1) Let’s start with the basics: Circus Fact #1: The word “circus” comes from the Latin word meaning circle or ring.
2) Circus Fact #2: A traditional circus is a traveling company of acrobats and performers, including trained animals and clowns.
3) Circus Fact #3: Cirque Nouveau combines art forms like juggling, trapeze, acting & music w/out a ring leader, animals or “big top” tent.
4) Circus Fact #4: In order to execute tricks safely, circus performers have to work as an ensemble- a group of equals without a single star.
5) Circus Fact #5: Basic balancing act= a base to lift/catch the flyer + a flyer who performs skills mid-air + a spotter who assists the flyer.
6) Circus Fact #6: Performers let us know their acts are done w/ their own signature style- maybe a wink, a hand gesture, or a “Ta-da!”
7) Circus Fact #7: Clowning is highly physical theater, often without text, that draws on traditions of Commedia dell’Arte and pantomime.
8) Circus Fact #8: Chaplin, one of the most influential clowns/comedians once entered a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest and came in third!
9) Circus Fact #9: The Flying Fruit Fly Circus, where many of Circa’s artists trained is the only fulltime circus school for children in Australia.
10) Circus Fact #10: Cigar boxes are still a popular juggling prop today, used for high-speed mid-air box exchanges, balancing & other tricks.
11) Circus Fact #11: Legendary screen star Cary Grant started his performance career working as an acrobat and juggler.
12) Circus Fact #12: Contortionism is a circus genre in which a performer displays unusually flexible muscles and mobile joints.
13) Circus Fact #13: Funambulism (or tightrope walking) is the art of walking along a thin wire or rope, usually at a great height.
14) Circus Fact #14: It is statistically harder to get into The Ringling Brothers School of Clowning than it is to get into Harvard Law School.
15) Circus Fact #15: The simplest form of juggling using 3 objects is called a “3 ball cascade.”
17) Circus Fact #17: Did you know? Human cannonballs travel between 60-70 miles an hour every time they are shot.
18) Circus Fact #18: One circus superstition is that performers must enter the ring on their right foot to avoid bad luck.
19) Circus Fact #19: For good luck, some circus performers keep a hair from an elephant’s tail in their pockets.
20) Circus Fact #20: Once a performer's wardrobe trunk is set down backstage, it's considered bad luck to move it before the circus relocates.
22) Circus Fact #22: In circus lingo, a strolling vendor who sells concession items like popcorn and toys to the audience is called a butcher.
23) Circus Fact #23: The Oscar-winning 1952 circus epic, The Greatest Show on Earth, was the first film Steven Spielberg ever saw in a theater.
24) Circus Fact #24: A free pass is called an Annie Oakley- the small hole punched in the ticket resembles sharpshooter Oakley's bullet holes.
25) Circus Fact #25: A lot of circus superstitions have developed along with traditions: one is that whistling backstage is considered bad luck.
28) Circus Fact #28: In 1793, John Bill Ricketts presented the first circus in America in Philly on April 3rd: Pres. George Washington attended.
29) Circus Fact #29: The modern circus- equestrian acts, feats of strength/agility and a clown- was created by Philip Astley in 1770 in England.
30) Circus Fact #30: Italian equestrian Giuseppe Chiarini led the most well-traveled early circus- visiting over 15 countries on 5 continents!
32) Circus Fact #32: And another circus superstition: Bringing a peacock feather into the circus tent is said to be bad luck.
33) Circus Fact #33: In 1882, Jumbo the Elephant comes to the US via Barnum/London show & jumbo becomes a synonym 4 large. http://bit.ly/bte8FO
34) Circus Fact #34: "Social Circus" programs reach marginalized groups utilizing circus skills as tools for empowerment.
35) Circus Fact #35: Did you know that circus is over 2,000 years old? The Chinese Circus dates back to the Qin Dynasty of 225 - 207BC.
37) Circus Fact #37: In 1971, the 1st week of August was designated National Clown Week by President Richard Nixon.
38) Circus Fact #38: There are 3 types of clowns: Whiteface(the oldest), Auguste(zany and dim) & the Character Clown(Happy Hobo or Sad Tramp).
39) Circus Fact #39: Did you know? Saigon, the oldest circus elephant in Australia, is 55 years old!
40) Circus Fact #40: Looking for local circus happenings or juggling resources? Visit circusnyc.com and jugglenyc.com!
42) Circus Fact #42: Sword Swallowers practice their craft first with spoons, plastic tubes, knitting needles and wire coat hangers.
43) Circus Fact #43: Most contortionists are either frontbenders or backbenders, depending on which direction their spine is more flexible.
44) Circus Fact #44: Enterology is the practice of squeezing one's body into a very small box or container.
45) Circus Fact #45: The only full-time, permanent sideshow left in the world is Coney Island Sideshows by the Seashore.