrying his manager on his back and, perhaps most impressively, while cooking an omelet.

Now that would be reality TV.
Read more:

The circus comes to town
Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus makes its way to Hershey

 Michael Gorsegner, Staff reporter
May 24, 2012

Cavalia’s horsey spectacular Odysseo

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by Johnnie Walker
May 24, 2012 
Toronto--In Odysseo, the new equine spectacular by horse circus Cavalia, 61 horses canter, gallop, and trot over a massive, raked stage under the white circus tent that recently popped up at the Port Lands. If we had you at “61 horses,” this show is probably for you. Dozens of majestic stallions and geldings (no mares, the pre-show trivia projection inexplicably tells us) do everything a horse can do while acrobat-jockeys do everything a horse can’t. If you’re a 12-year-old girl going through a Black Beauty phase, you’ll be in horsey-heaven. But even the most jaded circus-goer (if that’s even a thing) will be in danger of discovering their inner 12-year-old. 

The title implies a journey, and while you’d be hard-pressed to find a narrative in all the tumbling and dressage, Odysseo uses video projection, setpieces, and, climatically, an actual torrent of onstage water to simulate a huge variety of terrain for its horses to run around on. But one of the simplest effects is the best: Quick lighting switches make the earthy stage look exactly like desert, snow, grassy meadow, or dusty prairie.

The show’s style is textbook horse-kitsch: A giant carousel descends from the grid, a longhaired woman wanders from stallion to stallion patting noses and singing a lullaby, and (with the notable exception of an African dance troupe), all human performers are dressed in a faux-Celtic/Elvish aesthetic.

Cavalia was created by Normand Latourelle, one of founders of Cirque Du Soleil, which has a restrictive human-performers-only policy. It’s hard not to compare the work of the two companies, and if you go to Odysseo expecting to see something like Cirque’s Robert Lepage-directed Totem, you might be slightly disappointed. Yes, you will see amazing physical feats from horses and humans alike—watch out for the guys with pogo-shoes—but you won’t see any clowns, or any of the bizarre, surprising, idiosyncratic moments that make Cirque shows so unforgettable.

This is more of a middle-of-the-road, straightforward, horse-based family attraction. It’s a highbrow Medieval Times, if you will. But if you can turn off your brain and lose yourself in the undeniable beauty of the horses, your inner 12-year-old is in for a treat.

1,355 toss beach balls at Legoland in world record attempt

A float down Legoland's lazy river - Thu, 05/24
Brookhaven Fair Kicks Off Friday 

More than 100 rides, games and attractions to be featured at annual fair in Farmingville.
By Ryan Bonner 
May 24, 2012
The 11th annual Brookhaven Fair returns to the Bald Hill amphitheater in Farmingville on Friday. 

Special admission for opening night is $1. The fair runs the next few weekends: on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Memorial Day: May 25, 26, 27, 28, June 1, 2, 3 and June 8, 9, 10.

There will be more than 100 rides, games and attractions at the fair and fireworks shows will be held on Sunday, May 27, Saturday, June 2, and Saturday, June 9. 

The lineup of free entertainment includes the Lance Gifford Magic and Illusion Show. The Great American Frontier Circus will feature an award-winning horseback rider performing death defying feats on a galloping horse.  An Arabian stallion will walk 60 feet across an arena on his hind legs. The biggest horse in the world, the Giant Belgium Horse, and the biggest and strongest Ox in the world, will also be on hand.

Families and children can visit the free petting zoo as part of the Animals that Built America Show.

For a sneak-peek at the state fair rides coming to Brookhaven, visit

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The fair will also feature traditional fair foods like cotton candy, funnel cakes, sausage and peppers heroes, hot dogs, corn dogs, Greek gyros and more.  
Gates open at 5 p.m. on Fridays and at noon on all other days of the weekends and Memorial Day. The fair closes at midnight.  Admission is $4 with a buy-one-get-one-free admission coupon available at; regular price is $8. For a schedule of events, directions and for vendor information, visit or call 631-920-2309.

The Brookhaven Fair and special events schedule is subject to change or cancellation due to weather conditions.
97th Festival at National Orange Show Fairgrounds Billed as 'Five Days of Fun'

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The festival is Thursday May 24 to Monday May 28. Hours are 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, according to organizers.
By Guy McCarthy
May 24, 2012
The 97th Festival at the National Orange Show Fairgrounds is under way in San Bernardino, offering Memorial Day weekend activities for Redlands and Loma Linda residents.

The festival is Thursday May 24 to Monday May 28. Hours are 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, according to organizers.

The event is billed as "Five Days of Fun," including music, food, carnival rides and midway, indoor and outdoor shopping, a petting zoo, pig races, a circus and animal acts, hypnotists, clowns, a juried art show, Fiesta Days on Saturday and Sunday, and a Memorial Day remembrance on Monday.

Daily ticket prices are $5 for adults, and children under 10 get in free. Carnival wristbands are $15 per day, unlimited ride wristbands are $15 per day.

A $50 pass includes admission and unlimited rides for all five days of the festival, according to organizers.

Parking for the Festival at the National Orange Show is $5 and $10 for preferred.

The National Orange Show Events Center covers about 120 acres between E Street, Mill Street, and Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino. For general parking use gates 7 through 10 on Arrowhead.

For more information about the Festival at the National Orange Show, visit or call (909) 888-6788 x462.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

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Wallenda family has deep ties to circus
Ed Drantch
Wednesday, 23 May 2012

SARASOTA, FL (WIVB) - For daredevil Nik Wallenda, the dream to cross Niagara Falls started when he was a young boy. He was raised in a family with deep circus roots.

Ahead of his June 15 walk, Wallenda defied the odds. He changed two laws in two different countries.

"I was told by hundreds of people this will never happen," Wallenda said.

The seventh-generation performer took those negative sentiments and turned them into something positive.

"There were mountains in the way and the mountains started to move and I think people started to realize, this is big... this is a massive force," Wallenda extrapolated.

Wallenda says he followed the family motto - "Never give up." It's a three-word phrase passed down for seven generations; over 200 years. Those words were uttered by Wallenda's great grandfather, the late Karl Wallenda.

Wallenda said one of his main motivations is respect for the family.

"I do a lot of this out of respect and to pay tribute to him the things he did to open the doors for me to do what I do," he said.
read more:

Wallenda's tether may be a safety risk
Daredevil will have to manually move it down wire
Ed Dratch
Posted by: Eli George
Wednesday, 23 May 2012


read more at:
This circus has UniverSoul appeal

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Highwire artists perform a human bridge during the opening performance of the UniverSoul Circus last year in Norfolk. (Bill Tiernan | The Virginian-Pilot)
By Joy Vann
Virginian-Pilot correspondent
May 24, 2012
The UniverSoul Circus will bring a stable of tigers, horses and elephants when it returns to Norfolk for a six-day run starting Tuesday at the Gallery at Military Circle.

It will also include a collection of performers with enough worldliness to impress the United Nations.

Beneath its big top, UniverSoul Circus will showcase 14 acts from around the world including Shaolin Kung Fu acrobats from China, contortionists from Mongolia, Russian swing artists from Belarus, dancers from Trinidad and Tobago, and hip-hop dancers from the United States, among others.

Performing on the aerial straps apparatus will be Jean-Claude of France with Brazilian Tatiana Oliviera. The duo will be suspended 20 feet above the circus, dancing in the air while displaying strength and flexibility moves.

This is Jean-Claude's second stint with UniverSoul Circus. During his first stretch, his choreography for the circus' 1998 HBO television special received an Emmy nomination. In a recent phone call, he laughed, noting that Janet Jackson took home the Emmy that year and adding that he was proud to be in such good company.

Jean-Claude transitioned from dance to the circus arts when he was 17 and attended a circus academy in Paris that was founded by famed clown and circus performer Annie Frattelini. While performing in Scotland, he was spotted by a UniverSoul talent scout, and he has been with the troupe since. All of UniverSoul Circus' acts are incredible, he said, naming a few standouts.

"The bone breakers, crazy bones, we call the contortionists. They are incredible, must see.... There are the beautiful dancers who open the show," he said. "The Chinese monks' presentation is so interesting, it's outstanding. The show has great melody. It's very well-balanced."

Jean-Claude said that when he started performing with the UniverSoul Circus he was surprised by two things. The first was simply that there were so many black circus performers - very different from his experiences in Europe. The second surprise was the enthusiastic audience participation.

"I was amazed by the interaction between what goes on onstage and the audience. This makes it very different. That is what makes it special. They are dancing, laughing, singing. It's a big family party. The kids are happy, screaming and moving, and the parents, too, are screaming like kids," he said. "It's totally different from other shows I've worked in. In Europe, the audience waits until you're finished to start clapping. At UniverSoul, when the curtain opens the audience is already screaming and clapping, and we haven't even performed yet."

Circus pays fine after allegedly failing to properly care for elephants, tigers
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
The Record
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
GARFIELD — Cole Bros. Circus may be coming to town, but with $15,000 less in its pockets after agreeing to pay a fine in connection with allegations that it failed to properly care for elephants and tigers.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wrote letters of complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2006 and 2007 claiming two female Asian elephants were hundreds of pounds underweight and deprived of adequate veterinary care. The organization also said the elephants, Tina and Jewel, were sent to an unlicensed exhibitor who has a history of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act.

In 2009, the USDA removed Jewel from her owner – which was not the circus at the time, said Renee Storey, vice president of administration for the Florida-based circus in operation since 1884. The owner then voluntarily relinquished Tina, she said. Both elderly pachyderms were relocated to the Los Angeles Zoo, where they still reside.

A 2011 complaint was filed by the USDA against the circus, its chief executive officer and the exhibitor, who had a 2006 lease-to-own agreement with the circus for both elephants. Among the allegations was a failure to: handle elephants and tigers as carefully as possible and house the elephants in an adequate facility. The exhibitor was ultimately dismissed from the complaint.

“It’s important that the USDA sends a clear message to all exhibitors that violating the Animal Welfare Act will result in enforcement action and justice will be sought for animals who are abused and neglected by circuses who force them to perform,” said Carney Anne Chester, an attorney with the PETA Foundation.

The circus agreed to pay the penalty in a settlement that didn’t find that Cole Bros. Circus violated the Animal Welfare Act, Storey said. Never in its history has the circus been found to have violated the act, she said.

“There is a great deal of misinformation circulating,” she said. “For anyone who takes a look at the allegations, our response was quite clear. The circus was not in violation of anything that was alleged in the complaint. We are very happy that this matter has been closed and we’ll move forward.”

With Cole Bros. Circus continuing to use elephants in acts, PETA encouraged residents not to attend shows. The circus is scheduled to be in Garfield from May 31 through June 3. It will visit Denville between May 25 and 26.

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Circus Florida Festival With European-style performances, pony rides, a petting zoo, children's attractions, pig racing and live music. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. today and Friday with the circus show at 7:30 p.m. Gates open at noon Saturday and Sunday with circus shows at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Gates open at noon Monday with circus shows at 2 and 6 p.m. $10, $18 box seats, 10 and younger free. Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (941) 747-1975.

Novato Sure Bets
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 

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COURTESY PHOTO American Crown Circus returns to Marin Memorial Day weekend at the St. Vincent’s School in northern San Rafael. Shows are Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 2, 4:30 and 7 p.m., and Monday at 2 and 4:30 p.m. Children under 12 are admitted free with a paid adult. Admission at the gate is $16, but advance tickets may be purchased for $14 in downtown Novato at Bank of the West and at Redwood Credit Union; at Bank of Marin on Grant Avenue and Ignacio Boulevard, and at Matt and Jeff’s Car Wash on Vintage Way. The Rotary Club of Novato Sunrise presents the circus as a fundraiser for the club’s programs.
Platteville Lion’s Club presents ‘The Real Circus’ on Friday night
Staff reports
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Platteville — Daring stunts, clowns and 8,000-pound Asian elephants will be presented by the Platteville Lions Club at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Friday during Carson and Barnes’ “The Real Circus.”

The Real Circus, a two-hour long family-orientated traveling show, headed by Barbara Miller Byrd and Geary Byrd, has been around for four family generations. Within its 76 years in business, the circus has provided viewers with jugglers, trapeze artists, a petting zoo and acrobats. 

Ticket prices at the gate are $8 for children and $16 for adults; children 2 and younger are free of charge. Online and advance tickets are $6 for children and $14 for adults.

The circus will take place at Salsbury Avenue and Main Street, Platteville. For more information on The Real Circus, visit 

State Fair Meadowlands
Thursday, May 24, 2012
South Bergenite, NJ
State Fair

State Fair Meadowlands is delighted to bring you Circus Maximus with daring acrobats, hilarious clowns and majestic circus animals. Come one; come all to one of the greatest shows on earth with laughs and thrills from beginning to show-stopping end!

The State Fair Meadowlands runs June 22 through July 8 at the New Meadowlands Fairgrounds, next to the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. The following entertainment is free with entry ticket, which on weeknights is $7 for adults and $5 for children (weekend and holiday admission is $9 for adults and $7 for kids. Children under 34" are admitted free): Swim with the Sharks! Captain Phil’s Live Shark Encounter is a splashy show about one of nature’s most feared creatures. All-New Circus Maximus – this 1,800-seat tent circus will be bringing all-new acts, including the Bileas Acrobats, Moralitos Flying Act, trapeze artists, clowns, performing horses and more. The Big Cat Show – Clayton Rosaire brings his lovable lions, tigers and ligers to State Fair from his Big Cat Habitat Sanctuary on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Rosaire’s Racing Pigs – come cheer on a team of racing pigs, including the hilarious Vietnamese pot bellies, as they tear around the speedway to the delight of both kids and adults. World of Wonder, Palace of Illusion – after a 3-year hiatus, Ward Hall is back with his Show of Oddities. Ward brings the world’s most peculiar performers – swallowing swords, eating fire, contorting their bodies and more. Featured food this year includes classic favorites – funnel cakes, corn dogs, candied apples, curly fries, deep-fried Oreos, corn on the cob, ice cream, and of course, cotton candy. Fairgoers can even sample real "swamp" food at the new Chester’s Gators and Tators stand. Chester features gator kabobs, as well as deep-fried gator nuggets. Advance discount tickets will be available at Walgreens from mid-May until June 21, for adult, child and Mega Pass tickets (admission and unlimited rides). Mega Pass tickets are not valid opening night. Fair hours are Monday through Thursday, 6 p.m. to midnight; Fridays from 6p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., and Sundays from 2 p.m. to midnight. Visit for more information.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

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Bears - horse riders

Uploaded by CircusTVru on Sep 4, 2011
Husband, wife circus act happy to be with Ringling Bros.
by Georgia Temple
May 22, 2012
Virginia Tuells is from Argentina. Ihosvanys (pronounced Giovani) Perez is from Cuba. As children both trained as gymnasts, but it was the circus that brought them together.

"I met my husband working at the same circus like eight almost nine years ago," said Tuells in a telephone interview with the Reporter-Telegram. "He was doing his own act, and I was doing the Silks. After a couple of days spending time together, we just fell in love."

Both are first generation circus performers now with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus opening Thursday, May 24, at Ector County Coliseum.

"We first started like boyfriend and girlfriend, still working separate for a few years," Tuells said, adding they worked on the act they now do together. "It's very hard to get the same contracts when you are working separately."

Since 2007, they have been performing an act called Duo Fusion: Hand Balancing. One of the unique aspects of their act is that she is holding him up, not the other way around.

"I am lifting him in high heels," Tuells said. "I always say that because it's so hard.

"Actually before the act we do a tango, and people really love that. It's something different, very sexy. When you go to a circus, you sometimes don't expect to see people dancing or see the different cultures like tango. We love to share with the audience a part of our culture, so we think it's very nice."

It took them three years of practice, trying different things, to perfect their act.

Read more: Husband, wife circus act happy to be with Ringling Bros. - Entertainment

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