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An eye for news: Ringling Bros. Circus


Over the top,
and behind the scenes


Cunniff Kids News goes backstage at Ringling Bros. Circus

--Pictures and video appear following the story --
Cunniff Kids News staff reporters
     The spotlight is on center stage. The crowd roars with excitement. All of the cameras are flashing. The Greatest Show on Earth is about to begin!
     The 140-year-old Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus has been all over the country and on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009, it came to Boston’s TD Garden.
     The circus had everything from leaping, disc-catching dogs to hilarious clowns. What a night it would turn out to be!
      One of the most astonishing acts was the disc-catching dogs. The dogs were trained with kindness and positive feedback from the trainers and those techniques obviously paid off. The dogs could do flips, twists, and run through a long tunnel. The cute pooches could even jump through hoops catching flying discs.
      Another breath-taking act was the motorcycle riders. It was hard to believe that seven members of the Torres family could all ride motorbikes at 65 miles per hour inside a 16-foot steel  globe --- at the same time.  What was most amazing was the timing. The riders timed the act just right because if they were even a second late, they would have all come crashing down.
      The circus also had a magnificent line of different vehicles, which included motorcycles and tiny cars with giant wheels.
      The clowns were no less exciting. The lead clown, whose name was Tom, was clowning around with the Ringmaster throughout the entire show. He was always taking the Ringmaster’s red hat and fooling around with the kids in the audience. He was playing with bubbles at one point in the show, and the bubbles started to make noises. It was great that he got the whole audience involved in his act. He had a clown team, with dozens of clowns to compete with the Ringmaster’s crew of circus performers.
      The clowns were super funny, especially as they pretended to be penguins catching fish.  Some of the audience laughed so hard, their popcorn kept spilling.
      The big top smelled like cotton candy and popcorn, and the show was full of wonderful performers, like Vicki. She was a juggler who performed during the preshow, up close for the audience on the floor of TD Garden.  In the main show, she was part of the finale. She joined Ringling Brothers in 1998. She was only one of the cast of characters that make up this great show.
      The Henan Troupe jumped from pole to pole while swinging through the air.  Bombastic Bouncers sprung high off the ground on inner tubes doing flips in the air.  These kinds of stunts are just not possible at the Cunniff Cove.
      Roar! The tigers were up next. The crowd goes wild. The tigers were amazing, but the seven huge animal did not make the audience too nervous because they obeyed their master. They knew when to stand on their hind legs, with just one word. They could also sit on tiny stools, always right on cue. These giant cats were truly a sight to see.
     The only thing higher than the TD Garden luxury box seats was Super Silva, hanging upside down 40 feet above the cheering audience.
     As if it couldn’t get any better, the elephants entered the stage with majestic size and they demonstrated their tremendous skill. They stood on tiny stools, circled the ring in a perfect line, rolled over on cue, and even sat down on their giant elephant friends. These giant creatures were the hit of the show.
     There were so many amazing acts all happening at the same time.  It was hard to focus on just one. The people that perform the acts are extremely talented. In all, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is truly the Greatest Show on Earth!
     (Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will appear at TD Garden from Wednesday, Oct. 13 through Sunday, Oct. 17. For information and tickets, go to http://www.ringling.com/.)

 --Oct. 12, 2010--

The Greatest Show

Globe of Steel a highlight of circus visit

      The Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus is in Boston for its annual visit this weekend. Reporters from the Cunniff Kids News and the Watertown Splash -- the new newspaper at Watertown Middle School -- were at TD Garden for opening night Wednesday Oct. 14, where they were given unprecedented access to performers and were able to go behind the scenes to cover the event.
     Their reports on the evening will be published soon. To share just a taste of what they saw that evening, see the photo gallery that follows, which includes video of the famous Globe of Steel motorcycle stunt.
-- CKN
The Globe of Steel, a 16-foot ball in which motorcyclists ride -- at the same time.
For video of the stunt, see below.
Reporters from the Cunniff Kids News and the Watertown Splash pose on the floof of the TD Garden
with Vicki (far right), a fourth-generation circus performer, and her two children
(seated next to her in red coat and wearing hat).
Reporters from the Cunniff Kids News and the Watertown Splash on the circus floor before the crowd was allowed to enter.
As part of the preshow, guests can try on real circus clothes...
... and pose for pictures with performers traveling with Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus.
The talents of the performers are on display during the preshow for everyone to see up close.
Even the biggest stars need a rest during a long night of performing.
The entire ring is filled with acts of all sizes during the show.
All of the performers come out to participate in the grand final parade.
                  One of the show's many exciting stunts are the motorcycle riders in the Globe of Steel.
For video of the stunt, click this link: GlobeofSteel4.wmv  
-- Oct. 17, 2009 --

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