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CIRCUS: Born To Be Circus

Airs Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 4 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Jake and Marty LaSalle perform a juggling act. They're mirror images of each other, but each brother's personal goals threaten to divide these juggling twins.

Hit the road with "CIRCUS" and take an unforgettable trip with the legendary Big Apple Circus. From the big top to the “back lot” — where the real heart of the circus beats — explore a distinctive world with its own rules, lingo and no fixed address. Get involved with the diverse characters who make up the Big Apple family. Share their fears and frustrations, triumphs and failures and find out what it really means to live life in the ring. "CIRCUS" is a six-part series airing on KPBS Television.

"Born To Be Circus" - Big Apple’s founder and its newly installed artistic director embark on their annual trip to the renowned Monte Carlo circus festival — a kind of international circus family reunion — to scout fresh talent. Back in the U.S., the performers and the crew put on two shows a day and travel from Georgia to New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York. The Anastasinis, an eighth-generation circus family, wonder if their young sons will be content to carry on the family legacy.

"CIRCUS" is on Facebook, and you can follow @PBSCircus on Twitter.

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CIRCUS: Jake and Marty - Converging and Diverging

Above: Twin jugglers Jake and Marty LaSalle appear to be perfectly in sync but differences emerge as they set out on the Big Apple Circus's annual 350 show tour. PBS' "CIRCUS" takes an unforgettable trip with the legendary Big Apple Circus — from the big top to the "back lot," where the real heart of the circus beats — to explore a distinctive world with its own rules, lingo and no fixed address.

Video

CIRCUS: Paul Binder, Founder of the Big Apple Circus

Above: When Big Apple Circus Founder Paul Binder and Co-founder Michael Christensen first began performing their comedic juggling act at the Nouveau Cirque de Paris in the mid-1970s, they both remember peeking out from behind the heavy curtains of the French circus, their nerves jangling up and down their spines as they prepared to perform themselves. The two of them watched breathlessly as the clowns goofed with each other in the ring and the beautiful acrobats sailed high across the big top. Binder and Christensen heard the intoxicating laughter of the audience.

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CIRCUS: New Girls On The Tent Crew

Above: Check out the men and women of the Big Apple Circus crew and see what life is like for those who bring up the big top. PBS' "CIRCUS" takes an unforgettable trip with the legendary Big Apple Circus — from the big top to the "back lot," where the real heart of the circus beats — to explore a distinctive world with its own rules, lingo and no fixed address.