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CIRCUS

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 television series.

Acrobat Christian Atayde Stoinev from the legendary Big Apple Circus. Stoinev grew up performing in the circus.

Acrobat Christian Atayde Stoinev from the legendary Big Apple Circus. Stoinev grew up performing in the circus.

Credit: Courtesy of Gillian Laub

Sarah Schwartz practices her wire-walking act with Abby, one of the circus children.

Sarah Schwartz practices her wire-walking act with Abby, one of the circus children.

Credit: Courtesy of Matthew Akers

The Flying Cortes trapeze troupe

The Flying Cortes trapeze troupe

Credit: Courtesy of Show of Force

The Rodion Trio performs on the Russian barre. Big Apple Circus Founder Paul Binder features the Rodion Trio, an act he's wanted to acquire since he saw them perform in Europe years before. "The Rodion Trio connects beautifully with the audience," says Binder. "Anna, the flyer, is extraordinary; one in a million. She has a sixth sense and she moves through the air making tricks like a triple and a double somersault with a twist, as if she's found rails in the air on which to ride," he says.

The Rodion Trio performs on the Russian barre. Big Apple Circus Founder Paul Binder features the Rodion Trio, an act he's wanted to acquire since he saw them perform in Europe years before. "The Rodion Trio connects beautifully with the audience," says Binder. "Anna, the flyer, is extraordinary; one in a million. She has a sixth sense and she moves through the air making tricks like a triple and a double somersault with a twist, as if she's found rails in the air on which to ride," he says.

Credit: Courtesy of Gillian Laub

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.

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.

Credit: Courtesy of Gillian Laub

Jake and Marty LaSalle performing their juggling act stacked.

Jake and Marty LaSalle performing their juggling act stacked.

Credit: Courtesy of Gillian Laub

Wire walker Sarah Schwarz performing for the Big Apple Circus

Wire walker Sarah Schwarz performing for the Big Apple Circus

Credit: Courtesy of David Smoler

Glen Heroy performing one of his clown routines for the audience.

Glen Heroy performing one of his clown routines for the audience.

Credit: Courtesy of Matthew Akers

Close-up photo of Glen Heroy dressed in clown make-up and costume.

Close-up photo of Glen Heroy dressed in clown make-up and costume.

Credit: Courtesy of Matthew Akers

Barry Lubin as Grandma the clown, and Mark Gindick, another clown in the legendary Big Apple Circus.

Barry Lubin as Grandma the clown, and Mark Gindick, another clown in the legendary Big Apple Circus.

Credit: Courtesy of Matthew Akers

Big Apple Circus co-founder Paul Binder

Big Apple Circus co-founder Paul Binder

Credit: Courtesy of Gillian Laub

Equestrian acrobat Sultan Kumisbayev performing for the audience

Equestrian acrobat Sultan Kumisbayev performing for the audience

Credit: Courtesy of David Smoler

Assistant tent master Michael LeClaire secures the Big Apple tent.

Assistant tent master Michael LeClaire secures the Big Apple tent.

Credit: Courtesy of Matthew Akers

Luciano Anastasini, an 8th generation circus performer. Luciano Anastasini returns to the circus ring as a bumbling buffoon of a ring master, who tries unsuccessfully to corral his multiple mischievous puppies. Anastasini and his wife, Gladis, come from generations of Italian-American circus performers. They had their own flying trapeze act before Luciano suffered a career-ending injury in the mid-1990s when he fell from the Wheel of Destiny, a large spinning wheel that rotates and spins high in the air. After multiple surgeries and years of recovery, Anastasini re-invented himself with a clown act featuring up to seven dogs, all rescued from various shelters around the nation.

Luciano Anastasini, an 8th generation circus performer. Luciano Anastasini returns to the circus ring as a bumbling buffoon of a ring master, who tries unsuccessfully to corral his multiple mischievous puppies. Anastasini and his wife, Gladis, come from generations of Italian-American circus performers. They had their own flying trapeze act before Luciano suffered a career-ending injury in the mid-1990s when he fell from the Wheel of Destiny, a large spinning wheel that rotates and spins high in the air. After multiple surgeries and years of recovery, Anastasini re-invented himself with a clown act featuring up to seven dogs, all rescued from various shelters around the nation.

Credit: Courtesy of David Smoler

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