Monday, April 17, 2017

DEATH OF A TRADITION - "Greatest Show on Earth"

COMMENT:  I am sorry to see them go, but considering all that's change, especially the advent of Cirque du Soleil, it was bound to happen.

"After fame, magic and controversy, Ringling Brothers Circus will take its last bow" PBS NewsHour 4/10/2017


SUMMARY:  For 146 years, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus has been awing audiences with acrobatic spectacles and animal stunts.  But next month, “the greatest show on earth” will take its final bow after its parent company pulled the plug due to declining ticket sales.  Its ringmaster and others weigh in on what has made the circus special to its performers and fans.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  For many years, 146, to be exact, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus has been awing crowds with acrobatic feats and animal stunts.  But the 'Greatest Show on Earth' is coming to an end next month.

Its parent company made the decision after ticket sales had been dropping for years.  The circus also struggled with a long court battle over the treatment of animals, particularly the elephants.

The circus won in court, but the elephants were dropped from the show.

We caught up as Ringling Brothers rolled through Washington, D.C., one more time, and spoke with longtime performers and their families.

JOHNATHAN LEE IVERSON, Ringmaster:  My name is Johnathan Lee Iverson, Ringmaster of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey.

It's just pure, unadulterated, unapologetic entertainment.  Where everything you look at now is sort of defiled, circus is the last bit of magic in the world, and your children's imaginations are safe there.  Your imagination is safe here.

TATIANA TCHALABAEV, Queen of the Circus of Fire:  Well, in this amazing show, I'm playing the character of the Queen Tatiana of the Circus of Fire.

We are artists.  We are performers, like the people in the movies.  They're coming out there and they are doing the shot.  We are doing live.

We don't have no repeats.  We basically have to perform our stunts.

No comments: