Circus News

Circus and Changing Realities 2020: A Historical Look at the American and European Traditional Circus–A Comparison

This panel is part of CircusTalk’s Circus and Changing Realities 2020 series. In this episode, titled A Historical Look at the American and European Traditional Circus–A Comparison, we hear from circus historians, seasoned circus practitioners, and directors about the historical elements of circus in the past 250 years of Western culture in the United States and Europe. They examine the artistic elements of circus history as well as how the disparate business models formed and diverged, ultimately influencing the circus of today.

Moderators
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Panelists

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Raffaele De Ritis
Author, HIstorian, Director -Italy
Raffaele De Ritis, among the pioneers of circus creation by the late 1980s, wrote and directed shows for the world’s leading companies, including Disney, Cirque du Soleil, Dragone, Ringling bros., Big Apple Circus. Beside his main creative work, he directed major performing arts festivals and consulted for hundreds TV specials.

As a recognized historian, he authored seminal books and papers in seven languages, teaching and lecturing worldwide. His book of circus history “Storia del Circo”, in Italian, is considered the most extensive reference text by most international historians. Raffaele is also one of the authors of Circopedia project. He is custodian of an extensive private circus collection, with pieces dating from XVth century, and seated in the Performing Arts Council of Italy’s Ministry of Culture. www.raffaelederitis.com
Bill Powell
Chairman, VP of Marketing -United States
Bill Powell is Chairman of the Circus Ring of Fame Foundation Board of Trustees in Sarasota, Florida. During his tenure the “Ring” expanded the board of trustees, passed new bylaws, organized a committee structure, created the first ever Circus Advisory Council online survey platform, added production value to the annual induction ceremony, created a new website and merchandise program. The organization’s finances were stabilized under Bill’s leadership with the support of more than 50 individuals and companies.

Bill Powell was the VP of Event Marketing and Sales for Feld Entertainment for decades. He is actively involved with the International Association of Venue Managers and has served as adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina, College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management where he helped develop the curriculum for live entertainment marketing.

Raffaele De Ritis

Raffaele De Ritis, among the pioneers of circus creation by the late 1980s, wrote and directed shows for the world’s leading companies, including Disney, Cirque du Soleil, Dragone, Ringling bros., Big Apple Circus. Beside his main creative work, he directed major performing arts festivals and consulted for hundreds TV specials. As a recognized historian, he authored seminal books and papers in seven languages, teaching and lecturing worldwide. His book of circus history “Storia del Circo”, in Italian, is considered the most extensive reference text by most international historians. Raffaele is also one of the authors of Circopedia project. He is custodian of an extensive private circus collection, with pieces dating from XVth century, and seated in the Performing Arts Council of Italy’s Ministry of Culture. www.raffaelederitis.com

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