By Duncan Wall
The amazing tale of a tender man’s plunge into the original and lovely international of the circus—taking readers deep into circus background and its renaissance as a modern artwork shape, and in the back of the (tented) partitions of France’s such a lot prestigious circus institution.
whilst Duncan Wall visited his first nouveau cirque as a faculty pupil in Paris, every thing approximately it—the monochromatic costumes, the acrobat making a song Simon and Garfunkel, the juggler reciting Proust—was appealing. quickly he used to be ready outdoor degree doorways, eagerly speaking to the celebs, and attending circuses or 3 nights every week. So nice used to be his enthusiasm yr later he utilized on a whim to the learning application on the École Nationale des Arts du Cirque—and used to be, to his shock, accepted.
occasionally frightening and sometimes humorous, The traditional Acrobat follows the (occasionally literal) collision of 1 American beginner and a number of proficient foreign scholars in a rigorous routine of tumbling, trapeze, juggling, and clowning. alongside the way in which, Wall introduces readers to the entire ambition, good looks, and thrills of the circus’s lengthy historical past: from hardscrabble beginnings to Gilded Age treasures, and from twentieth-century creative and financial struggles to its fabulous reemergence within the type of modern circus (most prominently via Cirque du Soleil). Readers meet figures past—the father of the circus, Philip Astley; the larger-than-life P. T. Barnum—and current, as Wall seeks classes from leading edge masters together with juggler Jérôme Thomas and clown André Riot-Sarcey. As Wall learns, no longer everyone seems to be destined to run away with the circus—but the establishment fascinates simply the same.
Brimming with surprises, oversized personalities, and many allure, The traditional Acrobat offers all of the pleasure and enjoyment of the circus ring itself.