Monday, November 28, 2011
Flying for Gold at Monte Carlo 2012
Thanks to Jack Ryan, I have a list in Italian of some 26 acts slated to compete for Gold Clowns at the next bash Over There ...
I always look for countries, seeking to confirm or revise my general impression of which nations turn out the top acts. I assume that Princess Stephanie and her crowd are generally fair about international inclusion.
Know what? I think they are, for this is reflected in the talent signed by our U.S. circuses, year after year.
This year's Monte Carlo lineup, no surprise, draws heavily from Russia and its old Communist block associate countries, and from Europe, to the tune of 14 of the acts. China checks in with only two, a real surprise -- unless the Chinese are erring on the side of underexposure. The tent will come alive with horses and ponies, contortionists and jugglers and acrobats -- the usual panoply
And, roller skaters! A good old fashioned roller skating act? No, no, this one's from the center of cerebral contortion -- France!
Now, back to Over Here. Remember, the United States of America? Large expansive sigh ... sigh ... sigh, have we here in Occupied U.S.A. not a single American performer on the bill? Technically, NO.
However, notes Jack -- Thank you Jack -- a Japanese juggler named Ty Tojo carries a strong U.S. connection to the festival. "He was born there [in Japan] but has long lived in Las Vegas with his family." Ty's stepfather, and the man who trained him, is juggler Dick Franco.
Memo to American born performers (are there any out there working still?): Change your names to French, Russian, or Chinese. Or Japanese. Apply for dual citizenships. Get thee to a plastic surgeon for an ethnicity overhaul. And do what the Russian circus wannabes had to do long before they staged their revolution back in 1917. Some changed their names to foster outside affiliations. Suddenly, the local rope walker who got no respect in his home rings, now returning to another part of the country as an "Italian import," drew cheers from the crowds.
Ah, Planet Earth is such a callow shallow place.
[I'm still charmed by my memory of the home-made dog act I saw on Carson & Barnes this last season. For them, let's see -- new wave French minimalism from outer Siberia?]