TheÃ Big Apple CircusÃ is one of the world’s most celebrated circuses. Hundreds of thousands of fans fill the seats of its one-ring tent every year; they can see and smell and almost touch the sawdust, the trained animals, and the daring and frequently hilarious human performers. The fans may not realize it, but at the Big Apple Circus they are participating in the rebirth in America of the once-forgotten classical circus, with all its intimacy, drama, and artistry.
The circus in America once meant the Big Top: Three rings! Performers everywhere you looked! Armies of clowns! Human cannonballs! Buy popcorn! Buy cotton candy! Sure you couldnt really see anything, but who cared? It was a spectacle. Then in the hot summer of 1977, a group of struggling jugglers, acrobats, daredevils and people who just loved circuses put up an ill-fitting green tent on a landfill in Lower Manhattan and changed American circus history.
Twenty-five exciting years have now passed. Now is the time to look back at the Big Apple Circus, from its unlikely beginnings to its growth into a beloved New York City institution. Principal author Dominique Jando begins with a short but detailed history of world circus to place the Big Apple Circus within the larger tradition. Other chapters cover the founding of the circus, a behind-the-scenes look at how the shows are created, and a fascinating travelogue describing one week of the circus on the road, with all the hard work, meticulous organization, and surprising ordinariness that is the life of a circus worker. The book features the cast, crews and highlights of all of the Big Apple Circus’s 25 years of shows, each with numerous, full-color illustrations.
The book ends with a description of the circus’s four renowned community programs, most notably the Clown Care Unit, which bring the circus’s special joys to audiences otherwise unable to appreciate it.
- For every circus fan, this is the first, complete, copiously illustrated book about one of the world’s greatest circuses and a beloved New York City institution, now celebrating its 25th anniversary
- Fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the daily life of a circus
- Includes an eye-opening history of world circus by one of the leading circus historians
- 380 dramatic color photos of Big Apple Circus shows by the world’s foremost circus photographers
About the author ofÃ Big Apple Circus 25th Anniversary Book
Principal author Dominique Jando is recognized as one of the worldÃ¯ ¿ ½s leading experts on circus. He first stepped into the circus ring four decades ago when he became a clown with ParisÃ¯ ¿ ½s legendary Cirque Medrano. A historian of circus and other popular entertainments, he has published four books and written many articles on these subjects, both in Europe and the United States.