From the first year posting ...
Circus Ballet? Fringe Circus? Acro Dynamics? Shakespeare Over Sawdust? Gypsies on Parole? Whatever you wish to call today's "alternative" big tops, desperately needed are new up-to-date terms to describe and legitimatize the rapid advances (or self-immolations) in an entertainment formerly known as "circus." Here are a few suggestions:
“Fabric” is a term the Circus Smirkus kids, a lively bunch, toss around, I guess to describe the act of working what a Sarasota insider calls “ the bed sheets.” I think this precious act evolved from the old web routine.
Here’s how that same Sarasota smarty described the setting for last year’s Ringless Bros. Circus: “A parking lot.”
Following are my own earnest efforts to recast circus terminology in a more modern spotlight, acceptable to fussy spectators of unmessy, blood-free stuff:
Equestrian Foreplay: Today’s nouveau horse trainers (excuse that inelegant expression) at shows like Cavalia make a point to prove a loving, wholly egalitarian relationship to their ring partners.
Menage Adagio: A threesome intricately related in a series of movements denoting esthetic horniness.
Astro Marionettes: Wire walkers (please pardon that crude term) rigged to lifelines work the safest area of the arena or tent.
PETA Pachyderm: The "new circus" elephant that does nothing. At last, the Ringling chorus girls do it all. Next stage: the Bulls present the Broads.
Bozo Break: A time-consuming audience participation gag designed to save management the cost of hiring real circus acts. (aka: A Larible)
Plank Vaulting: what they do at Circus Eloise, adapting the old pole vaulting routine into something much safer and wider, thus allowing for a great number of amateurs to make the delicate cut.
Hyper-Posturing. Typically, these are the sidebar characters at a Cirque du Soleil show who cavort gloriously during high points of an act in progress. They make a point rarely to look directly at the audience.
The list no doubt will grow as “new circus” developments merit precious news euphemisms. Tune back here later. As I walk the FDA-approved sawdust of a safe new circus, I may be struck by additional euphemistic epiphanies.
First posted August 5, 2007