Changing Realities: American & European Traditional Circus

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 . Panelists . ...
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Raffaele De Ritis

From Italy, Raffaele De Ritis is considered one of the pioneers of circus creation. Since the late 1980s, he has written and directed shows for the world’s leading companies, including Disney, Cirque du Soleil, Dragone, Ringling Bros., and the Big Apple Circus. Besides his main creative work, he has also directed major performing arts festivals and consulted for hundreds of TV specials. A recognized historian, Raffaele has authored seminal books and papers in seven languages, teaching and lecturing worldwide. His circus history book Storia del Circo, in Italian, is considered the most extensive reference text on circus by most international historians. Raffaele is also one of the authors of the Circopedia project. He is the custodian of an extensive private circus collection, with pieces dating from the XVth century, and is seated on the Performing Arts Council of Italy’s Ministry of Culture. As well, Raffaele is a professor of Economy of Creative Industries at Unich University in Pescara (Italy) and of Art Direction at the Institute of Artistic Industries in the same city.