By Peta Tait
This pioneering learn is likely one of the significant guides within the more and more renowned and mostly undocumented sector of circus reviews. via pictures and illustrations, Peta Tait provides a unprecedented survey of one hundred forty years of trapeze acts and the socially altering principles of muscular motion relating to our knowing of gender and sexuality. She questions how spectators see and revel in aerial activities, and what cultural identities are provided through our bodies in quick, actual aerial circulation. Adeptly finding aerial functionality in the wider cultural heritage of our bodies and their identities, Circus our bodies explores this topic via a number of movies equivalent to Trapeze (1956) and Wings of wish (1987) and Tait additionally examines stay performances together with: * the 1st trapeze performers: L?otard and the Hanlon Brothers* woman celebrities; Azella, Sanyeah, black French aerialist LaLa, the notorious Leona Dare, and the feminine human cannonballs* twentieth-century gender benders; Barbette and Luisita Leers* the Codonas, Concellos, Gaonas, Vazquez and Pages troupes* creative aerial acts in Cirque de Soleil and Circus ounces productions. This ebook will end up a useful source for all scholars and students attracted to this interesting box.
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Extra info for Circus Bodies Cultural Identity in Aerial Performance
As the Hanlon-Lees, Siegrist and Silbon families show, difficult skills were and are learnt from accomplished performers; aerial arts are passed on body to body. A profusion of moving aerial bodies had greater visual impact. 50 The larger American circuses began programming more than one aerial troupe. 51 On the same bill, the Siegrist Troupe was described as doing ‘single and double somersaults in mid-air, while rapidly flying from one trapeze bar to another, with heads covered with sacks, and securely blindfolded’.
Lala was billed as La Vénus noire (black Venus) in Paris, and an African Queen in London with a story about how she had been deposed when her chiefs gave allegiance to Queen Victoria, was sold into slavery and ended up in a southern French circus (Gossard 1994: 15). ’; Jutau was ‘Engaged at an enormous salary. ’7 Reviews of this aerial royalty were correspondingly elaborate and enthusiastic. 9 Lala was Olga Kaira or Kaire, born 21 April 1858 in Stettin, who debuted at nine years of age (Desbonnet 1911: 351).
34 Female aerialists might have been admired for their shapely dimensions like burlesque performers, but the appeal of the act also came from its athleticism. Visible from all angles to those watching below, female aerialists attracted attention and caused consternation with muscular action that could also be very fast. Although imitating male ﬂying, female aerialists were perceived to be at greater risk. Observers seemed to conﬂate the dangers of physical risk-taking with those of a seductive sexual identity that was considered socially dangerous.