Description : In the 1970s a group of men and women with few ties to the circus emerged from the counterculture revolution and took to the streets, where they discovered how to entertain an audience. At a time when the Big Top was beset by shabby excess, escalating costs, and competition from movies and TV, the young performers dedicated themselves to skill and intimacy, beginning the movement Ernest Albrecht describes as the "new American circus", a reinvention of the circus as an authentic form of art. The first - and most radical - aspect of this movement was its revival of the traditions of the great one-ring shows of Europe and Russia. Focusing on artistry, not spectacle, the new American circus incorporated such allied arts as music and dance and embraced a notion of ensemble that was compatible with the communal ethic of the seventies. Working from interviews and other primary sources, Albrecht traces this history to the present (including current controversies over animal performers and efforts to secure subsidies), sketching the leading players in the new circus and profiling the shows they founded.
Description : During the years 1880 to 1940, the glory days of the American circus, a third to a half of the cast members were women—a large group of very visible American workers whose story needs telling. This book, using sources such as diaries, autobiographies, newspaper accounts, films, posters, and route books, first considers the popular media’s presentation of these performers as unnatural and scandalous—as well as romantic and thrilling. Next are the stories told by circus women, which contradict and complicate other versions of their lives. Across America in those years an array of acts featured women, such as tableaux, freak shows, girlie shows, tiger acts, and aerial performances, all involving special skills and all detailed here. The book offers a unique and fascinating view of not just the circus but of what it meant to be an American woman at work.
Description : Creating the Contemporary Circus is an examination and analysis of the creative process whereby such circuses as Cirque du Soleil, the Big Apple Circus and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey develop their productions.
Description : To both young and old, the circus remains an icon of American entertainment, a wholesome pastime untouched by the passing years. But the modern circus, with its three rings, ringmaster, animals, and acrobats, is the product of nearly three hundred years of evolution. This intriguing work chronicles the history of the American circus from its roots in England through its importation to America to the end of the nineteenth century. It introduces the early pioneers of the circus, addresses business concerns such as management and training, and discusses the development of the show itself, including the incorporation of menageries, the need for animal training and care, the addition of circus music, the use of the tent, and the unique attractions of side shows and “freaks.” Personal stories of those who made their lives under the “big top” are woven throughout the narrative, adding an intimate perspective to one of America’s most enduring entertainments.
Description : In April 1884, Ben Wallace, the owner of the local livery, opened the season of his new circus in Peru and billed it as Wallace and Companys Great Worlds Menagerie and International Circus. It was an instant success and soon grew to be one of the largest and most renowned circuses in American history. Over the next 50 years, many circuses found a home in Peru. Under the direction of the American Circus Corporation, an industry was created in Peru that employed as many as 4,500 people. Circuses like the Hagenbeck-Wallace, John Robinson, and Sells-Floto/Buffalo Bills Wild West Show departed Peru by rail each spring, along with some of the best acts from around the world, including Terrell the Lion King Jacobs; the worlds favorite clown, Emmett Kelly; and animal trainer Clyde Beatty, who played himself in 12 Hollywood movies. In 1929, Ringling Brothers purchased the American Circus Corporation. As the country sank into the Depression, fewer circuses left Peru each season. In 1941, Ringling Brothers closed its winter quarters in Peru, ending an era.
Description : Acrobats and manipulators of objects, trained animals, and clowns – have been performing throughout history. In the eighteenth century, the invention of the circus ring provided a focus for the activities, and the modern circus was born. Once the circus was the most spectacular entertainment many Americans saw. When the supply of cheap labor disappeared and other forms of entertainment became available, the giant circuses shrank, and in the last quarter of the twentieth century new one ring circuses returned. The Circus and Circus Culture area of the Popular Culture Association has been examining circus history, circus life, the relationship of circus to society, and the impact of circus on the visual and literary arts since 1997. This book is a collection of papers from its annual conferences. "This fascinating collection showcases the transnational richness and cultural depth of the circus in an array of historical and contemporary settings. Strongly recommended for circus enthusiasts and students of popular culture, history, and theater." —Janet M.Davis, Associate Professor, Chair of the Department of American Studies, College of Liberal Arts at UT Austin, author of The Circus Age: Culture and Society under the American Big Top
Description : A century ago, daily life ground to a halt when the circus rolled into town. Across America, banks closed, schools canceled classes, farmers left their fields, and factories shut down so that everyone could go to the show. In this entertaining and provocative book, Janet Davis links the flowering of the early-twentieth-century American railroad circus to such broader historical developments as the rise of big business, the breakdown of separate spheres for men and women, and the genesis of the United States' overseas empire. In the process, she casts the circus as a powerful force in consolidating the nation's identity as a modern industrial society and world power. Davis explores the multiple "shows" that took place under the big top, from scripted performances to exhibitions of laborers assembling and tearing down tents to impromptu spectacles of audiences brawling, acrobats falling, and animals rampaging. Turning Victorian notions of gender, race, and nationhood topsy-turvy, the circus brought its vision of a rapidly changing world to spectators--rural as well as urban--across the nation. Even today, Davis contends, the influence of the circus continues to resonate in popular representations of gender, race, and the wider world.
Description : Members of the beloved clown troupe share their stories, recalling performences with Cirque du Soleil, Circus Flora, and other groups. Simultaneous.
Description : One of the most important voices in contemporary American journalism - Independent Matt Taibbi is one of the few journalists in America who speaks truth to power - Bernie Sanders Matt Taibbi is the best polemic journalist in America - Felix Salmon NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "The thing is, when you actually think about it, it's not funny. Given what's at stake, it's more like the opposite, like the first sign of the collapse of the United States as a global superpower. Twenty years from now, when we're all living like prehistory hominids and hunting rats with sticks, we'll probably look back at this moment as the beginning of the end." In this groundbreaking battery of dispatches from the heartland of America, Matt Taibbi tells the full story of the Trump phenomenon, from its tragi-comic beginnings to the apocalyptic election. Full of sharp, on-the-ground reporting and gallows humour, his incisive analysis goes beyond the bizarre and disturbing election to tell a wider story of the apparent collapse of American democracy. Taibbi saw the essential themes right from the start: the power of spectacle over truth; the end of a shared reality on the left and right; the nihilistic rebellion of the white working class; the death of the political establishment; and the emergence of a new, explicit form of white nationalism. From the thwarted Bernie Sanders insurgency to the aimless Hillary Clinton campaign, across the flailing media coverage and the trampled legacy of Obama, this is the story of ordinary voters forced to bear witness to the whole charade. At the centre of it all, "a bumbling train wreck of a candidate who belched and preened his way past a historically weak field" who, improbably, has taken control of the world's most powerful nation. This is essential and hilarious reading that explores how the new America understands itself, and about the future of the world just beyond the horizon.
Description : Deliberately eclectic and panoramic, THE NEW AMERICAN CINEMA brings together thirteen leading film scholars who present a range of theoretical, critical, and historical perspectives on a rich and pivotal time in American cinema--that from the mid 1960s to the present. With its range of topics and breadth of critical approaches, this anthology illuminates the volatile mix of industrial process and artistic inspiration that comprises American moviemaking. 46 photos.