The Story of Miss Lala, a 19th-Century Circus Star Who Could Lift Three Men Simultaneously - CircusTalk

Circus News

The Story of Miss Lala, a 19th-Century Circus Star Who Could Lift Three Men Simultaneously

Historians say that in the 19th Century, women were the highest-paid circus performers, and Anna Olga Albertina Brown was no exception. Better known as Miss LaLa, she was an amazing powerful Black woman who broke through many racial barriers and dazzled audiences across Europe with her acrobatic feats.

Though LaLa was small, her strength was incredible. She worked in the troupes and became popular for her wire walking, trapeze, and other daring acts. Sources say she could lift three men simultaneously. It is also documented that she was good at doing “iron jaw” tricks, using her mouth and teeth to climb ropes and suspend herself from high places.

Born April 21, 1858, in the now-Polish city of Stettin and being of mixed parentage, her “exotic” look was often exploited by circus troupes. By that, ticket sales were increased. LaLa, who became known as “Olga The Negress,” “Cannon Woman,” “The Venus Of The Tropics” and other names, first appeared in the circus at the age of nine. It was at the age of 21, in France, that she found fame.

According to one account, she toured around countless circuses and music halls throughout Europe including the UK where she performed at London’s Royal Aquarium’s central hall and at Manchester’s Gaiety Theatre. In Paris, the audiences loved her because of her iron jaw act and she was often hailed as ‘La Venus Noire’.

In London, her “exotic” look birthed stories that LaLa was an African princess who lost her throne when her chiefs decided to pledge their allegiance to Queen Victoria. Those tales said she was subsequently sold into slavery and ended up in a circus in the South of France.

Read the Full Length Article atFace 2 Face Africa


Multiple Jobs

Disney Job Fair
Posted on: May 25, 2022
Apply today during our Summer Hiring Celebration for roles across our parks & resorts. You can even stop by our Casting Center EVERY Wednesday in May to interview in...

Strong act for the final of a show

Art Vision Production
Posted on: May 25, 2022
Strong act for the final of a show this winter needed (end of November 2022 until first week of January 2023)! If available and interested send an e-mail with video links and pictures to...

Looking for 2 contemporary dancers

Prototype Status
Posted on: May 24, 2022
For its new tour in Paris, Prototype Status is looking for 2 contemporary dancers for a replacement. Where: Vevey, Switzerland When: 18 and 19.06.2022 Deadline for applications: 03.06....