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Circus

commonly a travelling company of performers
...trained animals, and other novelty acts, that gives shows usually in a circular tent.
Circus, n. A place where horses,ponies and elephants are permitted to see men, women and children acting the fool. - Ambrose Bierce.
Philip Astley was a horseman with a British dragoon regiment from about 1759 and at first was the sole performer in the Amphitheatre, specializing in riding with one foot on the saddle and one on the horse’s head while brandishing a sword. He gradually included other equestrians, acrobats, rope dancers, aerialists, clowns, and the first recorded circus freak show. - The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica.
Take a look at those clowns
And the tricks that they play
In the circus of life... - Kate Bush.
Damn everything but the circus!...The average 'painter' 'sculptor' 'poet' 'composer' 'playwright' is a person who cannot leap through a hoop from the back of a galloping horse, make people laugh with a clown's mouth, orchestrate twenty lions. -E.E. Cummings.

A circus is a company of performers that may include acrobats, clowns, trained animals, and other novelty acts, that gives shows usually in a circular tent. The term 'circus' also describes the performance which has followed various formats through its 150 year modern history. It also denotes a round open space in a town or city where multiple streets meet. In the historical perspective, in the ancient Roman Empire, it was a building for chariot racing. During World War II it was a code name for bomber attacks with fighter escorts in the day time. The attacks were against short-range targets with the intention of occupying enemy fighters and keeping their fighter units in the area concerned. Usage as circuit, space, and enclosure, is now obsolete.


CONTENT : A - F , G - L , M - R , S - Z , See also , External links

QuotesEdit

Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author

A - FEdit

  • If we wanted applause, we would have joined the circus.
  • The way to go to the circus, however, is with someone who has seen perhaps one theatrical performance before in his life and that in the High School hall...The scales of sophistication are struck from your eyes and you see in the circus a gathering of men and women who are able to do things as a matter of course which you couldn’t do if your life depended on it.
  • I’ve been through everything. I always said I was like those round-bottomed circus dolls — you know, those dolls you could push down and they’d come back up? I’ve always been like that. I’ve always said, "No matter what happens, if I get pushed down, I’m going to come right back up.
  • The attraction of the virtuoso for the public is very like that of the circus for the crowd. There is always a hope that something dangerous may happen: Mr. X may play the violin with Mr. Y on his shoulders; or Mr. Z may conclude his piece by lifting the piano with his teeth.

G - LEdit

 
The circus had been unlike anything I could ever imagine and I could not walk away. I wanted to be a part of the magic, create it and field it with such skill that it looked effortless. I wanted to fly. - Laura Lam.
 
Well she's walking through the clouds
With a circus mind, that's running round...Jimi Hendrix.
 
What a circus act we women perform every day of our lives. Look at us. We run a tightrope daily, balancing a pile of books on the head. Baby-carriage, parasol, kitchen chair, still under control. Steady now! This is not the life of simplicity but the life of multiplicity that the wise men warn us of. - Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
  • How many of these children would one day be queer? How many would be felled by the acronym? How many by something else? How many would forget the circus? How many would never see it at all? How many would join?”
  • The circus had been unlike anything I could ever imagine and I could not walk away. I wanted to be a part of the magic, create it and wield it with such skill that it looked effortless. I wanted to fly.
 
Circus Maximus, and more freq. κατ̓ ἐξοχήν Circus, the oval circus built by Tarquinius Priscus between the Palatine and Aventine hills, which could contain more than one hundred thousand spectators. It was surrounded by galleries three stories high, and a canal called Euripus...Charlton T. Lewis.
  • Circus Maximus, and more freq. κατ̓ ἐξοχήν Circus, the oval circus built by Tarquinius Priscus between the Palatine and Aventine hills, which could contain more than one hundred thousand spectators. It was surrounded by galleries three stories high, and a canal called Euripus. Through its whole length, in the middle, a wall four feet high and about twelve broad was built, called spina, at the ends of which there were three columns upon one base (meta), around which the combatants were required to pass seven times before the prize was awarded. In the middle of the spina, Cæsar erected the obelisk, 132 feet high, brought from Egypt.
 
Painted and smiling, I balance on my trapeze. Luka is poised ten metres away, his muscles shining under the lights. The wooden circles in his earlobes twitch as his jaw clenches, unclenches, clenches. - Kirsty Logan.
  • The circus building itself was based on the Greek hippodrome. The circus had seats for spectators around a "u" shaped arena. The racing took place in the arena around a barrier (spina) in the middle, with turning posts (metae) around each end. At one end of the arena were the starting gates. The first circus built in Rome was the Circus Maximus that was constructed during the monarchy. It was built completely from wood. Later it was rebuilt at various times. The final version could seat 250,000 people, it was built of stone and measured 400 m in length and 90 m in width.
    • Ludi In: "History of the Ludi"

M - REdit

 
Just as people can watch spellbound a circus artist tumbling through the air in a phosphorized costume, so they can listen to a preacher who uses the Word of God to draw attention to himself...Henri Nouwen.
 
...called “The Father of the American Circus” he sold his horses and set sail for England in 1800. He and all hands were lost at sea, a final twist to the pattern of ill luck that had plagued his last years. - John Bill Ricketts.
  • In the mid 19th century there were hundreds of circuses operating in Britain. Trick riding continued to be the main attraction, but a variety of other acts developed. There was even an aquatic circus where the circus ring was flooded with water... One of the factors that made circus so popular was that fairground entertainers traveled to their audiences. From the late 18th century circuses toured to even the smallest towns and in the 19th century the development of the railways enabled circuses to travel further. By the 1870s huge circuses were touring across Europe and America with two or three trainloads of equipment.
 
Animals aren’t actors, spectacles to imprison and gawk at, or circus clowns. Yet thousands of these animals are forced to perform silly, confusing tricks under the threat of physical punishment; are carted across the country in cramped and stuffy boxcars or semi-truck trailers; are kept chained or caged in barren, boring, and filthy enclosures; and are separated from their families and friends—all for the sake of human “entertainment.” Many of these animals even pay with their lives. -PeTA.
  • Just as people can watch spellbound a circus artist tumbling through the air in a phosphorized costume, so they can listen to a preacher who uses the Word of God to draw attention to himself. But a sensational preacher stimulates the senses and leaves the spirit untouched. Instead of being the way to God, his 'being different' gets in the way.
  • Animals aren’t actors, spectacles to imprison and gawk at, or circus clowns. Yet thousands of these animals are forced to perform silly, confusing tricks under the threat of physical punishment; are carted across the country in cramped and stuffy boxcars or semi-truck trailers; are kept chained or caged in barren, boring, and filthy enclosures; and are separated from their families and friends—all for the sake of human “entertainment.” Many of these animals even pay with their lives.
  • They were brought out of Africa and into chains in America. Or they were born into slavery here. Yes, I am talking about the first African-Americans to reach these shores, but I am also describing the animals now enslaved in circuses. The species and continents are different, but the stories are tragically similar. The animals in circuses are held against their will by chains and domination. They are forced to perform a series of acts by coercion and violence because they would never normally do these things on their own. They can never choose their own partners, their own homes, their own food or have control over any aspect of their lives. I don't care how this is dressed up by promoters with music and lights, it is still slavery.
  • In 1924, J.W. Bancker's was the first American to use the word "circus" in the title of his troupe, J.W.Bancker's New York Circus.
 
Life is a great big beautiful three-ring circus. There are those on the floor making their lives among the heads of lions and hoops of fire, and those in the stands, complacent and wowed, their mouths stuffed with popcorn.

S - ZEdit

External linksEdit

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