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Encyclopedia > Circus (performing art)
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A circus is usually a travelling show that includes acrobats, animal trainers (though this is being phased out with the influence of animal rights groups), clowns and other novelty acts. However, there are circuses today with a permanent venue that do not travel, and some circuses do not have animal acts at all. Acrobatics (from Greek Akros, high and bat, walking) is one of the performing arts. ... A clown participating in a Memorial Day parade A clown today is one of various types of comedic performers, on stage, television, in the circus and rodeo. ...

The Big Top of Billy Smart's Circus Cambridge 2004.
The Big Top of Billy Smart's Circus Cambridge 2004.

Contents

Download high resolution version (1024x768, 224 KB)A circus tent. ... Download high resolution version (1024x768, 224 KB)A circus tent. ... This article is about Cambridge, England; see also other places called Cambridge. ... 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


History of the circus

Lion tamer, in lithography by Gibson & Co., 1873.
Lion tamer, in lithography by Gibson & Co., 1873.

The first modern circus was staged by Philip Astley in London on January 9, 1768. The famous circus theme song is actually called "Entrance of the Gladiators," and is also known as "Thunder and Blazes." It was composed in 1904 by Julius Fučík. This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Philip Astley (January 8, 1742 - January 27, 1814) is regarded as the father of modern circus. ... St Stevens Tower - The Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster which contains Big Ben London (see also different names) is the capital city of the United Kingdom and of England. ... January 9 is the 9th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1768 was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... 1904 is a leap year starting on a Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... Portrait of Julius Fučík Julius Ernst Wilhelm Fučík (18 July 1872 – 15 September 1916) was a Czech composer and conductor of military bands. ...


Brief List of famous circuses and circus owners

Many circuses have dwindled in popularity over the years, and as this happens, some circuses have 'stayed afloat' by merging with other circus companies. As the popularity of traditional modern circuses waned, several newer versions of circuses have arisen, once again boosting the popularity of circus-related entertainment by bringing a fresh new look and feel to the art. Some circuses are more well-known by the names of their founders, or sometimes their principle performers. The following is a brief list of some circuses that have achieved fame: There have been many famous Modern circuses since the first modern circus was staged by Philip Astley in London on January 9, 1768. ...

For a more exhaustive list, see: List of famous circuses and circus owners The Big Apple Circus is a circus that is located in New York City. ... Paul Binder (born c. ... In its general sense, juggling can refer to all forms of artful or skillful object manipulation. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... 1977 was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1977 calendar). ... Bertram Wagstaff Mills (1873 - 1938) Mills was a British circus owner. ... Christmas (literally, the Mass of Christ) is a holiday in the Christian calendar, usually observed on December 25, which celebrates the birth of Jesus. ... Olympia is the home to the Olympia Exhibition Halls. ... Circus Oz is an Australian circus group that was founded in 1977. ... 1977 was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1977 calendar). ... Dralion 2004 Cirque du Soleil (French for Circus of the Sun) is an entertainment company founded by Guy Laliberté, a former fire-eater, in 1984 and based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. ... Guy Laliberté created Cirque du Soleil Categories: People stubs ... 1984 is a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Please visit and contribute to the Montreal Wikiportal See and add to this ongoing discussion about English Names in Montreal {{Canadian City/Disable Field={{{Disable Motto Link}}}}} Motto: Concordia Salus (Well-being through harmony) Ville de Montréal, Québec, Canada Location. ... During the 1960s, a terrorist group known as the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) launched a decade of bombings, robberies and attacks on government offices. ... Phyla Porifera (sponges) Ctenophora (comb jellies) Cnidaria Placozoa Subregnum Bilateria  Acoelomorpha  Orthonectida  Rhombozoa  Myxozoa  Superphylum Deuterostomia     Chordata (vertebrates, etc. ... Cruelty to animals refers to treatment which causes unacceptable suffering to animals. ... Phineas Taylor Barnum (July 5, 1810 – April 7, 1891), American showman who is best remembered for his entertaining hoaxes and for founding the circus that eventually became Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. ... A hoax is an attempt to trick an audience into believing that something false is real. ... Ringling Bros. ... The Pickle Family Circus was a small circus founded in 1975 in San Francisco, California, USA. The circus formed an important part of the renewal of the American circus. ... The downtown San Francisco skyline, looking east from the central part of the city. ... Bill Irwin (born April 11, 1950, Santa Monica, California) is an American clown and actor noted for his contribution to the renaissance of American circus during the 1970s. ... Ringling Brothers were the founders of what eventually became the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. ... 1882 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Ringling Bros. ... There have been many famous Modern circuses since the first modern circus was staged by Philip Astley in London on January 9, 1768. ...


List of famous circus performers

Bill Irwin (born April 11, 1950, Santa Monica, California) is an American clown and actor noted for his contribution to the renaissance of American circus during the 1970s. ... The Doll Family The Doll Family was a group of four dwarf siblings who were popular performers in circuses and sideshows from the 1920s until their retirement in the mid 1950s. ... Dwarfism is a condition in which a person, animal or plant is much below the ordinary size of the species. ... Emmett Kelly (1898 - March 28, 1979), a native of Sedan, Kansas, was an American circus performer, who created the memorable clown figure Weary Willie, based on the hobos of the Depression era. ... William Henry Johnson, AKA Zip the Pinhead Zip the Pinhead, born William Henry Johnson, (1842 Liberty Corners, New Jersey – April 28, 1926 New York, New York) was an American freak show performer famous for his oddly tapered head. ... Born Mary Haynie in Kentucky, a single child - she led an isolated and difficult childhood including corporal punishment from her mother. ...

List and brief description of the various circus arts

Acrobatics, Gymnastics and related arts

Trapeze artists, in lithograph by Calvert Litho. Co., 1890.
Trapeze artists, in lithograph by Calvert Litho. Co., 1890.
  • adagio
  • Bicycle
  • Chair
  • Chinese pole
  • Contortion
  • German wheel
  • Hand-to-hand balancing
  • Human cannonball
  • Icarian Games
  • Korean Board
  • Rebound Straps
  • Russian Bar
  • Russian Swing
  • Teeterboard
  • Trampoline

Acrobatics (from Greek Akros, high and bat, walking) is one of the performing arts. ... Gymnastics is a sport involving the performance of sequences of movements requiring physical strength, flexibility, and kinesthetic awareness, such as handsprings and handstands. ... This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... For the rock band, see Trapeze (band). ... Contortionist performing Contortion (sometimes contortionism) is an unusual form of acrobatic display which involves the dramatic bending and flexing of the human body. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... For an alternative meaning, see Trampoline (computers) or Trampoline_(multihulls). ...

Aerial acts

Cradle was a band that Suzi Quatro played in, in the early 1970s before she became a huge star. ... Tightrope walking is a spectacle activity usually performed for the amusement of an audience. ... Corde lisse is an aerial circus skill or act that involves acrobatics on a vertically hanging rope. ... In circus performances a Spanish web involves a long, cloth covered rope with a loop attached near the top that a performer (web girl) climbs and inserts either their foot or their wrist into the loop. ...

Trapeze

  • Swinging Trapeze
  • Flying Trapeze
  • Multiple Trapeze
  • Triple Trapeze
  • French Trapeze
  • Double Trapeze
  • Washington Trapeze

For the rock band, see Trapeze (band). ... A Triple Trapeze is a static (still) trapeze with three trapezes on one bar. ...

Animal acts and "Lion tamers"

Female animal trainer and leopard. Human performers in Big Cat acts such as these are often referred to by the misnomer "Lion tamers". Animal rights activists allege that these acts involve cruel training methods.
Female animal trainer and leopard. Human performers in Big Cat acts such as these are often referred to by the misnomer "Lion tamers". Animal rights activists allege that these acts involve cruel training methods.

Animals are often used as performers in the circus. While the types of animals used varies from year to year, and from show to show, exotic cats, elephants, horses, birds and domestic animals are the most common. The use of animals in the circus has been a matter for controversy in recent years, as animal welfare groups have discovered many instances of cruelty. The majority of the British public now believe that the use of animals in circuses to be wrong. Phyla Porifera (sponges) Ctenophora (comb jellies) Cnidaria Placozoa Subregnum Bilateria  Acoelomorpha  Orthonectida  Rhombozoa  Myxozoa  Superphylum Deuterostomia     Chordata (vertebrates, etc. ... An animal trainer is a person who trains animals to perform specific acts in response to conditions or stimuli. ... Download high resolution version (2000x1555, 1707 KB)TITLE: Vallecitas leopards CALL NUMBER: SSF - Circus and shows--Animal acts--1906 <item> [P&P] REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-USZ62-117923 (b&w film copy neg. ... Download high resolution version (2000x1555, 1707 KB)TITLE: Vallecitas leopards CALL NUMBER: SSF - Circus and shows--Animal acts--1906 <item> [P&P] REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-USZ62-117923 (b&w film copy neg. ... An animal trainer is a person who trains animals to perform specific acts in response to conditions or stimuli. ... Big cat refers to the medium-to-large wild felids of The Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe. ... The Great Ape Project is campaigning for a Declaration on Great Apes. ... Cruelty to animals refers to treatment which causes unacceptable suffering to animals. ... Cruelty to animals refers to treatment which causes unacceptable suffering to animals. ...


Cirque Nouveau

  • Although not exactly a circus art as much as a new form of Circus, Cirque Nouveau combines various traditional circus arts with music and acting to form a new artform altogether.

Cirque Nouveau is a relatively new form of performing art where a story or a theme is conveyed by using the traditional circus arts. ... Cirque Nouveau is a relatively new form of performing art where a story or a theme is conveyed by using the traditional circus arts. ...

Clown

  • Clown skills include, literally, every circus skill, as 'clowns getting into the act' is a very familiar theme in any circus.
  • Producing clown is a craftsman affiliated with the rest of the clown alley whose job it is to invent, repair, replace, or produce clown props, but often includes, in smaller circuses, repair of almost any type of equipment, prop, or rigging.

A clown participating in a Memorial Day parade A clown today is one of various types of comedic performers, on stage, television, in the circus and rodeo. ...

Equilibristics

These are any of the gymnastic, aerial, or juggling arts characterised by balancing or maintaining a moving equilibrium or balance of opposing forces. the term applies equally to an act in which the performer's body is balanced on a prop or an act in which the performer balances a prop, or spins it. Equilibristics refers to a number of circus arts and juggling skills in which the main prop is rotated around its own center of gravity. ... For the 2002 science fiction movie see Equilibrium (2002 movie) Equilibrium or balance is any of a number of related phenomena in the natural and social sciences. ...

  • Balance Pole

The performer performs while balanced atop a tall pole, sometimes held, carried or moved by another performer.

A couch or other longish object is first balanced (typically on the feet of the performer, who is lying on his/her back), then flipped end-for-end, then flipped again and again until a smooth rotation occurs. This skill has to be seen to be believed, and is akin to acrobatics and strongman stunts as much as it is a juggling art. Learning the pendulum is easy for most children. ... Equilibristics refers to a number of circus arts and juggling skills in which the main prop is rotated around its own center of gravity. ...

Plates are spun, balanced at their center atop thin flexible upright poles or wands, more and more plates are added, and the performer must respin plates to keep them moving, while adding more plates to more poles. More rarely, plates are balanced on smaller wands held in the hands or feet or teeth, sometimes spun directly on parts of the performer's body. Plate spinning is a circus balance art where a person spins plates, bowls and other flat objects on poles, without them falling over. ...

  • Hoop Twirling

Hoop twirling is similar to hula-hoop spinning, sometimes using smaller rings or juggling rings... numerous hoops are twirled on various parts of the body.

  • Rola bola

Performer balances atop a board, which is in turn balanced atop a cylinder, both board and cylinder are completely free to move, and are neither attached to each other, nor to the performer. Various stunts are performed while balancing, including juggling or balancing other props or performers.

Performer balances atop a large sphere, often taller than the performer. Various gymnastic or juggling stunts are performed, while the performer moves and controls the the position of the ball with the feet and/or hands. A student from Simply Circuslearning to walk on a rolling globe Rolling Globe is a circus skill where the performer balances atop a large sphere, often taller than the performer. ...


Juggling

Juggling can refer to dozens of arts in which various objects are tossed, swung, flipped, balanced or manipulated in some other way. Juggling most often refers to the tossing and catching of two or more objects into the air, while some object manipulators like card and coin flourishers, prefer terms other than juggling to describe their art. In its general sense, juggling can refer to all forms of artful or skillful object manipulation. ...


Juggling typically requires (or creates) good eye-hand coordination, balance, and muscular control. Juggling therapy has been successfully used as a rehabilitative tool in cases of injury, as juggling teaches and enhances the coordination it requires.

The most common form of this skill is the manipulation of a single large, fairly heavy ball, often silver or transparent, to disguise the rotation of the ball. The ball is manipulated, as the name implies, in contact with the juggler's body - typically the ball will be swirled between the hands, rolled up and down the arms, across the back, or shoulders, etc., all while remaining in contact with the juggler. The ball is rarely tossed or thrown. Contact Juggling Contact juggling is the art of juggling without letting the balls leave contact with ones body. ...

  • Juggling cups

A set of heavy weighted tapered metal cups is manipulated, tossed and caught inside each other or on top of each other. The 'feel' of this is said to be similar to cigar-box manipulation.


A modern form of cup juggling, Cup stacking is used in schools and youth organisation as a fun way to develop speed and coordination. This is more of a sport than a juggling art, and there are rules, timers, coaches, teams etc.

A prop made of two discs connected by an axle is manipulated by the use of a cord connecting two control sticks... the lifting of one stick, and the simultaneous lowering of the other stick creates friction between the cord and axle, causing rotation. Diabolos are often tossed, sometimes quite high into the air, and are then caught on the cord, all while the spin of the prop is maintained by constant input using the sticks to pull the cord. Diabolos are sometimes juggled, sometimes juggled between two or more partners, who use 2, 3, or 4 diabolos and toss them in patterns quite similar to toss juggling patterns. The diabolo (commonly misspelled as diablo) is a juggling prop consisting of a spool which is whirled and tossed on a string tied to two sticks held one in each hand. ...

  • Cigar Box Manipulation

Cigar box manipulation uses, typically, a set of 3 'cigar boxes' or props shaped to resemble such boxes. These are stacked, balanced, tossed, spun, or caught atop or in between the other boxes. It is a widely held belief that this originated with W.C. Fields, however it is much more likely that he merely popularized it, though cigar box manipulation probably began in Vaudeville performances, and not in the circus. W. C. Fields (January 29, 1880 - December 25, 1946) was an American comedian and actor. ... Vaudeville was a style of multi-act theater which flourished in North America from the 1880s through the 1920s. ...


Toss juggling

In toss juggling, objects -- such as balls, bean bags, fruit, etc... -- are thrown or tossed into the air and caught. Multiple objects may be thrown in succession, so that at a given point, some are in the air, going up, some are falling back towards the juggler's hands, some are being caught and some are being thrown. Toss juggling is the form of juggling which is most recognisable as juggling. Toss juggling is at once: a performance art, a sport, a form of exercise and meditation, a recreational pursuit, and often simply childs play. ...

  • Balls
  • Clubs
  • Torches
  • Knives, Machetes, Swords
  • Rings

Sideshow Arts

Fire breathers risk burns, both internal and external, as well as poisoning in the pursuit of their art.
Fire breathers risk burns, both internal and external, as well as poisoning in the pursuit of their art.

Hat tricks can include juggling with hats, balancing hats, etc., but 'Chapeaugraphy' is more similar to mime or mimicry. Chapeaugraphy uses a circle or donut of felt, sometimes other shapes, which is twisted, turned, flopped or bent, and put on the head to resemble some other type of hat or character...or animal for that matter. The same felt circle is used to create dozens of different styles, in a Chapeaugraphy performance. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Chapeaugraphy, occasionally anglicised to chapography, is a panhandling trick in which a ring-shaped piece of felt is manipulated to look like various types of hats. ...

Fire is placed inside the mouth, on the tongue, or even swallowed, in a manner similar to that of a sword swallower. Categories: Stub | Circus skills | Sideshow attractions ...

Fuel is expirated or 'blown' out of the mouth, forcefully, across a flame or ignition source held at arm's length, causing a cloud of fire -- seemingly erupting from the firebreather's throat. Exposure to volatile fuels creates a toxic hazard, as well as the more obvious risk of immolation. A man demonstrates his skill at fire breathing Fire breathing is the act of creating a large flame by spraying, with ones breath, a flammable liquid upon an open flame. ...

fire, used as a prop, in a performance akin to rhythmic gymnastics and dance. The performer may perform inside a circle of flames; and may wave fire wands, torches, or batons; and may twirl, toss, or touch flames on any number of firedancing apparatuses. A firedancer with poi Firedancing (also known as fire twirling, fire spinning, or fire manipulation) is a group of circus-art disciplines that involve manipulation of objects on fire. ...

and other hoop or ring spinning skills can include dance, juggling and other skills as well as the more familiar undulating-hip-type hula. The hoop or hoops may be spun around the neck, arms, legs, hips, chest etc. This art can include contortion/gymnastic techniques as well. The hula hoop is a toy hoop that promotes physical activity. ...

Binomial name Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758 The Horse (Equus caballus) is a sizeable ungulate mammal, one of the seven modern species of the genus Equus. ... Knife throwing is an art, or variously an entertainment technique, involving an artist skilled in the art of throwing knives, the weapon(s) s/he is throwing, and a target. ... A flourish with a deck of playing cards. ... Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) is an Internet Standard for the format of e-mail. ... Poi, the food Poi is a Hawaiian word for the primary Polynesian food staple made from the stem (called a corm, a type of rhizome) of the kalo plant (known widely as taro). ... A side show is an extra secondary production associated with a circus. ... A strongman is a political leader who rules by force and runs an authoritarian regime. ... Sword swallowing is a dangerous performance art, in which the performer inserts a sword into his mouth and down his esophagus towards his stomach. ... A stiltwalker participates in a parade dressed as a court jester Stilts are poles, posts or pillars used to allow a person or structure to stand at a certain distance above the ground. ... A juggler riding an unicycle A unicycle is a one-wheeled human powered vehicle. ... Ventriloquism is an act of deception in which a person (ventriloquist) manipulates his or her voice so that it appears that the voice is coming from elsewhere. ... A whip is a tapered flexible length of either a single cord or plaited (braided) leather or other material, commonly with a stiff handle. ... Jump rope, also known as skipping rope or skip rope, is a game played primarily by children and primarily by girls in which one or more children jump over a spinning rope so that it passes under their feet and over their heads. ...

List of other wikis

Circus open book in Spanish.


Juggling wiki


See also

old photo of Barnum and Bailey Circus train photo from Florida Photographic Collection A circus train is a modern method of conveyance for circus troupes. ... There have been many famous Modern circuses since the first modern circus was staged by Philip Astley in London on January 9, 1768. ... Showmens Rest Cemetery Showmens Rest in Forest Park, Illinois is a 750 plot section of Woodlawn Cemetery where a mass grave of 56 (or perhaps 61) employees of the Hagenbeck-Wallace circus were interred. ...

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