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The Word on Circus: March 2014

In this March edition of The Word on Circus, ASCA wish to focus on several social circus organizations that wish to make a difference in the Middle East and South Asia. What they are doing are nothing short of miracles. You can also find the links to these stories on our Facebook page.


In Pictures: ‘Circus Behind the Wall’

” ‘Circus Behind the Wall’ (the first show produced by the school) talked about the separation of families and lovers. We played behind the Wall on the stage. Internationally we perform politically to tell our stories,” Abdallah said. Politics is in our lives, but when we perform here we also need to make people laugh and forget. It is very important to see a child smile. Palestine needs a lot of things, and one of them is circus.”

Spreading hope and fostering inclusion

After starting out in the summer of 2006 as a tiny circus group in Ramallah, the Palestinian Circus School has long since expanded its activities to the entire West Bank: today, young people learn dance, acrobatics and performance skills in Ramallah, Hebron, Jenin and Bethlehem, at the Al Faraa and Jalazon refugee camps, and of course at the headquarters in Birzeit.

Afghanistan’s circus gives children fun with a future

“Left on the street, kids turn to bad things, becoming suicide bombers or street thugs,” said Murtaza Nowrozi, an 18-year-old juggler from the western province of Herat. “It’s better for them to go to school and join programs like this.”


Circus Troupe Tries to Lift Spirits of Syrian Refugees

“Of course our goal is not to be circus artists, but to be in a safe place for two hours every day,” says Topi Hurtig, the Finnish circus trainer in perhaps the most novel social program to rise from the maelstrom surrounding Syria’s civil war. “We use circus as a way of improving people’s psychological well being.”



The World on Circus: December 2013

Cirque du Soleil’s Crystal Ladies on The Ellen Show. December 3.

The Word on Circus: November 2013

Performers without Borders recently posted a video from its trip to Granada, Nica, in early 2013.

Brattleboro native’s documentary reveals beauty, art of the circus industry. November 1, 2013. By Brattleboro Reformer newspaper.

[Angela Snow] said her film follows five top circus acts from around the world to the Monte-Carlo Circus Festival, which she described as the industry’s equivalent of The Sundance Film Festival or the Olympics. She said it lifts the veil on the history, culture and behind-the-scenes life of the circus on an international scale through interviews with the founder of the Big Apple Circus, the owner of Ringling Bros. Circus, and the artistic director of Cirque du Soleil.

Watch the trailer:

Visit the World Circus website: http://worldcircusculturemovie.com/

A unique circus school in Palestine. November 14, 2013. On gulfnews.com.

For Shadi Zmorrod, it began as a love for juggling. Soon, the Palestinian Circus School took shape, and now he is aiming for a wider social impact.

Circus performer brings message performance to Northfield. November 2, 2013. On Glencoe News.

Born in Awasa, Ethiopia, Tamrat and other children in the village had little to no food to eat. At the age of 8, Meshu and his peers formed the Debub Nigat (Southern Dawn) Circus. The circus performed in the town market as a way to earn money for food.

The Circus Project. November 29, 2013. The Oregonian.

“Gradually, I got a lot stronger. I could do pull-ups, which was really exciting! As things have progressed, I have more confidence in the way that I carry myself, not only up in the air but also just in the world around me.”

The Word on Circus: October 2013

Check out this more than amazing performance by Cirque du Soleil’s Totem on the Jay Leno Tonight Show: http://www.hulu.com/watch/561855


The Word on Circus: September 2013

Studio to Boost Dance, Circus Skill

Stuff.co.nz. September 9, 2013.

Christchurch could become the dance and circus capital of Australasia if a custom-designed performance and studio space included in rebuild plans comes to fruition. The proposed performance and studio complex could draw circus performers back to the city and provide a home for Christchurch’s nearly 400 dance groups, many of whom have been operating out of garages and sheds since the earthquakes.

Remembering the Lewis Brothers Circus based in Jackson, Michigan

Michigan Radio. September 5, 2013.

In 1929, Paul and Mae Lewis founded the Lewis Bros. Circus. The traveling circus was based in Jackson, Michigan and traveled throughout the state. They even went to Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, dazzling small towns with exotic creatures and acrobats. Grace Wolbrink has put together a collection of stories from the Lewis family.

Magic in Motion 

A multimedia styled video

San Jose Mercury News. September 3, 2013.

In opening a number of South Bay performances, the internationally acclaimed Circus Vargas troupe recently transformed the Great Mall parking lot into a magical landscape of color, supplying gravity-defying flights and waves of delirious delight…As a photographer, I was allowed backstage access into a contemplative world of the men, women and talented kids who treat the public to astonishing athleticism, physical beauty and acrobatic prowess.

Oakland’s Grassroots Circus Acts Both Modern and Retro

San Francisco Chronicle. September 3, 2013.

The acrobats don’t work for Ringling Bros., and they aren’t paid, either. These performers have come from across the United States to join “tech circus,” a grassroots movement that is making Oakland a national force in the highly technical discipline of circus arts.

The Word on Circus is a collection of monthly posts with links to online content relating to circus and performance. If you spot something online that you think others might find of interest, just send us a link and we will add it to this dedicated blog page. Contact ASCA on asca@rednosefoundation.com

The Word on Circus: August 2013

The Circus Comes to Town Juggling Fun With Life Lessons

Seattle Times. August 15, 2013.

Seattle is hosting its first American Youth Circus Festival, drawing 300 students and instructors from across the country — and a handful from beyond — for five days of lessons and practice sessions in dozens of circus-related skills … By the time they head home Sunday, these visitors, from 8 to 21 years old, will be slightly better at juggling, unicycle riding or flying on a trapeze. More importantly, they’ll be a step closer to being strong, confident, goal-oriented, community-minded young adults.

How to Run Away and Join The Circus

Backstage. August 7, 2013.

Over the course of five days and more than 150 skill- and discussion-based workshops, young circus aficionados from 30 states and three countries will flock to feed their hunger for an art that occupies a niche market.

‘Absinthe’ high-wire performers show bravery and skill

Las Vegas Review-Journal. August 4, 2013.

There’s a moment — a millisecond, really — when you’re suspended in the air, only a half-inch wire between life and possible death. In that sliver of time, fear bubbles up from your belly. It’s your instinct trying to warn you that danger lies ahead.

The Word on Circus is a collection of monthly posts with links to online content relating to circus and performance. If you spot something online that you think others might find of interest, just send us a link and we will add it to this dedicated blog page. Contact ASCA on asca@rednosefoundation.com

The Word on Circus: July 2013

Real-Estate Developer Shows His Zest for Art

The Columbus Dispatch. July 7, 2013.

Karel Appel crop

An interesting story about a wealthy property developer man who loves art (his first purchase was Circus People by Karel Appel in 1972) and has decided it’s time to share his collection with the general public through a nonprofit gallery project and a gallery space within a new $65 million hotel.

Success gave Pizzuti the means to collect the paintings his heart desired, and his collection grew rapidly. He is one of the top 200 collectors in the world, according to ARTnews magazine. The paintings, drawings and sculptures he collected filled his home and eventually a warehouse, and a rotating portion will soon be on display at the Pizzuti Collection in the Short North, an 18,000-square-foot museum in renovated space that is scheduled to open on Sept. 7.

The Pizzuti Collection is a non-profit 501c3 exhibition space dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art from the collection of Ron and Ann Pizzuti.

Local Trapeze Artist Wows In Manassas Appearance

By Associated Press on the Washing Post. July 6, 2013.

About a young trapeze artist whose determination and smarts has got her to where she is today.

“I’m not the strongest, and I’m not the most flexible. It’s just that when someone says no, I don’t listen,” she said. Throughout her schooling, she repeatedly pushed her instructors to let her try more than they had thought her capable of.

She also attributes her success to the background in physics that could have led her to the engineering program at Wellesley.

Guardian UK. July 9, 2013.
A follow-up article about the recent tragic death of a Cirque du Soleil performer in Las Vegas and the ongoing issues faced by the Canadian company.

Around the world, Cirque du Soleil is known for its thrilling animal-free acts. Its colourful aesthetic forged in the bilingual city of Montreal has proved easy to export. Within the industry, however, the company is equally well known for the steps it takes to protect the performers that help it pull in an estimated $1bn (£674m) annually from ticket and merchandising sales.

Juggling Ways to Beat Scourge of Sniffing

The Australian. July 9, 2013.

An Aboriginal community plagued by petrol-sniffing just a few years ago, is starting to come back to life with the development of a local circus troupe boosting self-esteem and lifting the spirits of elders.

Circus is a collection of monthly posts with links to online content relating to circus and performance. If you spot something online that you think others might find of interest, just send us a link and we will add it to this dedicated blog page. Contact ASCA on asca@rednosefoundation.com