aNEW YORK (AP) – The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus are reinvented without animals to become an exciting family-friendly event that includes high-wire stunts, soaring trapeze artists, and bikes soaring onto trampolines.
Feld Entertainment, which owns the “Greatest Show on Earth,” told The Associated Press what audiences will see on the show’s 2023 North American tour kicking off in the autumn.
Performers from the 18 nations will be performing using a triangular high-wire 25 feet above the ground, crossing over fly trapeze performers, spinning double wheels driven by acrobats as well as BMX trail bicycles, unicycle riders, and skateboarders performing tricks and flips.
The tour starts with Bossier City, Louisiana, from September 29 to October 1. It then travels through Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Maryland, Michigan, and Indiana, ending the year in Oklahoma. The tour will resume 2024 in Florida, where Feld Entertainment is located. Feld Entertainment.
This show represents a total overhaul of the traditional circus. For the last four years, Feld Entertainment has been working on various issues, including how to incorporate clowns, branding, and merchandise.
“We knew we would have to be back. We weren’t sure what we would do,” says Kenneth Feld, chairman, and chief executive chief executive officer at Feld Entertainment. “It took us some time to get into the details and look at Ringling in a variety of ways. It was a re-imagination and a fresh look at how we would accomplish it.”
The circus pulled down its tents following years of falling ticket sales after patrons became angry about the treatment of animals in the circus. Costly court battles resulted in the cancellation of the elephant show in 2016. People for Ethical Treatment of Animals has applauded their praise for “animal-free revamp.”
The rebirth of the circus extends its’s long-running run, which dates to prior to the invention of airplanes, automobiles, and even movies in the time at a time when Ulysses S. Grant was president and minstrel shows were the most popular entertainment.
“There is no alternative to live entertainment. It is impossible to get the same emotional reaction from watching people look at a two-dimensional screen, just like, me when watching “The Greatest Show on Earth’ or any other show that is life,” claims Feld.
The brand-new production layout features movable staircases as well as two major stages. The audience will enjoy a 360-degree view of the stage, including live camera feeds and virtual reality. There will also be the sound and lighting design that will follow the performer.
“The technology in the show is about enhancing experience, not just technology,” said Juliette Feld Grossman, chief of operations at Feld Entertainment. “We have so much activity and action so we want to make sure that we never miss the biggest moments in the show.”
Grossman explained that when they were thinking about what a circus could look like and what it could be, they came to the idea of having enjoyment and a feeling of play as crucial. She has promised the audience that they will “give the audience something that they haven’t seen or that they didn’t even know to anticipate.”
The Feld family, who bought this circus in 1967, since branched out by purchasing and establishing various touring shows of a large scale, like Disney on Ice, Marvel Live, and Monster Jam. Feld stated that there is something that the circus has that people love.
“Why there is a circus and a form of circus literally every place on the planet is that people emotionally are basically the same,” he explained.
“When you’re in a high-voltage wire and you’re performing a backward one-two on the wire or doing something truly remarkable, I don’t mind the location. You are awestruck by that. You are aware of the risk associated with it, and the excitement of it.”