2014 Convention



Saturday, February 15, 2014

Circus Ginnett brings new show to Fenland with five days of performances

Antonio the clown.
Friday, February 14, 2014 
Circus Ginnett returns to Fenland next week with a new show and performers from across Europe who guarantee plenty of humour and excitement - as well as some clowning around.
Vader the wonder dog with Patrick Austin.
Enthusiastic artists from Holland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Ireland and England make up the cast who will amaze crowds under a Big Top at the Priory Golf Centre in Wimblington.

Among the performers will be clown Antonio, who will bring smiles to the faces of the audience, Bulgarian acrobats Veselka and Nedyalko, making their debuts in the UK, and their daughter Yana, aged five, a hula hoop artist.

Anke, from Holland, will entertain from the roof of the big top with her daring aerial dancing and Vader the wonder dog, assisted by Patrick Austin, will show off their clever and funny antics.

The show’s climax features a spectacular motorcycle carousel, which sees breathtaking aerial work above fire and knife juggling, provided by the Easy Riders.
Veselka and Nedyalko make their UK debut in the new show.
The circus is in Wimblington from February 19-23. Performances are at 7pm on February 19, 3pm and 6pm on February 20-21, 2pm and 5pm on February 22 and 2pm on February 23.

Tickets cost £5 each when you use the voucher on this page.

For more information or to book tickets call 07582 353634 visit

Amazing! New Smyrna daredevil, 55, defies gravity for veterans

By Richard Conn
January 24, 2014
The Amazing Sladek is one of the oldest performing circus daredevils in the country. He’s been at his unique trade for 36 years, ever since the former New York state gymnastics champion left college in 1978 to perform with the Royal Hanneford Circus. He never looked back and has no plans to stop, following the path of one his idols, the ever-active fitness guru Jack LaLanne who died in 2011 at the age of 96.

“I’m 55 years old, and my goal in life is to be 65 years old and still doing this act,” he said. “Because that would make me a phenomenon.”

Sladek’s resumé of stunts carries names such as “The Wheel of Death” and “The Human Cannonball.” He also performs a breakaway sway pole act from more than 70 feet in the air.

He’s performed the “Tower of Chairs” at NBA halftime shows from Philadelphia to Sacramento. He increased the act over the years from four to six chairs. On Friday, he said he had to pause just before he performed his handstand when a sudden gust of wind blew through.
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Performances of Yankee Doodle Circus in Holbrook, Massachusetts scheduled for Saturday February 15 have been postponed due the severe winter weather.
Make-up day will be Sunday, March 9th, show times: 
12:45 pm; 3:15 pm; 5:30 pm. All tickets purchased for February 15 will be honored AT ANY performance on March 9, there is no need to get new tickets, your original tickets are all you need. For new purchases visit
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents DRAGONS
Dunkin' Donuts Center Providence

Uploaded on Feb 17, 2012
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® coming to the Dunkin' Donuts Center Providence! 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!

The Shrine Circus Celebrates 250 Years of Zerbini Family Circus History Under Canada's Largest & Most Beautiful Big Top.

2013 is a monumental year for producer Tarzan Zerbini. Since the humble start of the Zerbini Family Circus in Paris, France in 1763, ten generations of Zerbinis have traveled the world sharing their talents with circus audiences on three continents.

We invite you to be a part of the Zerbini Family Circus' 250th Anniversary Celebration at the Shrine Circus featuring a fresh mix of amazing entertainment in a traditional circus setting, all under the European style Big Top. Read More...

Big Top Talk with Circus Oz

from: Boston Guide
February 14,2014
If The Three Stooges decided to multiply and create a circus company, it would probably end up being a lot like Circus Oz. The Australian company was founded in 1977, and its most recent show, “Cranked Up,” was inspired by the iconic "Lunch Atop a Skyscraper" photo. The Celebrity Series present Circus Oz at Boston’s Shubert Theatre February 19–23. We spoke to Ed Boyle, one of the Artistic Directors, about the challenges of taking the show on tour and what sets Circus Oz apart from other circus companies. Get your tickets at
What compelled you to join Circus Oz? Personally, I was a performer as an acrobat, and I have the utmost respect and fascination with people who can story-tell using their bodies. That’s why I joined. It’s a very collaborative process. People use their skills or sets of ideas to try to help people. 

One of the calling cards of the show is its “Australian humor.” What exactly is Australian humor? (Laughs) I’m not sure, I think because I live it. We had a comment last night about the performance... One of the comments was, “There’s no cynicism!” It’s so much fun and it’s not at anyone’s expense. There’s a sense of joy when a performer achieves something fantastic. 
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Retired circus performer died after tripping over kerb in Tulse Hill, coroners court hears.
Freddy Mayhew, Reporter
February 14, 2014 
A retired circus performer died after she tripped and fell over a kerb, a coroner’s court found yesterday.

Miriam Ginnett was with husband Frank, also a former circus performer, when she fell and hit her head on the pavement in Norwood Road, Tulse Hill, and was taken to King’s College Hospital.

There her condition deteriorated and she died a month later, on September 11, 2012, aged 86, with 93-year-old Frank at her side.

Coroner Henrietta Hill recorded a verdict of natural causes at Southwark Coroner’s Court, listing her head injury alongside lung cancer and heart failure as the causes of her death.

Paramedic James Stark, who was first to treat Mrs Ginnett, told the coroner: “She was walking along the pavement, tripped over the kerb and hit her head on the concrete floor.

“I found [her] lying on her back, her legs in the road. There was blood around her head.”

The fall fractured Mrs Ginnet’s temple and she was admitted to hospital the same day.

Mrs Ginnett, of Crown Lane Gardens, Streatham, suffered from severe osteo-arthritis and was due to have her entire left knee replaced in an operation. As a result she walked with a stick.

She was also waiting to have a pace-maker fitted to repair a heart abnormality and suffered from aortic stenosis — a narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve.

Medical reports showed Mrs Ginnett had fainted around the time of the fall as a result of her heart problems.

Ms Hill said it was unclear if this was the cause of her fall or whether she stumbled because of her impaired movement.

While in hospital her condition worsened and she gradually lost mobility and cognitive skills, needing full nursing care.

Ms Hill accepted the accounts of doctors in the hospital that Mrs Ginnett’s heart problems presented difficulties in operating on her with a view to improving her condition.

It was only in a post mortem examination that her lung cancer was discovered.

Ms Hill said: “The evidence that I have heard shows that Mrs Ginnett did have a complicated medical history with a range of conditions that have proved relevant to her cause of death.

“I accept the evidence of the post mortem that although Mrs Ginnett did suffer a fall, and that caused a moderate degree of head injury, that alone did not lead to her death.”
Shanghai Circus event canceled
From  staff reports
Gainesville Times
February 14, 2014
The Shanghai Circus performance that was postponed Thursday by the winter storm and rescheduled for Sunday now has been canceled.

The Arts Council reported Friday that the New Shanghai’s National Tour was canceled “due to diplomatic circumstances” and the group would not perform as scheduled.

The Arts Council officials are working to replace the event with another performance in the future and will provide information for those who purchased circus tickets. For more information, call 770-534-2787 or visit for updates.

Friday, February 14, 2014

CIRCA 1936

      Florida State Fair 2014 armband tickets

Published on Feb 13, 2014
For the first time, the Florida State Fair sold tickets that consisted of an armband with a barcode on it. 

The ride attendants were scanning the armbands with a problem except for Sunday, February 9, 2014. On that particular day, the scanners were having trouble connecting to the wi-fi network so they implement the old tried-and-true hardcopy tickets they have been using since 1904. 

This connection was fixed promptly and was back online the very next day without further problems. 

Armband tickets allowed you unlimited rides that were on sale for only $25 at Walgreens, AAA or on the fair's OFFICIAL website at Armband tickets at the gate were $30.

Video and song created by Craig Currie at

Song, 'Hillbilly Pickin' 
written by Craig Currie


It was 4 below zero yesterday morning and 11 above this morning.  At least there was sunshine and so our back porch was warmed by the solar heat coming through the windows.  While we were sitting out there enjoying the pleasant  70 degree warmth we were surprised to see this robin hopping around the area.  Our backyard has snow more than a foot deep, Snow piles by the driveway are at least 4 feet high.  As you can see by the bird pix, right beside the back wall of the house for a foot or so, there is no snow and the robin was pecking away in that area apparently looking for bugs or something else that a bird might find tasty.  Whether this is a very early spring visitor or a robin that has spent a cold winter in Michigan, we really don’t know.  At any rate we were pleased to see this colorful visitor.

Yes, the white stuff on the right is snow!

This is the view from our living room window showing that there is still plenty
of snow in Birmingham. 

Peñitas White Wing Festival hosts Kelly Miller Circus performances

Friday, 14 February 2014
PENITAS – The Kelly Miller Circus is coming to town and setting up their tents at the corner of Expressway 83 and Liberty Blvd., across from Walmart, on Feb. 24 and 25. Sponsored by the Peñitas White Wing Festival, the Big Top will house two performances each day at 6 and 8:30 p.m.

Kelly Miller Circus is the complete package. From Ringmaster John Moss who keeps the show moving, to the musicians who add the musical punch line at the right moment, they have everything between.

The performers not only bring a wide variety of skills and acts to the circus ring, they offer a panorama of multinational backgrounds.

Firdman Torales grew up with parents’ circus in Peru and is constantly expanding his balancing act repertoire to defy gravity and the odds.

The Rosales Family hails from Veracruz and Sonora, Mexico and add another dimension to the balancing acts with parents, Jorgé and Carmen, and their twins, Jonathon and Jonary. Girard Portugal, son of Jorg­é and Carmen, is not quite so grounded as the rest of his family. He performs his act on the trapeze.

Rebecca Ostroff, featured trapeze artist, can be seen in the movie, “Water for Elephants,” began as a dancer and follows the multi-talented tradition of most circus performers wearing more than one hat over the courses of her career in the true spirit of “the show must go on.”

The North Starlets, a group of accomplished dancers and aerialists, take their act 40 feet off the ground in a dazzling, synchronized ballet.

No circus is complete without a big cat tamer and animal trainers. Ryan Holder fills the bill with the large cats—tigers—and Armando Loyal works his magic with the giants of the show, the elephants. Mike and Carolyn Rice work with all the animals between: zebras, lamas, goats, dogs and more.

Holder has spent his time around elephants his entire life, but found his passion—and respect—for the big cats when he began with the Kelly Miller Circus.

Loyal is a ninth-generation circus performer. He’s now training the tenth generation—his children. His family’s circus roots date back to the late 1700s in Italy and France. Although his family started with equestrian acts, his love has always been the giants of the jungle.

They are all joined by The Fusco Family dancers; Raul Olivares, juggler; Laumont, fire eater and fire dancer; Steve Copeland and Ryan Combs, clowns; and others.

Pre-sale general admission is $12. General admission on the circus days are $16. Purchase advance tickets at Peñitas City Hall, 581-3345; Ace’s Audio Alarm & Tint, 585-5504; World Finance Corporation, 585-9475; and Alejandro’s Restaurant, 580-8155.

Animal Myths You Probably Thought Were True

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus devise elephant warmers due to recent storm

Caretaker Joey Frisco feeds his charges. / Photo provided
Feb. 14, 2014 
FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT THE ELEPHANTS — Even elephants need warmth on a snowy winter’s day.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus devised a plan to keep the pachyderms comfortable in Philadelphia for Thursday’s storm.

Ringling’s Legends circus is at the city’s Wells Fargo Center for seven more performances through Sunday.

Extra precautions are being taken to make sure all of the animals are warm between performances.

The elephants stay cozy with the help of large heaters blowing warm air into their tents, keeping the temperature at 75 degrees, said Nathanael Harris, senior marketingmanager, Wells Fargo Center/Comcast Spectacor.
“All nine elephants are watched around the clock by a team of 15 caretakers in their 140-foot-long by 40-foot-wide by 30-foot-high tent,” he said in an email.

Elephants are highly intelligent and , able to respond to as many as 60 verbal commands. They can recognize human and animal friends after years of separation.

A Ringling Bros. calf weighs an average of 300 pounds at birth, and 22 calves have been born at the circus’ Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida.
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Cirque du Soleil may be struggling, but the cluster around it is thriving

No lions, no bearded ladies
Feb 15th 2014 | QUEBEC CITY | From the print edition The Economist
IN THE deconsecrated church of Saint-Esprit, jugglers toss fluorescent orange clubs in front of the former altar, trapeze artists soar under the gaze of stone saints and wobbly unicyclists use two lines of repurposed pews as handrails. Declared surplus to requirements after Quebeckers deserted Catholicism in droves, the church is now the École de Cirque de Québec, through which 20,000 aspiring entertainers pass each year. The school’s director, Yves Neveu, says only half-jokingly, “Someone said the archbishop should be jealous because I’m filling my church.” Nearby Montreal boasts an even bigger school for circus performers.

Although only a handful of students go on to a career in the circus, the popularity of the programmes offered to would-be acrobats, local children and even tourists off cruise ships is the visible manifestation of the circus craze that has gripped Quebec. At its heart is the privately owned Cirque du Soleil, started in 1984 by a troupe of stilt-walkers from nearby Baie-Saint-Paul. It is now one of Canada’s most important cultural exports, employing 5,000 people at eight permanent shows in Las Vegas and at 12 others that tour the world. In 2012 its turnover was about C$1 billion ($900m)—it does not reveal its profits.

In 2005 this newspaper asked whether Guy Laliberté, majority owner of the circus, could keep it flying. That question was raised again early last year when the company laid off 400 employees, mainly at its head office in Montreal. The company has blamed the strong Canadian dollar (which has since weakened) and the after-effects of the global recession, which hit sponsorship income. It has launched a cost-cutting drive but insists it is not in crisis
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cities in Taiwan host early lantern fairs
Special Report:2014 Spring Festival
The Lantern Festival is fast approaching, with Friday marking the end of the Lunar New Year festivities. But even though there're still a few days to go, lantern fairs are already being held in various cities in Taiwan.
In the city of Taizhong, the annual lantern fair gets a huge head start. As it's the Year of the Horse, the equine animal features prominently here. A 10-meter high horse lantern rises up to the night sky, as over 10,000 onlookers show up for the opening ceremony.

A 10-meter high horse lantern rises up in Taizhong, celebrating the upcoming Lantern Festival.

Circus's opening act was for charity 

Feb. 11, 2014,
MICHAEL Edgley's Great Moscow Circus has made an impact on the local area in more ways than one.
The Russian circus raised $23,000 for the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research during last week's charity show.

It was the opening performance in their stint in Liverpool which includes the traditional acts of acrobatics, fire-breathers, clowns, animal stunts and the extraordinary five-cage motorcycle climax.

Ingham Institute chairman Terry Goldacre encouraged the community members and their families to attend the circus to help support the health and wellbeing of cancer patients.

"The funds raised will help to support vital medical research to improve the incidence and survival rates of cancer patients," he said.

The Great Moscow Circus is on at Woodward Park, Liverpool, until February 16. Details:
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Play tells of circus performers buried in Forest Park
Concordia drama students experience Chicago storefront theater up close

Wrecked: (Left) Actors TJ Stewart and Kaycee Jordan play circus performers injured by the 1918 Wallace-Hagenbeck Circus Train derailment. (JEAN LOTUS/Staff)
By Jean Lotus-Forest Park Review Editor
February 11th, 2014
ho remembers an unnamed clown's performance after the show? 
Chicago playwright and neo-futurist Jay Torrence examines the transience of performing art and the tragedy of the anonymous circus workers killed in the 1918 Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus accident in Roustabout: The Great Circus Train Wreck! beginning Feb. 13.  

Concordia University's Artists of Concordia Theatre present the show for two weekends at Madison Street Theatre, 1010 Madison St., in Oak Park.

The show draws on historic events that have a deep connection to Forest Park.

Around 4 a.m., June 22, 1918, the engineer of a U.S. Army train fell asleep at the controls as his train sped 60 miles per hour near Hammond, Ind. The empty troop train struck the 26-car circus train, which was stopped on the tracks. In the fiery accident, sleeping circus workers and animals burned to death as wooden train cars lit by old-fashioned oil lamps caught fire. 

Eighty-six accident victims were buried in the Showman's Rest section of Forest Park's Woodlawn Cemetery. Because the circus had just hired a group of add-on roustabouts, many of the victims were never identified. Memorial stones read "Baldy," "Four-horse driver" and "Unidentified male #61." 

But the show must go on. The Wallace-Hagenbeck Circus missed only one performance, hiring some fill-ins from Ringling Brothers and carrying on with their tour of the Midwest. 

By 1939, the circus involved in one of the worst train accidents in U.S. history was advertising, "train after train of double-length railroad cars loaded with wonders from every land."
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Circus scenes inspire latest show at Stamford's Loft Artists' galleries

This painting by Paul Larson will be among the works featured in the latest exhibition of the Loft Artists Association, "Under the Big Top," which will run from Feb. 7 to March 9, 2014. The opening reception will be 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 7, 2014, at the studio and gallery at 575 Pacific St., Stamford. For more information, visit Photo: Contributed Photo
By:Christina Hennessy
February 11, 2014
Stamford,Ct--From its barkers and big cats, to its trapeze artists and sideshow marvels, there are few events as rich as a circus when it comes to creating a tableau of images from which artists can draw inspiration.

"We thought it would be a lot of fun for everyone, the artists and everyone who comes to see the show," said Paul Larson, one of the two co-chairmen for "Under the Big Top," a new exhibition at the Loft Artists Association galleries and studios in Stamford. "We also thought it would capture the capabilities of all the artists and their various styles."

This photograph by Phyllis Sinrich will be among the works featured in the latest exhibition of the Loft Artists Association, "Under the Big Top," which will run from Feb. 7 to March 9, 2014. The opening reception will be 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 7, 2014, at the studio and gallery at 575 Pacific St., Stamford. For more information, visit Photo: Contributed Photo
The show, which features works from about 30 of the association's 40 members, promises to bring out the magic, whimsy and, at times, oddity of the circus, the Greenwich artist said of the show that runs through Sunday, March 9.
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Are crows the ultimate problem solvers? - Inside the Animal Mind: Episode 2 - BBC Two

Published on Feb 4, 2014
Programme website: Dr Alex Taylor sets a difficult problem solving task, will the crow defeat the puzzle?
Teens run wild during Florida State Fair's first Friday

From: Yampa Bay Times
By Jessica Vander Velde, Times Staff Writer
February 10, 2014
TAMPA — The first Friday of every Florida State Fair brings droves of Hillsborough teens, who get the day off from school and free admission. And each year, shortly after sunset, dozens of unsupervised minors start stampeding through the midway, the Sheriff's Office says.

They're fighting each other, robbing other patrons, stealing food and battering deputies.

The phenomenon is so common, deputies even have a term for it: They call it "wilding."

Authorities said the lawlessness is mostly confined to the first Friday. But they've never publicly shared details until Monday — after several media outlets, including the Tampa Bay Times, reported that 14-year-old Andrew Joseph III was kicked out of the fair Friday by deputies before he died while crossing Interstate 4 that night.

That day, approximately 200 deputies could not handle the chaos, sheriff's officials said. Some witnesses estimated 150 to 200 teens running wild.
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Rights group pushes to ban animals from the circus as Ringling Bros. head to city

NYCLASS says that animals in circuses are beaten into submission for silly stunts: 'Animals in nature don’t naturally wear tutus and stand on their hind legs.' The proposed ban is aimed at the incoming Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which said it would cancel all city appearances if animals were banned.
“Animals in the circus are horribly abused. Animals in nature don’t naturally wear tutus and stand on their hind legs. To get an elephant to do that, you have to basically beat the animal into submission,” she said.
The proposal is aimed squarely at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and its famous elephants, which roll into town next week for a string of performances at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
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Too cold to monkey around, so circus cancels animal parade
Australian ensemble brings all-human circus to Norton Center at Centre College in Danville
One of the world’s contemporary circuses will bring its all-human ensemble Valentine’s Day weekend to the Norton Center for the Arts.
The 35-year-old Circus Oz, which hails from Melbourne, Australia, started in the late 1970s. Now the Australian National Circus, Circus Oz presents comedy in “a sort of irreverent sort of show,” said Artistic Director Mike Finch.
“It’s a kind of subversive twist on a circus,” Finch said in a phone interview from Australia. “There are 12 performers in the ensemble, an equal mix of men and women. There are strong women and graceful men — we turn gender expectations upside down.
“They all have characters and they all do a little bit of everyone else’s act.
The band is onstage during the show, Finch noted.
“The band actually are part of the show. The performers are like a big family. It’s all integrated.”
“Oz” is short for “Ozzy,” a short nickname for Australia.
Circus Oz is geared toward a broad age spectrum, he said.
“It’s about a philosophy of diversity,” Finch explained. “The idea is to get a really diverse group of people (to this) big spectacle … show. There are big stunts and tricks and acrobatics and tumbling. Handstands on a bendy pole. There’s a whole lot of real spectacle in it.
“It can look really dangerous. It engages with kids and adults who are looking for that sheer sort of spectacle. … It’s for people who like theater, who like watching improv comedy, who like a live band that plays the entire job. All the music is live and original.”
The music covers a broad range: rock and funk to jazz, gypsy and fusion.
“It’s like watching a really eclectic musical concert. There are all these different layers to the show,” Finch noted.
The appeal covers a broad range, too.
“Kids will go to the show and love the silliness of it, and the play,” he explained. “All the kids and teenagers see the danger and excitement. Then there is the athletic and acrobatic performance.”
There is a “real Australian sensibility” to Circus Oz, Finch said.
“We’re all Australians, from Melbourne in the state of Victoria. … There are two indigenous performers in the show who are part of our show. (We hope) the audience comes away with “that is a joyful, irreverent, laidback culture.
“There will be all sorts of resonances with the people of Danville. There is a lot of diversity. The audience will be coming out empowered, reconnected with humanity, and thinking, ‘I’d like to go to Australia sometime.’”By JENNIFER BRUMMETT
Kosair Shrine Circus entertains kids, adults alike
By Ann Bowdan
Published Feb 09, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —Elephants, tigers, aerial acts and plenty of clowns -- the Kosair Shrine Circus rolled into Louisville this weekend.
"Oh, it's unexplainable. I just love seeing her happy and being able to do this with her and it just makes me happy," said excited mother Monica Kellogg.

Before the show, there's the pre-show at Kosair Shrine Circus. Broadbent Arena was full of laughs, squeals and smiles from kids of all ages.

"She loves animals, she loves horses, and so she was just so excited," said Kellogg.

And then it's lights, camera, action.
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CIRCUS REVIEW: Circus Sarasota finds new thrills to make you feel 'Wonderstruck'

Crossbow artist Cornel Tell performs a routine in which he shoots an arrow into an apple over his own head in Circus Sarasota's "Wonderstruck." STAFF PHOTO/THOMAS BENDER
By Jay Handelman , 
From: Herald-Tribune   
Monday, February 10, 2014
If you go to the circus for thrills and a sense of danger, Circus Sarasota should prove satisfying and exciting with its 2014 production called “Wonderstruck.”
There is certainly a sense of danger in the crossbow act by Cornel Tell, who aims his bow at a variety of targets in the middle of the ring, which raises the risk factor because it looks like a miss could send an arrow out into the crowd. He pulls five bows at once to pop a series of balloons and then sets up a convoluted contraption that triggers a criss-crossing, back-and-forth series of targets that wind up hitting an object right over his own head.
For sheer originality, there is little that matches an act billed as Ballet on Shoulder by Chinese performers Miao Changwei and Lin Deng. It’s essentially a hand-balancing act with a major twist. Lin is a ballerina in toe shoes. Miao lifts and supports her with his arms, as she bends forward and back and then stands en pointe on his shoulders and head, as he helps her do a pirouette.
The show also features the Hungarian juggler Laido Dittmar, who does some masterful work with an increasing number of thin rings. At one point, he tosses eight rings in the air, barely pausing to put one over his head, between his legs or under his arms, before getting them all back into the mix without missing a beat.
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Monday, February 10, 2014

Ringling's second marriage a "Three Ring Circus"

A young and beautiful Mable Ringling, the love of John's life. When she passed in 1929, he said he would never be happy again
From Sarasota Herald Tribune
By JEFF LAHURD-Correspondent
Sunday, February 9, 2014 
SARASOTA - On Dec. 19, 1930, in the office of Jersey City Mayor Frank “Boss” Hague, John Ringling and Emily Haag Buck said their “I do's” and tied the nuptial knot.

John, who was 64, had lost his first wife, and love of his life, Mable, the year before. He was also suffering from cash flow problems brought on by the Great Depression.

The much younger Emily (she was in her early 40s), a lovely lady with a wavy bob, bright eyes and a ready smile who lived at the tony Barclay Hotel in New York, met “Mr. John” in Amsterdam on the Fourth of July. 

When she returned to New York they courted, and in November of that year the unlikely couple decided they would marry. It proved not to be a match made in heaven.

The comely Emily, who enjoyed throwing cocktail parties at home and the night life among the swells in clubs from New York to Miami and Palm Beach, was undoubtedly impressed with the trappings of the circus kings wealth: a showplace bay front mansion, Park Avenue apartment, Rolls Royces, private rail car, yacht, world renown circus, an enviable art collection housed in his own art museum and the friendship of rich and powerful men.

For his part, Ringling was probably taken by the Emily's sophisticated looks, intelligence, sparkling personality — and she also had plenty of cash on hand; an enviable commodity as the Depression wore on.
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Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus Train at Lithia Springs, GA and Mableton, GA 1-27-2014 © . Steve's Railroad Videos

Published on Jan 28, 2014
NS 048, The RBBB Circus Train, makes it's way Eastbound over Norfolk Southern rails, while CSX provides the power.
First we see the train at Lithia Springs, GA where it stops for a few minutes to allow an intermodal train to move on to the siding ahead at Austell. Afterwards, we catch the train rolling through Mableton, GA as it continues it run east for SC.

CSXT 5422 ES40DC
CSXT 7615 C40-8



Written by
Photos and text by Scott Utterback 
The Courier-Journal
Febuary 9, 2014
Growing up doesn’t always mean putting away childish ways, especially when the circus is in town. Just ask the three generations of the Brewer family who went to see the 89th annual Kosair Shrine Circus on Sunday.

Sure the big tops have long ago given way to arenas, but the call of the ringmaster still commands the eyes of the old and the young to the center ring.
High above it, swinging from a trapeze, Lupata Meraz will wow the crowd. Then back on the ground the clown Minina and her trained dog Chana will fill the air with laughter.
Throw in the ability to tame elephants, camels and tigers, and it’s easy to see why Kailee Blain and her dad make this trip to Broadbent Arena at the Kentucky Exposition Center every year.
Besides all of the three-ring performances, the show included a chance for the kids to get close to the animals by riding the ponies, camels and elephants. Also, for the brave, one could have a snake draped around his or her neck, as Tabitha Demers did. “It felt really weird,” she said.
Maybe the only difference between the parents and the kids, under the proverbial big top, is the desire to buy a $10 light-up souvenir.
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Circus full of rambunctious cheek

Carousel and Clothesline. Picture: Norbi Whitney 
The West Australian 
Kate Prendergast The West Australian 
February 10, 2014
Carousel and Clothesline
Presented by Vague de Cirque
3 stars
REVIEW: Kate Prendergast
It's 11.45pm on Friday night, and the Fringe World punters' last-stop show in the Pleasure Garden is Carousel and Clothesline- an old-fashioned, light-hearted routine of goofy antics, impressive trapeze action and your standard serve of accomplished multi-ball tossing.

Now, there is arguably too much ennui, cultural arrogance and cynicism skulking about for any modern circus act to successfully get off the ground by being just about feats of Wonder and Amazement under a canvas big top. Fortunately, Vague de Cirque seems to know this. It has therefore lovingly modified the traditional with a bit of rambunctious cheek.
with individual professionalism always at risk of being either sabotaged or compromised by the rest of the group. It's made to feel like a gang of talented, travelling friends at the point of becoming squabbling family.

All of the performers have characters drawn from the familiar circus tropes. There's the human spider, the tiny self-possessed gymnast, the affable dope and the broad-chested strongman. The latter's full and bushy woodsman's beard is a source of pleasure in itself, especially when it pokes itself between the red curtains at the back of the stage as though levitating. He also owns a pair of exceptionally fine, melony buttocks (I speak with authority here).

The fussy, weedy and greasily-charismatic ringmaster is the comic centre-piece though. Strutting about the stage and giving toothy, sycophantic smiles beneath a pencil-thin moustache, his vanity and unctuousness is duly punished in a performance of All of Me, through which he nobly battles to the end in spite of several unplanned wardrobe malfunctions. Torn to shreds by lustful females taking his lyrics at their word, he tearfully ends the solo in a peacock-feathered showgirl outfit and shin-high hockey socks
Slapdash slapstick aside, the show's acrobatics also make for a suitably impressive spectacle, although character is relatively enfeebled in these sections. The performance's final trapeze act tops this category, performed bravely between the petite gymnast and the strongman.

Replete with cider and lazy bonhomie from a full night of Fringing, the crowd was very willing to get all the delight and amusement they could from the performance. They cheered often, clapped loudly, and sometimes gave the whole thing an air of pantomime.

It's not Cirque du Soleil, sure- but who wants to watch a gamut of mind-boggling cavorting at such a time anyway? Waggishly shabby, unpretentiously entertaining and charmingly facetious, Carousel and Clothesline is like eating a Tim Tam at midnight-all the more delicious because it's inessential.

 Circus love
Lizzy Harvey shares her love for circus arts to instill confidence and self-trust in youths

Kati Wolcott, bottom left, Emily Larson, bottom right, and Katie Harvey perform a pyramid during the intermediate kids circus skills training at Carnegie in Walla Walla. Photo by Michael Lopez
From: Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
By Sheila Hagar
February 8, 2014
WALLA WALLA — Evelyn Sisk, or “Evi,” could not be more clear why she’s enrolled in Walla Walla Parks and Recreation’s “Circus Arts” class.

#“I was really interested in the circus,” the 9 year-old explained. “I wanted to be interactive with people older than me … and I really wanted to learn to do flips.” 

#She was on her way in a recent session of the intermediate class at the Carnegie building, where Evi was joined by four other — and older — girls doing “egg rolls” on gym mats to limber up. Grasping ankles and laying on their backs, the youngsters rolled from side-to-side like happy sow bugs, bumping into each other with apologies and giggles.
The success of the first go-round last autumn showed organizers that circus class is pretty special, Potts said. “When someone tells you they want to ‘run away with the circus,’ you envision them in a playful and magical world and that’s what we want to create for children in the Walla Walla Valley.”

#When kids push themselves through the physical work of tumbling, acrobatics, juggling and clowning, it helps overcome fears, Potts said. “And not just fears inside circus class, but fears of everyday life. Through Circus Arts, children find confidence in who they are as a unique individual.”
Want to join a circus? Walla Walla Parks and Recreation offers a class on circus arts.

#It’s the second time in the circus ring for the city department, noted recreation coordinator Angela Potts. Her department offers a number of classes for children and adults, such as painting, ukulele and guitar, yoga, sports of many flavors and parent-child events.

Want to join a circus? Walla Walla Parks and Recreation offers a class on circus arts.
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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Duffy’s Circus brands criticism of their use of sea lions as “misleading and hurtful”
The circus has said that they treat their animals’ welfare as a “top priority”.

A wild sea lion.Image: SaraYeomans via Flickr/Creative Commmons
From: the
Sat, Feb.8,2014
Ireland--TOM DUFFY’S CIRCUS has hit out at criticism from an animal welfare charity that their use of sea lions in live shows is “cruel”.

The ISPCA said it was “shocked and disappointed” to hear that the animals will be used in shows this year, saying that circuses cannot provide ‘appropriate conditions’ to guarantee the well-being of animals, “especially social species like sea lions”.

“The circus is no place for them and it is simply not possible to provide a suitable environment for sea lions in a travelling circus,” a statement read.

However, the circus has called the accusations “misleading and hurtful”, saying that the welfare of their performance animals is a top priority.
Irish zoos
They say that standards in Irish zoos are far above those in other countries.

“We are alarmed that an organisation such as the ISPCA that collects money from the public under the guise of animal welfare is supporting animal rights activists,” Managing Director David Duffy said in a statement.

Every right-minded person believes in animal welfare, but for the ISPCA to support claims that our animals suffer is misleading the public and has offended our dedicated team of specialist animal carers.
He noted that Tom Duffy’s Circus has never been found to abusing or mistreating animals, and that the the charity is free to visit without notice.
“Rarely visit”
“The ISPCA rarely visit – less than one visit per year”, he added.

The charity’s CEO Dr Andrew Kelly has called for Ireland to follow England and Wales by bringing in a ban on using animals in shows.

“Forcing wild animals to perform unnatural behaviours for human entertainment is cruel, out-dated and should be consigned to the history books,” he said.
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Clowns Entertain Tiny Shoppers Just In Time For The Circus
By 13 News Carissa Fox
Feb 08, 2014

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)__ Clowns gathered to help get the word out about a big time event scheduled under the big top.

The Arab Shrine Circus is set to kick off at the Kansas Expocentre February 20-23.

Saturday (2/08), the Arab Shrine Circus Clowns took to The Toy Store to help spread the word and pass out tickets to tiny shoppers and their parents.

The clowns entertained the guests with balloon mayhem and silly jokes. The kids could be seen laughing and running through the store chasing the deflating balloons.

If you missed the event, you can still pick up tickets before the show at any Topeka Dillon's store or Hy-Vee. Tickets may also be purchased at the Kansas Expocentre box office.

For Emporia residents, you can find tickets at Bad Ol' Bern's BBQ, Dillon's and Guion Showcase Furniature
Circus elephant hurt in drive-by shooting returning to Mississippi after recovering at Missouri farm
February 6
The Associated Press
TUPELO, Miss. — A circus elephant is coming back to Mississippi, nearly a year after being injured in a drive-by shooting. 
Carol, a 39-year-old Asian elephant, spent several weeks recovering at a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus farm in Springfield, Mo., after the April 9, 2013, shooting 
outside BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo, Miss. The animal was shot in the shoulder.
No arrests have been made but the case remains open.
Circus spokeswoman Melinda Hartline tells the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that Carol will return as a part of the Super Circus Heroes show. The new show will run from April 3-6.
Hartline says Carol has been back performing, "doing what she loves" and there were no second thoughts about 

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BIG APPLE CIRCUS Brings New Show- LUMINOCITY on City Hall Plaza 3/25-5/11

By BWW Newsdesk
February 6 2014
It's the vivacity! It's the velocity! It's the LUMINOCITY - the All-New Show from the Big Apple Circus! Now in its 36th Season, the Big Apple Circus celebrates the vitality of life at the city epicenter, the Crossroads of the World! Catch all the verve, the high-spirits and racing-pulse thrills of the World's Greatest Circus Artists in one ring under our intimate Big Top, where no seat is more than 50 feet from ringside! The Big Apple Circus presents LUMINOCITY in its annual Boston engagement at City Hall Plaza from Tuesday, March 25 through Sunday, May 11, 2013.

Venture within the hubbub at the heart of Gotham, where the restless tide of humanity rushes through canyons of skyscrapers and shoals of billboards: The dog-walker, whose rowdy pups perform amazing tricks! Businesswomen who arrange to meet, soaring high above on a double trapeze! The rube, a clown-prince among peers, celebrating the mirth of life! Revelry at New Year's Eve, with teeter-board acrobats flying like fireworks! and a chic couple of wire-walkers suspended mid-air for the event! The humble repairman, climbing the ladder of his imagination! The mounted policewoman, directing a cavalcade of steeds! The flimflam man with his quicksilver moves! The food cart vendor, juggling his produce! Construction workers assembling athletic poses of incredible strength! The celebrated Big Apple Circus Band, under the baton of maestro Rob Slowik, provides the lively musical soundtrack, and your cosmopolitan Ringmaster, John Kennedy Kane, will conduct your tour through this luminous cityscape. Run away and join the Big Apple Circus this season for a dazzling, unforgettable spectacle of wonder, merriment and joy!
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Worcester City Council familiar with circus
Fenruary 7,2014
Worcester,MA--The City Council voted Tuesday night to allow circuses and traveling shows to continue using wild and exotic animals when performing in the city. 

Good for them. Let's hope, however, that this love for the circus doesn't push councilors to turn their chamber into a big top, a difficult temptation to resist since winning elections have a tendency to sometimes make humble candidates act like big cats — just ask former city councilor Bill Eddy about that. 

I understand it was first-time City Councilor Michael Gaffney who pushed Tuesday's vote to put a stop to what he believes is a conspiracy to close down circuses and petting zoos. 

"This is a first step of saying we shouldn't have animals, period," he reportedly said

Regardless of his "First of May" status, which is what novice performers or workers in their first season on the circus are called, Councilor Gaffney really ought to try and save his "Stars and Stripes Forever" alarm (the circus emergency signal) for worthy agenda items. 

I am sure he is no Joey (clown), but the following points and recommendations will go a long way in helping him and his colleagues provide residents with a Sunday school council, which in circus-speak would be a council that is clean and aboveboard. 
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Ringling Bros. ringmaster brings circus 'Legends' to Philly

Jonathan Lee Iverson is the ringmaster for Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey presents "Legends." The circus comes to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia beginning on Feb. 12.
Photo/Feld entertainment
By Kristie Rearick/South Jersey Times South Jersey Newspapers 
on February 07, 2014
Several years ago, Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey circus was in search of a singing ringmaster. And Jonathan Lee Iverson fit the bill perfectly.
Iverson, who studied opera in college, auditioned for a dinner theater show and one thing led to another and he ended up becoming the first singing ringmaster for the circus giant. 
“My plan was to raise money so I could go to Europe,” he said with a laugh.

could go to Europe,” he said with a laugh.

Today, he’s been all over the country and across Europe leading the Greatest Show on Earth, — and singing, too.

“There’s a lot of live music in this show,” he said. “We have the hardest working band.”

That show — Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey presents “Legends” — opens at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Feb. 12. 

And it’s sure to be “amazing,” Iverson said.
“It’s mystical and magical,” he said. “We’ve added a unicorn, a Pegasus, a wooley mammoth, and performing pigs.”
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Family Friendly: Small circus provides big laughs, plenty of fun
From: Chicago Sun Times
By: Myrna Petlicki | For Sun-Times Media 
February 7, 2014

Join in the fun when the Argentinean duo of Gabriela Chichizola and Juan Friguglietti present Planet Circus on Feb. 15 at the Oak Brook Public Library.
How many performers does it take to make a circus? The answer is two in the case of Gabriela Chichizola and Juan Friguglietti’s Pocket Circus. The Argentinean pair will present Planet Circus, 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15 at the Oak Brook Public Library, 600 Oak Brook Road.

“It’s a mix of juggling, magic and acrobatics—one different thing after another,” Chichizola said. The show is also infused with music and humor.

The performers like to involve their audience in the show, bringing some members onstage to help with magic tricks and other stunts.

Nobody is left out, though. “Everybody else participates from their seats,” Chichizola said. “We are all the time asking the audience for their response and their help.”

The couple particularly likes performing for family audiences. “Everybody—it doesn’t matter what age they are—enjoys exactly the same thing,” she related. “When they go home, they are talking about something they shared.”