From Animal Acts to Contortion, How the Circus Has Reinvented Itself for the Modern Age
Pascal Jacob knew he wanted to work in the world of the circus from the age of four. “Every Wednesday, my grandmother would ask me what I wanted to do, and I’d always answer, ‘I want to go to the circus’. I think she got fed up, but she always took me.”
Fifty two years on, Jacob is a leading expert in the history of the circus. He has written more than 30 books on the subject, is a prolific collector of circus art, lectures at the Sorbonne, has worked as a costume designer for Barnum and Baileys, and is artistic director of the Cirque Phénix as well as the annual Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain. When he’s not doing any of the above, the brimmingly-energetic Parisian travels the world in search of new acts, constantly observing how the greatest show on Earth continues to reinvent itself.
His latest book, The Circus: A Visual History, is his first English publication, written to coincide with the 250th anniversary of the birth of the modern circus, when Philip Astley put on a spectacle of performing horses in a circular ring in Lambeth…
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