Circus School

Originally found at CircusNews.com this documentary from Shanghai Circus School follows the training of a flying act (specifically, a copy of the Moranbong flying act) and a handbalancer - with 9 and 8 year olds.

I bet these kids don't even understand the caliber of the tricks they're doing - at a fraction of the age of the majority of professional performers.

I'm familiar with a toned-down version of the infamous Chinese discipline. It's rough, it's cold and it's emotionally overwhelming - but it works.

When I moved from the pre-team gymnastics group to the team group when I was maybe 8 years old, my first practice was my Chinese coach telling me that I couldn't do anything else until I learned circles on mushroom and then walking away to work with the rest of the team. So I spent the entire practice by myself doing circles, eventually breaking down and crying for a bit, but coming back to it and doing more while the rest of the group did a normal practice. And what do you know, I learned them. I'd venture to say I learned a lot from that day without anybody saying anything to me. Maybe it was even a test to see if I'd be able to handle his style of coaching. Whatever it was, it had a big part in molding the way I train even to this day.

Most people will look at this documentary and scream "child abuse!" - yes, there are some glaring examples of gross mistreatment, but there's something to be said for the method's efficacy. You won't see an act like this without a disciplinary structure like China's. Personally I think it's easier to teach someone with constant positive reinforcement (and also because in our litigious society you can't get away with making your students cry as easily) but it's often hard to maintain attention and seriousness with a smile on your face.

The other edge of this sword is that Chinese acts have probably the worst emotional content of any circus acts. Largely in part, I imagine, because you have to stifle your feelings to do what your coaches want. I love this example - everyone smiles with their teeth and not with their eyes. But other than that, they are doing one of the hardest acts I have ever seen in my life.

So the obvious ideal is a middle ground, but it's not always easy to find that. Some people are so jaded by their gymnastic development that it's hard to express anything, and some people are so caught up in expressing themselves that it ceases to be impressive. It's a very difficult balance to achieve, no doubt, but something that any performer should aim for.

I kind of wish I had a Chinese coach to beat up on me at this point in my career.

4 comments:

reymark said...

TO the Circus Experts and circus enthusiast.

hello,I am a 5th year Architecture Student and I am taking now my THESIS, entitled: The Circus Academy and i'm really need a professional advice and tips.i'm requesting for an help from anyone knows or having a background information about circus related talents.I am requesting a list circus acts and anything related to circus(including facilities per acts). I'm accpeting comments and suggestions about my proposal THESIS and maybe tips on how to enhance more the circus in modern days now. I'm hoping for your kind and sincere help.Thank you and God Bless

kinesthesist said...

Absolutely! How can I get in touch? My email is ryan dot shinji at gmail.

Ajanta Circus said...

RESPECTED SIR / MADAM,

WE SEND YOU TO EMAIL BUT WE CANT RECIVED ANY STRONG DETAILS WITH YOU SO, WE CAN CONFORM TO YOU THAT LIKE TO DO WORK AN INDIAN CIRCUS OR LIKE TO SEND SOME GOOD AND BEST CIRCUS ARTIST IN OUR INDIAN CIRCUS PLEASE SEND ME THE ARTIST PERFORMING VIDEO TO MY MAIL OR YOU LIKE TO CALL ME MY MOBILE NO ……………………………………..

1............. HOW MANY PEOPLE COME IN INDIA MENTATION MALE OR FEMALE,
2............... HOW MANY ITEMS PERFORM IN ONE SHOW,
3................. IN INDIAN CIRCUS EVERY DAY 3 SHOW,
4................ BASICALLY UR ARTIST WILL STAY IN ROOM OR APPARTMENT (CIRCUS AUTHORITY PAY FOR YOUR ARTIST INCOMING AND OUT GOING AIR TICKET , FOOD MONEY , HOUSE RENT , VISA FEE .
5..................GIVE UR ARTIST ITEM (ACT) PIC OR VIDEO AND WRITE THE NAME OF ITEM (ACT) THOSE THEY ARE PERFORM.
6.................BASICALLY WE MAKE ONE YEAR OR SIX MONTH CONTRACT SOME TIMES DEPENT ON ARTIST OR CIRCUS PERFORMER SITUATIONS HOW MANY MONTH LIKE TO MAKE CONTARACT WITH OUR CIRCUS .
7................ INDIAN CIRCUS IS A TOURING CIRCUS THATS CHANGE THE CITY EVERY 30 DAYS ONE CITY TO ANOTHER CITY THAT TIME YOURS ARTIST WILL GET HOLIDAY FOR 5 TO 7 DAYS THIS DAYS TAKE TIME TO CHANGE PLACE .

ACT NAME IS GIVEN BLEOW...............................................

ICRANI ACT , CONTOSATION , BAR ACT , ACROBAT,HULA HOOPS , AIR DUO, AIR SILK , LASSO ,STRONG MAN ,FOOT AND FIT , RING GIRL, BONELESS, FIRE DANCE , DUO-LOPING, AIR-ACROBATIC , SOLO GYMNASTIC AIR STRAP, HATS AND BRICKS , ACROBAT ON ROLLERS ,COW BOYS GENES WITH LASSO, AIR DUET ON CLOTH , SILK ROPE , E. C T. OR ANY ACT OR ITEM U HAVE JUST SEND TO MY EMAIL OR CALL ME .
WE ARE AGREEING TO DO BUSINESS WITH FOR A LONG TIME WITH GOOD RELATIONS REPLY ME AS SOON AS POSSIBLE:
KINDLY ACCEPT MY APOLOGIZE AND HONOUR TO SIR / MADAM.
THANKING YOU.

*************** FORE MORE DETAILS YOU ARE FREE TO ASK ME ANY QUESTIONS.


--
WITH BEST REGARDS,
AJANTA CIRCUS
KOLKATA (INDIA)
MOB: +9169831090974
+919163355736
EMAIL: ajantacircus@gmail.com
SKYPE : mohammad.nadeem090
FACE BOOK : ajantacircus

Prabhat circus said...

RESPECTED SIR / MADAM ,

WE SEND YOU TO EMAIL BUT WE CANT RECIVED ANY STRONG DETAILS WITH YOU SO , WE CAN CONFORM TO YOU THAT LIKE TO DO WORK AN INDIAN CIRCUS OR LIKE TO SEND SOME GOOD AND BEST CIRCUS ARTIST IN OUR INDIAN CIRCUS PLEASE SEND ME THE ARTIST PERFORMING VIDEO TO MY MAIL OR YOU LIKE TO CALL ME MY MOBILE NO ……………………………………..

1............. HOW MANY PEOPLE COME IN INDIA MENTATION MALE OR FEMALE,
2............... HOW MANY ITEMS PERFORM IN ONE SHOW ,
3................. IN INDIAN CIRCUS EVERY DAY 3 SHOW ,
4................ BASICALLY UR ARTIST WILL STAY IN ROOM (CIRCUS AUTHORITY PAY FOR YOUR ARTIST INCOMING AND OUT GOING AIR TICKET , FOOD MONEY , HOUSE RENT , VISA FEE .
5..................GIVE UR ARTIST ITEM (ACT) PIC OR VIDEO AND WRITE THE NAME OF ITEM (ACT) THOSE THEY ARE PERFORM.
6.................BASICALLY WE MAKE ONE YEAR OR SIX MONTH CONTRACT SOME TIMES DEPENT ON ARTIST OR CIRCUS PERFORMER SISTATUIONS HOW MANY MONTH LIKE TO MAKE CONTARACT WITH OUR CIRCUS .
7................ INDIAN CIRCUS IS A TOURING CIRCUS THATS CHANGE THE CITY EVERY 30 DAYS ONE CITY TO ANOTHER CITY THAT TIME YOURS ARTIST WILL GET HOLIDAY FOR 5 TO 7 DAYS THIS DAYS TAKE TIME TO CHANGE PLACE .

ACT NAME IS GIVEN BLEOW ...............................................

ICRANI ACT , CONTOSATION , BAR ACT , ACROBAT,HULA HOOPS , AIR DUO, AIR SILK , LASSO ,STRONG MAN ,FOOT AND FIT , RING GIRL, BONELESS, FIRE DANCE , DUO-LOPING, AIR-ACROBATIC , SOLO GYMNASTIC AIR STRAP, HATS AND BRICKS , ACROBAT ON ROLLERS ,COW BOYS GENES WITH LASSO, AIR DUET ON CLOTH , SILK ROPE , E. C T. OR ANY ACT OR ITEM U HAVE JUST SEND TO MY EMAIL OR CALL ME .
WE ARE AGREE TO DO BUSINESS WITH FOR A LONG TIME WITH GOOD RELATIONS REPLY ME AS SOON AS POSSIBLE :
KINDLY ACCEPT MY APOLOGIZE AND HONOUR TO SIR / MADAM .
THANKING YOU .

*************** FORE MORE DETAILS YOU ARE FREE TO ASKED ME ANY QUESTIONS .


--
WITH BEST REGARDS ,
PRABHAT CIRCUS
KOLKATA (INDIA)
MOB : +9169831090974
+919163355736
EMAIL: prabhatircus@gmail.com
SKYPE : prabhatcircus
FACE BOOK : prabhatcircus

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