Thursday, July 9, 2009

Coney Island "Boom A Ring" Cicus!

If you read my prior blog post I asked if you could guess what my husband and I went to see under this tent at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York over the July 4th weekend...... was The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey "Boom A Ring" circus!

For the first time since 1954 the famous Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is being presented under a tent, and this is the very first time it's played in Coney Island! Their "Greatest Show On Earth" circus has played for the last 139 years in Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, so this was a historic step for the organization to take. The "Boom A Ring" production is a two hour show held in one ring inside an air conditioned tent. Seating feels close up and personal to the circus action.

Click on collage to enlarge it

My favorite circus act has always been the wonderful Aisan elephants and this trio were very entertaining!

Ringling Brothers now advertises its special "Center for Elephant Conservation." which is part of its efforts to ensure the endangered Asian elephant population is guaranteed a long and safe future.

Information about the center from the web site:

"In the interest of the species’ present and future well-being, the
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation® was
established in 1995. Located in central Florida, this 200-acre, $5-million,
state-of-the-art facility is dedicated to the conservation, breeding and
understanding of these amazing animals.

You can watch a short movie about the center at the above link.

Click on to enlarge

Another favorite part of the show were the beautiful six white-striped Bengal tigers named Spirit, Fiona, Cia, Mikayla, Mohan and Taurus -- four females and two males ranging in age from three through seven years old. What wonderful big cats! Their trainer is Vicenta Pages.
Born into a circus family, she is only 22 years old! She has raised and trained the tigers since they were young cubs and says each tiger’s stunts are based upon their individual tendencies and behaviors, which Vicenta observes closely during play and interaction.

Above is Diana Vedyashkina and her trained dachshunds! Diana brought her act from her native Russia, and is also studying journalism at St. Petersburg State University in Russia. They were the cutest little dogs and the children in the audience loved this act.

Click on to enlarge

This collage is made of photos of many of the other acts that we saw -- the crossbow archer act in the upper right is the Finnish duo Martti & Liina, he was quite skilled.
The motorcyclists who ride at 65 miles per hour inside the metal globe in the upper left corner are the Urias Family -- the steel orb has been in their family for more than 80 years and this was the forth generation of the family performing in it!
The clown in the middle right is Justin Case who entertained us during many appearances throughout the two hour show by riding impossibly small bicycles, or flaming bicycles, or bicycles he took apart and rearranged while riding them!
The lower left group are tumblers and acrobats, the Russian Negrey Troupe. They did expert Cartwheels, handsprings, back flips, and if you look at the photo in the lower middle you can see two of the men appearing upside down as the picture captured them in the middle of a somersault!
In the bottom second from the left photo are Bulgarians Bobby & Valio performing a perch act where Valio balances Bobby on his forehead while she is riding a bicycle! Hard to believe he can hold up so much weight this way and keep her balanced at the same time.

Click on to enlarge

Karl Winn is the eighth generation to continue the family lineage to ride "The Wheel Of Steel." As it spins around he balances and runs around both the outside and inside!
The rope climbing acrobat was unfortunately not named on the web site, but she appeared a few times during the show performing many dangerous rope tricks high up near the top of the tent. The only group I did not get a good photo of was the juggling act Vas and Stas as they were also comedic and so fast moving that all my photos of them were blurred. If you'd like to read more about each performer you can click on their highlighted name.

To see a short video about the Boom A Ring, with snippets of the acts, click here.

" Coney Island's Boom A Ring" circus proved to us that it can be enjoyed by "children of all ages" as we certainly had a wonderful time watching this circus held by the ocean!

It was a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday weekend! Happy Birthday to the USA!


Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Must be great to see the circus "under the big top" -- for real! I used to go every year (my dad worked at MSG) until I started feeling bad for the animals. So I guess it's not surprising I became a vegetarian! :-)

The pictures are great...I love how up close and personal this version of the circus is.

Tracy said...

What fun... I love all the animals! Although I must admit I have a problem with animals in any kind of circuses or zoo...I can't do them anymore. But this post brings back the excitement of a kid again...Keeping that childhood wonder--always a good thing. Happy Day, Pat ((HUGS))

Catherine said...

What an amazing post!

I was at Ringling Bros. last tent show in 1954. My grandmother knew it was the end of an era and she took us to see history. My sister and I were very young and trying to take in a 3 ring circus was exciting. We tried to watch everything at once. It was a canvas tent with sawdust on the floor and the animals so close. The featured clown was the fabulous Emmet Kelly! We were part of the crowd in Life Magazine. Thanks for the memories.


Gracie said...

When I was a kid my parents knew how to make me happy, bringing me to the circus. And when my daughter was little she was happy to go too! Right now here we have no more big circus worth the money (it is usually very expensive)and I miss this kind of show so very much. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Unknown said...

I would have never guessed a circus Pat! I bet the whole time you were there you were thinking of how much fun it will be to take Leo!

I love circuses too! Thanks for sharing the great photos!

Linda Lou said...

Thanks Pat for sharing the famous B & B circus - I loved going to Madison Square Garden as a kid to see the spectacle!! Even as a middle aged woman it's exciting to see!

Claudia said...

I only saw the circus at Madison Square Garden - you have taken a marvelouos trip into the past. How lucky you are! And on Coney Island yet. Love the research you did. Circus performers are a fascinating and talented lot.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, what fun, Pat! Loved going to the circus with you. The sight of these tents just makes me happy...


Sheila :-)

Unknown said...

Oh Pat, what a glorious post. Your photographs are wonderful, and so hard to capture when you are captivated by all the goings on in the circus.

I used to go see this circus in Madison Square Garden when I was a child.

Brooklyn? What a perfect location for the tent. Thanks for a fun day at the circus.


Vee said...

Oh a good old-fashioned circus! My favorite would have been the dog act, I think. Aren't collages a wonderful way to include a lot of photographs? You're doing a wonderful job with them.

black eyed susans kitchen said...

How fun!!! I love the circus and what a great venue for it. I should have guessed that the tent was the big top. I also loved your post on Coney Island. Do you think that one day you might put all of your New York posts into a book. I would love to own a book like that.
♥, Susan

Judy said...

Ah...the mystery is were off to the circus! And what a wonderful circus it was. I feel like I was there with and all!

Junie Moon said...

Oh, what fun this all looks too be. And what a great treat for you. I love circuses but had to stop attending shows as I became overly-anxious during the trapeze events. My heart would pound so hard in fear someone would fall, I thought it would fly out of my chest. It scared me each and every time. The animals were the best parts for me.

Beverly said...

What fun! I love the circus. Won't it be fun when you can take your little Leo?!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I just love yours!! It just teems with excitement & life. Maybe because you are from NYC!!
I had a sweet friend who lived in Brooklyn... she passed on several years ago but she always spoke of all the activity there!
Stop by again!! I would love to get to know you...

Anonymous said...

Hi Again!!
I am in NE Pa. about 50 miles north of Scranton & 20 miles south of Binghamton, NY. I absolutely LOVE the Yankees!! My whole family is full of "Yankee Nuts"... I even have a NY Yankees license plate on my pick-up & PJ's with the logo. (Now that is dedicated...) LOL!!
Friend from Pa.,

Anonymous said...

You should receive a professional award for this blog. It is visually amazing and entertaining in narration. I had guessed a wedding, but I was wrong. Thanks for sharing.

Sue said...

I could almost hear the announcer say, "Step right up ladies and gentlemen, Welcome to the Circus!!!"
Pat, this was just amazing! I haven't been to the circus since I was a little girl, so this post brought back such fun memories... Why do we stop doing "kid" things, anyhow? I think we'll have to go the next time the circus is in town!
big hugs, Sue

Donna said...

What fun to be at the cirus! Your photos are wonderful, Pat. I love a circus!


Jojo said...

Oh what fun! And, under the big top too!!!

Thank you for your wedding basket idea! Such a great idea and one I think they would love.

Lisa's RetroStyle said...

OMG...I would have never guesses that was what was under that tent. It's big...but not that big. I can't believe they could fit such a big show under that tent. How fun! Thanks for sharing:D

Kathy said...

What a lovely surprise!, thank you for taking us to the circus Pat. We have not been for such a long time and had forgotten how much we used to enjoy them. It is such a delight seeing all of NY through your eyes and photos as you capture everything so incredibly well. big hugs, glad you had such a wonderful time, Kathy.

Just A Girl said...

I don't think I've ever been to the circus although if you asked my grandmother she would have told you that she lived in one. 5 girls and a husband who had a vaudeville act for years. It looks like you and V. had a very fun time and I think my favorite act would have been the docksies...they're so adorable!!!

I hope you have a fun weekend Pat!

xoxo Cori

steviewren said...

Your photos are fantastic! They look very professional. I love the way you collaged them as well.

I think a one ring circus in a more intimate setting would be so much more interesting. Being under the big top would be the icing on the cake. Your post reminds me of The Greatest Show on Earth which I just watched on TCM.