The Contemporary Circus: Art of the Spectacular

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9780810857346: The Contemporary Circus: Art of the Spectacular

The fun, energy, and hard work integral to the exciting world of the circus is lovingly captured in The Contemporary Circus: Art of the Spectacular, an in depth look at the creative process of today's circuses. Through numerous personal interviews with directors, designers, composers and performers, author Ernest Albrecht provides a unique inside view of the journey through which the most innovative and exciting modern circuses are produced, from the director and production team to the performers, and from designing the circus to setting it to music. Case studies of specific productions by the Big Apple Circus, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, and Cirque du Soleil illuminate the artistic give-and-take necessary in such a collaborative process, proving the circus a true art form, one as artistic as theatre or dance. A variety of performers such as animal trainers, dancers, and clowns discuss their approach to their individual specialties, and the text concludes with an examination of the world's circuses and schools and their methods for training circus artists. A full photo spread of 30 beautiful photos will help inspire and enlighten artists and fans alike.

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About the Author:

Ernest Albrecht is founder and editor of Spectacle, a quarterly journal devoted to the circus arts, and is the author of A Ringling by Any Other Name (Scarecrow Press, 1989) and The New American Circus (University Press of Florida, 1995).

Review:

...exhaustive, meticulous, illuminating...highly readable and entertaining...both uplifting and educational. (King Pole)

This penetrating analysis of the contemporary circus is highly recommended for all comprehensive collections and for the serious student of the circus. (Circus Report)

A couple of monkeys and a clown car no longer does a circus make. Now audiences, designers, owners and performers expect the circuses they watch and perform to bend the quality and quantity of space and time, seek out the truths behind fantasy and reality, and hit an emotional and even spiritual spot unreachable by any other art form. Albrecht, a specialist whose credits include a quarterly journal devoted to the circus arts, augments his case studies of productions of leading circuses, including detailed descriptions of the collaborative and individual creative work involved, with commentary pitched to the fascinations of the audience. Commentators include directors, clowns, acrobats, musicians, animal trainers, and dancers as well as instructors in schools for all the above. (Reference and Research Book News)

...an all-access behind-the-scenes view of circus productions....a mine of ideas...fascinating reading.... (Kaskade)

...an important addition to circus literature. Recommended. (CHOICE, Vol. 44, No. 09 (May 2007))

...provides unprecedented scholarly analysis....Short of being invited into the inner circle of circus leadership, there is no better way to appreciate what it takes to produce contemporary circus. (White Tops)

Ernest Albrecht's new book is itself a spectacular journey into the processes, aesthetic and commercial, that go into the big-ticket Big Tops of the twenty-first century....Undergraduates will appreciate its easy-to-follow logic and clarity; graduates and scholars will enjoy its depth and richness of information. (May 2008, Volume 24/2 Ntq Cambridge University Press Journals)

An incisive look at todays circuses, this book reveals the hard work and planning behind such shows as Cirque du Soleil. From costumers to choreographers, performers to stagehands, this book is facinating. (Teacher Librarian, October 01, 2008)

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Ernest Albrecht
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ISBN 10: 0810857340 ISBN 13: 9780810857346
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Ernest Albrecht
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