Roll up, roll up! 250 years of circuses

O'Gorman, Siobhan (2018) Roll up, roll up! 250 years of circuses. RTÉ Brainstorm .

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Roll up, roll up! 250 years of circuses
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Circus has a chequered and fascinating history. While we might associate it with cruel menageries, it reveals much about relationships between humans and animals. Its status as a largely visual performing art facilitated its travel across linguistic barriers, as well as the cultural exchange between Europe, North America, Russia and China that characterised its spread and development. It boomed in the Victorian era, intersecting with globalism and imperialism by incorporating "exotic" displays also popularised by the ethnic villages of the great international exhibitions, as well as "freak shows" like those romanticised in the 2017 musical film The Greatest Showman.

Several sports and entertainments have genealogical links with circus including gymnastics, boxing, and wrestling. Irish circuses such as Fossett’s (which originated in 1888) demonstrate the durability and adaptability of the family-run, travelling circus. Duffy’s Circus went bankrupt in the 1960s, Fossett’s lamented a lack of recognition as an art-form in the 1970s, and both feared the encroachment of rival circuses in the 1980s. Yet both have endured into the 21st century and continue to bring live entertainment to different communities in Ireland.

Keywords:circus, social circus, Applied Performance, Peace processes, Northern Ireland, Irish Studies, Neoliberalism, New Labour
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V211 Irish History
L Social studies > L200 Politics
W Creative Arts and Design > W310 Musicianship/Performance studies
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
ID Code:43235
Deposited On:14 Dec 2020 16:18

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