The Routledge Circus Studies Reader offers an absorbing critical introduction to this diverse and emerging field. It brings together the work of over 30 scholars in this discipline, including Janet Davis, Helen Stoddart and Peta Tait, to highlight and address the field's key historical, critical and theoretical issues. It is organised into three accessible sections, Perspectives, Precedents and Presents, which approach historical aspects, current issues, and the future of circus performance.
The chapters, grouped together into 13 theme-based sub-sections, provide a clear entry point into the field and emphasise the diversity of approaches available to students and scholars of circus studies. Classic accounts of performance, including pieces by Philippe Petit and Friedrich Nietzsche, are included alongside more recent scholarship in the field.
Edited by two scholars whose work is strongly connected to the dynamic world of performance, The Routledge Circus Studies Reader is an essential teaching and study resource for the emerging discipline of circus studies. It also provides a stimulating introduction to the field for lovers of circus.
, Peta Tait
Country of Publication:
14 March 2016
Professional and scholarly
A / AS level
Further / Higher Education
Introduction. Circus Perspectives, Precedents and Presents PETA TAIT AND KATIE LAVERS Part I Perspectives Aesthetics 1. Aesthetics HELEN STODDART 2. Staging of Actions: Heroes, Antiheroes and Animal Actors PAUL BOUISSAC 3. An Epic of New Circus MARTINE MALEVAL 4. The Man in the Red Coat: Management in the Circus RON BEADLE AND DAVID KONYOT ã The Clown 5. Clowns and Clown Play LOUISE PEACOCK 6. Diminutive Catastrophe: Clown's Play MAGGI PHILLIPS ã Cross-Arts 7. Circus Music: The Eye of the Ear KIM BASTON 8. Art and Androgyny: The Aerialist NAOMI RITTER 9. When the Future was Now: Archaos Within a Theatre Tradition ROBERTA MOCK ã Gender and Sexuality 10. Respectable Female Nudity JANET M. DAVIS 11. A Queer Circus: Amok in New York MARK SUSSMAN ã Race 12. Celebrated at First, Then Implied and Finally Denied: The Erosion of Aboriginal Identity in Circus, 1851-1960 MARK ST LEON ã Sideshows 13. Freaks of Culture: Institutions, Publics, and the Subjects of Ethnographic Knowledge RACHEL ADAMS 14. The Jim Rose Circus Side Show: Representing the Postmodern Body in Pain CARRIE SANDAHL ã Child Performers 15. Sensational Imbalance: The Child Acrobat and the Mid-Victorians BRENDA ASSAEL ã Spectators 16. Ecstasy and Visceral Flesh in Motion PETA TAIT 17. Marginal Body and bourgeois cosmology: the British Acrobat in reference to sport YORAM S. CARMELI ã Part II Precedents Origins 18. The Circus and Nature in Late Georgian England MARIUS KWINT 19. The American Circus DON B. WILMETH 20. P.T. Barnum: the Legend and the Man H. SAXON 21. A Brief Overview of the Mexican-American Circus in the Southwest NICOLAS KANELLOS 22. The Circus and Modernity: A Commitment to `the Newer and `the Newest' GILLIAN ARRIGHI ã Politics 23. Bending the Body for China: the Uses of Acrobatics in Sino-US diplomacy During the Cold War TRACY ZHANG 24. When Pigs Could Fly and Bears Could Dance MIRIAM NEIRICK 25. A Contemporary History of Circus Arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina: the post-dictatorial resurgence and revaluation of circus as a popular art JULIETA INFANTINO ã Human Exceptionalism 26. To Reach The Clouds: My High-Wire Walk Between the Twin Towers PHILLIPPE PETIT 27. Extract from Thus Spoke Zarathustra FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE, translated by R. J. HOLLINGDALE ã Animal Performers 28. Why Circuses Are Unsuited to Elephants LORI ALWARD 29. View from the Big Top: Why Elephants Belong in North America Circuses DENNIS SCHMITT ã Part III Presents 30. Female Circus Performers and Art: the Shift to Creative Authorship and its Implications MAGALI SIZORN 31. The Resilient Body in Social Circus: Father Jesus Silva, Boris Cyrulnik and Peter A. Levine KATIE LAVERS 32. Risk, Danger and Other Paradoxes in Circus and Circus Oz Parody PETA TAIT 33. The Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas: An American Strip-tease LOUIS PATRICK LEROUX 34. Contemporary Circus: Introduction to the Art Form TOMI PUROVAARA 35. Contemporary Circus Research in Quebec: Building and Negotiating an Emerging Interdisciplinary Field LOUIS PATRICK LEROUX
Peta Tait is chair of Theatre and Drama at LaTrobe University, Australia. Her previous publications include Circus Bodies: Cultural identity in aerial performance (2005) and Wild and Dangerous Performances: Animals, emotions, circus (2012) Katie Lavers is a director and producer of inter-media circus, as co-founder and director of Skadada circus company.