A reckless era the evolution of trapeze


Auteurs : Gossard, Steve (Auteur) ; Thayer, Stuart (Préfacier)

Lieu de publication : Normal (IL)

Date de publication : 2012

Langue : Anglais

Description : 244 p. : ill. coul. ; 28 cm.

Notes : Bibliogr. : p. 216-225.Index.

Sujets :
Histoire des arts du cirque - États-Unis
Histoire de l'acrobatie aérienne
Artistes de cirque - États-Unis - Biographies
Trapèze - Histoire
Trapèze fixe
Trapèze ballant
Trapèze volant

Dépouillement du document :
Forward / Stewart Thayer

1-Two Local Legends :
The Era of Reckless Innovation

2- The Invention of the Trapeze :
The Single Trapeze
Balancing Trapeze Acts
Feats of Strength (with remarks on iron jaw)
Frank Shepherd
Women on the Single Trapeze; The Foucart Sisters
Lillian Leitzel
Erma Ward
Mickey King & Ullaine Malloy
Variations on the Single Trapeze
The Double Trapeze
Variations on the Double Trapeze

3- Flying :
L’Echelle Perileuse
The Hanlon Brothers and the Casting Act
Leotard and the Flying Bar Act
The Rizarellis and the Double Flying Bar Act
Tricks on the Flying Bars
Safety Nets
Sketches of Some Flying Bar Artists
Joseph Pafu
Leona Dare
Gonza and Romah
The Hanlon-Lees/The Hanlon-Voltas

4- The Leap for Life :
First Tricks to a Catcher
Variations on the Leap for Life
Children on the Trapeze
Early Human Projectiles
Loyal and Zulia
Catapult Variations

5- The Flying Return :
Ladies’ Tricks

6- Early Acts/Training Centers :
Early Acts
Two Centers of Aerial Arts
Bloomington, Illinois
Saginaw, Michigan

Résumé :
A typical nineteenth-century program was overwhelmingly a presentation of horse acts. There were child riders, women riders and men riders. There were two, four and six horse acts. There was hurdle riding, dressage and even horses that performed riderless. From seventy-five to ninety percent of the acts in a circus of that time involved horses. The popularity of the rider was a reflection of the place of the horse in society. Nearly everyone in the nineteenth-century owned, bought, sole, rode or drove horses, even in urban areas. Because of this they appreciated watching fine animals brought to the peak of training.

The decade of the 1880’s saw the beginning of the greatest period of expansion in America. Almost every aspect of life grew at a rapid pace. Immigration, financial structures and the construction of the cities all boomed exponentially. With this, the simple circus of the Civil War era became touched with what has been termed giantism. Competition between the showmen led to the acquisition of herds of elephants, many caged menageries, expanded programs and huge tents, seating as many as seven or eight thousand people. The trapeze acts, which had been confined to single performers in the low-ceilinged tents of the sixties, now became the flying acts of our time. With fifty and sixty foot high tents two and three hundred feet long, there was at least room for these aerial acts, which until that time had been confined to theatres and halls. It was this change that led to the relative demise of the horse acts, which had not changed, essentially, since the beginning of the institution. The trapeze performers, high above the crowd, throwing their bodies through the air, literally defying injury, became the favorites of the crowd. To this day, it is the aerial acts that are the climax of the circus programs.

Surprisingly, the literature of the circus has lagged far behind the popularity of the flying trapeze. Moreover, the history of these acts has been virtually ignored until quite recently. Why this should be, we are not sure, but we are thankful that Steve Gossard has decided to take upon himself the research into and chronicling of that history. There is something of present excitement as well as nostalgia in watching men and women thrust their bodies through the air in what is often the most graceful and athletic pursuits. That their efforts have a long and interesting history is borne out by the pages that follow.

Remerciement au donateur : Steve Gossard

Collection : Bibliothèque de l'École nationale de cirque

Localisation : Bibliothèque

Cote : 791.340 973 G677r 2012

  • Ex. 1 — disponible


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