Big Apple Circus Faces Crisis in Artistic Leadership

Circus News

The Big Apple Circus Faces a Potential Crisis in Artistic Leadership

If one were to look at the development of the American circus in the last 40 years, as I have done in my book The New American Circus, one characteristic stands out.  Every new circus, the Big Apple among them, was created and guided for many years by a person or persons who were passionate about the circus.  They brought a new level of creativity to the circuses they created even as they reflected their individual personalities.

Paul Binder and Michael Christensen imbued the Big Apple Circus with a distinct flavor and artistry that they had acquired by their experiences in European circuses as performers. That expertise came to bear on their artistic management of the circus.  And if they ran into trouble they could always appeal to Alan Slifka.  After Slifka’s death the show fell on hard financial times and the founders decided to retire.  To some extent the same style of artistic management was extended by Guillaume Dufresnoy, whom Binder personally chose to follow after him and hopefully maintain the distinct showmanship they brought to production.  Dufresnoy’s relatively brief tenure achieved limited success in the creative department.  ….

Link to Full Article at the Spectacle Magazine. 

Image: Adam Kuchler in BIG APPLE CIRCUS (c) Juliana Crawford