Flying high – the revival of circus arts

The days of lions and elephants parading around every Big Top are gone, but the circus arts are flourishing with a new breed of highly trained performers more breathtaking than ever. What's more, today's circus is officially both an economic and artistic success. Craig Scutt finds out when things started to change for this new millennium circus.
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The days of lions and elephants parading around every Big Top are gone, but the circus arts are flourishing with a new breed of highly trained performers more breathtaking than ever. What’s more, today’s circus is officially both an economic and artistic success.

In his authoritative book The New American Circus (1995), Ernest Albrecht, editor and publisher of Spectacle Magazine, charts the ‘reinvention of the circus as an authentic form of art’ as it emerged from the counterculture revolution of the late sixties. His analysis of the trials brought by economic crises, battles with animal-rights activists and the founding of circus schools focuses on four circuses, the most famous being the internationally acclaimed Cirque du Soleil, based in Montreal, which has led the way in the development of circus arts and taken it to new heights, literally.

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Craig Scutt
About the Author
Craig Scutt is a freelance author, journalist, and writer.