mardi 19 mars 2019

Circus Clown Jackie LeClaire

The longtime Ringling Bros. circus clown and trapeze artist died Saturday at age 91
From the time he was a toddler working with his parents in their clown act, Jackie LeClaire always left people smiling and laughing.
With his thin red lips, lightly powdered face, rouged cheeks, oversized white suit and frazzled hair peaking out from under a sparkling red top hat, LeClaire relished his role as Circus Sarasota’s Ambassador of Mirth, a post he took on after a long career with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
His home at Bay Village, where he was considered the unofficial “mayor,” was filled with circus memorabilia — a clown tissue holder, costumes, circus toys and noses that would magically appear.
For more than 20 years, he performed at nursing homes through the Circus Arts Conservatory’s Laughter Unlimited program until a recent illness kept him from the spotlight. He died Saturday, just two months shy of his 92nd birthday.
“He loved everybody. He was a real people person. He loved it when there would be something about him in the paper or a photo, and when somebody asked him to perform, he was ready. He loved the attention,” said Mary Jane Miller, who met LeClaire in 1945 when they worked “side by side” on the trapeze for Ringling Bros. “He loved children. He never had any, but if someone was visiting at Bay Village with grandkids, he would have them come to his apartment and do some tricks. Some people called him ‘The Children’s Clown,’ but he loved performing for everybody.”
In a 2005 interview with the Herald-Tribune, LeClaire said he “never made any money in this stupid business,” but he never tired of seeing smiles on the faces of children or senior citizens.
“It’s been a good life,” he said at the time.
“He was probably the kindest person I ever met, truly,” said fellow clown Karen Bell, who worked with him in Circus Sarasota programs. “He just really took care of the people around him. He made sure that there was that safety net under you all the time.”
In a statement, Circus Sarasota founders Pedro Reis and Dolly Jacobs described LeClaire as a “one-of-a-kind person, definitely with sawdust in his veins. He was a storyteller, and the stories of his life on the circus were larger than life and very colorful.” They said his “humor and warmth affected everyone who was lucky enough to come into contact with him. He was an integral part of our circus family and we will miss him.”
His parents, Jack and Edna LeClair (Jackie said he added the “e” in 1946 to make the name sound more French), drafted him into their circus act in 1929 when he was just a toddler when he would ride on circus floats. His father was an acrobatic clown, and Jackie assisted him for a few years before he went to New England to attend school until his mother died in 1936 from complications of multiple sclerosis. He officially joined Ringling Bros. in 1944 at age 16, working with his father, whom he described as a perfectionist.
“Clowning was a very serious business with my dad. It was right or it wasn’t,” he told the Herald-Tribune. “No gray area. It was a job. He made me realize that if you’re going to do it, do it right or don’t do it at all.”
That attitude carried through his life, Bell said. “He would talk about being on Ringling Bros. and doing a gag with his father, and the first thing they did after they left the stage was to dissect it and find ways to improve it.”
LeClaire spent many years as an advance clown, taking part in publicity stunts to promote upcoming circus performances. One year, he visited the White House to present a gift to Caroline Kennedy.
In 1952, he appeared as a stunt double for Cornel Wilde in Cecil B. DeMille’s 1952 movie “The Greatest Show on Earth,” part of which was filmed in Sarasota. When the Sarasota Opera presented a screening of the film in 2017, LeClaire was one of several local circus performers from the film who were greeted with cheers from a near capacity crowd.
After leaving Ringling Bros., he started working at fairs and other circuses, often sleeping in the back of his truck. He said he traveled 27,000 miles in 14 weeks one year while working at auto thrill shows.
Miller said he also became a licensed hairdresser after he stopped touring. “He’d do my hair every Sunday afternoon,” she said.
Le Claire also liked to reminisce about his career.
“He could go on for literally hours on the phone,” said Aaron Watkins, a former Ringling Bros. clown. “He would say, ‘If you have to go to the bathroom or run an errand, go ahead. I’ll still be here talking when you get back.’”
Robin Eurich, a clown who partners with Bell in Circus Sarasota educational programs, said LeClaire lived “a great life and was such a charming man. But he was not a pushover, which is one of the reasons why his charm was so noticeable. If he took exception to something, he’d let you know, but at heart, he was a really decent guy who cared about what he did and cared about people.”
Jennifer Lemmer Posey, curator of circus at Ringling Museum, said LeClaire was one of the first members from the circus community she met when she arrived in Sarasota in 17 years ago.
“He really shaped my experience because he was so welcoming and so wacky,” she said. “I really treasured his insight into circus history because he lived and breathed it. He was a wonderful mentor.”
He may not have gotten rich, but LeClaire was richly rewarded. He was inducted into the International Clown Hall of Fame in Baraboo, Wisconsin, in 1996, and his name was enshrined in the Circus Ring of Fame on St. Armands Circle in 2002.
A funeral service will be held at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at First Brethren Church, 150 N. Shade Ave., Sarasota, followed by a celebration of life at Showfolks of Sarasota, 5204 N. Lockwood Ridge, Road, Sarasota.

From the Sarasota Herald Tribune

Source :  Don Covington

dimanche 17 mars 2019


A l'occasion du 70 eme anniversaire du Club du cirque hollandais, Henk van den Berg organise une bourse d'échange avec plus de 30 participants de différents pays d' Europe le dimanche 06/ 10/2019 dans les locaux de la croix rouge à Oss.

Source Henk van den Berg

Info : Jean Claude Tournaire

vendredi 15 mars 2019


C'est toujours avec une grande joie que nous venons vous annoncer les dates de notre prochain rendez-vous !
Cette fois se rajoute l'excitation de vous annoncer le 5ème MONDOCLOWNS !
Pour l'occasion de ce 5ème anniversaire, ce sera 5 JOURS de Festival !!!

Beaucoup de surprises sont en préparation pour l'évènement. Nous avons hâte de vous les dévoiler...!
Suivez-nous, restez à l'écoute et d'ici là, RESERVEZ-VOUS pour venir vivre de GRANDS MOMENTS en compagnie d'Artistes exceptionnels !

Avec le soutien de Burguscircus partenaire média officiel de Mondoclowns 5 !

 Les artistes de Mondoclowns 4

Source : MONDOCLOWNS – Festival Mondial de Clowns et Excentriques de Marmande (47) France

jeudi 14 mars 2019

Circus legend Jeanne Sleeter

Jeanne Sleeter Singleton
1930 – 2019

Veteran circus performer Jeanne Sleeter Singleton died March 8, 2019, in Spanish Springs, Nevada at the age of 88.
Born in Peru, Indiana on July 25, 1930, she was the daughter of Eldred Henry Sleeter and Mitzie-Belle Moore, aerialists with the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus. A former resident of Bloomington, Illinois, she became a trapeze artist while still a child, taught by her father, along with Art Concello and her uncle Tuffy Genders. She was also the niece of clown Emmett Kelly.
In the 1940s and 1950s her trapeze act was featured on a number of circuses including Clyde Beatty-Russell Bros, the Clyde Beatty Railroad Circus, and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. She also presented elephants with the Ringling circus in the 1950s.
In 1951, while performing with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Jeanne was cast as a double for both Betty Hutton and Gloria Graham, two of the stars of Cecil B. DeMille’s film The Greatest Show on Earth. Her performance in the Academy Award-winning film caught the attention of Hollywood, but she told a reporter at the time that while she was flattered with the attention, she was destined for a career in the circus ring, “It’s quite a temptation, and lots of young people would love it,” she told columnist Vivian Brown, “but nothing can compare with the circus when you are born into it.”
The pretty blonde was a favorite of circus photographers and she was featured in a number of national publications performing various stunts, including a 1953 article in The Saturday Evening Post where she recreated a scene from DeMille’s movie where the elephant Minyak placed her foot inches from her face.
After retiring from the circus ring in 1960, Jeanne Sleeter Singleton raised three children and left a legacy of six grandchildren and ten great grandchildren. Her husbands, performer Gaspar Ferroni and Raymond Singleton preceded her in death.
Jeanne Sleeter Singleton continued her association with the circus until the end, corresponding with friends, fans and historians who remembered her from her days in the circus ring. Although the circus had evolved since she retired nearly 60 years ago, she never lost her love for it. As she told a reporter in 1959 while performing with Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey, while she missed the days of the big tent shows, “the circus hasn’t changed, and never will.”

Source : Donald Covington

lundi 11 mars 2019

Interview en live de Thierry Planès sur la chaîne France 3 NoA

Source : France 3

Palmarès du 12ème Festival International du Cirque de Izhevsk


Clown Vladimir Deryabkin. Russie
" Les marcheurs Sayrakan ". Russie
vol air "Great Flight". Corée du Nord
Équilibristes haut monocycles Bowl. Chine


funambule sur la transition des escaliers sous la direction d'Andrew Volozhanina. Russie
« Derrière la porte », un duo acrobatique. Russie-Ukraine
Duo A et J, les ceintures d'avion. UK-Ukraine


Duo Akrodrimz, centrale électrique à vapeur. Espagne-Pologne
manipulation Rafal Valushite. Pologne
"Des chiens dressés" n / p Eugene Komisarenko. Russie
Duo A & A, le couple de force. États-Unis

Source : Alexander Rybkin