Circus Clowns

Date

2021-07

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Type

Book chapter

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

This chapter takes an historic and cross-cultural approach to the development of the clown in circus in Europe and the USA, exploring points of connection and difference in the way clowning developed as the scale of circus expanded and contracted in these regions. For example, the creation of the three-ring circus in teh USA in the late nineteenth century placed particular performance demands on the clowns in terms of run-ins and entrees, which were quite different to the challenges faced by the clowns in single-ring circuses in Europe and the United Kingdom. These demands influenced the costume and make-up of the clowns as well as the performance strategies they used. Similarly the development of the new circus/nouveau cirque from the 1970s onwards created new but different opportunities for clowns in terms of scale and style of performance and this will be examined here.

Description

Keywords

Circus, Clowns

Citation

Peacock, L (2021) Circus Clowns. In: Arrighi, G. and Davis, J. (eds) The Cambridge Companion to Circus. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 141 - 154

Rights

Research Institute

Institute of Drama, Dance and Performance Studies