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American Circus Big Apple Circus Circus Clown Comedy Performing Arts Photography Physical Theater Tent Show

IN/SIGHTS – Big Apple Circus Clowns

Big Apple Circus ClownsBig Apple Circus Clowns

“1987 – Big Apple Circus Clowns. This shot encompasses the wonder of clowns’ first contact with the audience: hope, innocence, vulnerability, and impending mayhem.”

~ ~ Paul Binder – CoFounder of The Big Apple Circus

(Pictured above top to bottom: Michael Christensen as Mr. Stubs, John Lepiarz as Mr. Fish, David Casey as Oaf and Jeff Gordon as Gordoon.)

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American Circus Big Apple Circus Circus Comedy Exhibit Juggling Performing Arts Photography Street Performing Variety Arts Ventriliquist

Capturing Clowns – Dance Magazine article April 1983

Not to get reminiscent about the past but here is an article published in Dance Magazine in April 1983.

Titled “Capturing Clowns”.  Featuring my photographs of performing artists.

Dance Magazine April 1983

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Most of my work at the time was done in studios since I was working a ‘night shift’ job at a photo lab and had access to rental studios.

The first picture above is a studio photograph of MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’ award winner Michael Moschen. Juggler/Inventor/director.

Second is ventriloquist/actor David Strassman taken with his friend ‘Chuck Wood’. David has created some brilliant videos and inventions in the ventriloquist genre.

The third picture is one of the first photographs taken of Big Apple Circus founders Paul Binder and Michael Christensen upon their return to New York from traveling thru European circus juggling as a duo.

Portrait photographer Gordon Munro took the photograph of me with the flower.

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Categories
Big Apple Circus Circus Clown Comedy Juggling Performing Arts Photography

Big Apple Circus Clown Care – Group Shot – NYC

Quite a few years ago I was hired by the Big Apple Circus to photograph ALL the Clown Care Units.

Boston

Chicago

Seattle

Washington, DC

New York City

I did and got some great shots. Here is the one I did on the New York group. See if you know anyone!

NY Clown Care Unit

From the Website:

“Circus Co-Founder Michael Christensen  created the program in 1986 based on his desire to provide a unique service to youngsters undergoing treatment in pediatric facilities. In partnership with a participating hospital’s chief medical and administrative staff, members of the Clown Care team conduct ‘clown rounds,’ their own version of medical rounds, where the healing power of humor is always the prescription.”

The Big Apple Circus Clown Care information can be had by ‘clicking’ HERE.

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Categories
American Circus Big Apple Circus Comedy Juggling Photography

Juggling Archive – Paul Binder and Michael Christensen – Street Jugglers

Paul Binder and Michael Christensen jugglers.

Paul Binder and Michael Christensen just before co-creating The Big Apple Circus.

I photographed Paul and Michael just after they arrived back in NYC from performing all over Europe as street buskers and in some of the celebrated European circuses.

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JUGGLE THIS is coming soon! Get ready to have some fun.

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American Circus Big Apple Circus Circus Clown Juggling Performing Arts Photography Tent Show

Big Apple Circus – ‘Luminocity’ @ Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Big Apple Circus "Luminocity".

What a wonderful night at the Circus…Big Apple Circus

This year’s new show titled Luminocity is a great success. Selling out to crowds of appreciative audiences all season.

You can still see the show during their upcoming summer season when they will be in New Jersey and Queens, NY later this year.

Here are some photographic highlights from the show!

2014.01.10_BAC_045The Ringmaster and guide thru the streets of New York is the enchanting John Kennedy Kane.

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Daniel Cyr at The Big Apple CircusDaniel Cyr performs on the ‘free ladder’. One of the founding members of Cirque Eloise from Canada.

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Acro Duo at The Big Apple CircusThe Acro Duo (Vitaliy Prikhodko -Ukraine and Alexei Anikine – Russia are the Duo)

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Rob Torres performing with the Big Apple CircusWorldwide traveling clown Rob Torres is back at the Big Apple Circus for another season of ‘funny stuff’.

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Jenny Vidbel performing at The Big Apple CircusJenny Vidbel brings her beautiful horses and dogs to the Big Apple Circus this year for a wonderful showing.

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Pierre Ginet performing at The Big Apple CircusPierre Ginet  fools around with an audience member as he ‘picks his pockets’ of the wallet, and his watch.

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Duo Guerrero performing at The Big Apple CircusWerner Guerrero jumping over Aura Cardinali (Duo Guerrero) during their amazing highwire act.

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Ty Tojo performing at The Big Apple CircusTy Tojo in a relaxed moment during his incredible high powered ball juggling act.

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For more information on the Big Apple Circus and their upcoming schedule go here.

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Not posted here are two other acts that were tremendous.

The Dosov Troupe – Teeterboard Act

Mongolian Angels – Dynamic Trapeze Act

The Big Apple Circus Band was so delightful with Rob Slowik, conductor/trumphet.

The show was directed by Michael Barette

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Lynn M. Stirrup – Executive Director

Guillaume Dufresnoy – Artistic Director

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The Big Apple Circus was founded in 1977 by Paul Binder and Michael Christensen

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American Circus Big Apple Circus Circus Clown Mime Photography Tent Show Vaudevisuals Interview

Vaudevisuals interview with Paul Binder – Founder of The Big Apple Circus

I photographed Paul Binder when he and Michael Christensen had returned from Europe and started working on the development of a New York-based circus. Soon to become The Big Apple Circus.

Paul Binder and Michael Christensen jugglers.

Paul Binder and Michael Christensen in a studio shot by Jim Moore.

Paul Binder interview about his never ending fascination with the  Clown.

Paul’s new book “Never Quote The Weather to a Sea Lion”.

Paul Binder's mew book.

Available at Amazon.com

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Categories
Big Apple Circus Clown Juggling Photography

Vaudevisuals Gallery – Paul Binder and Michael Christensen

Paul Binder and Michael Christensen of the Big Apple Circus

Paul Binder and Michael Christensen had just gotten back to the states from traveling thru Europe and performing in some the circus’ there.

I invited them to my studio and we did a few fun shots of their club juggling. This was taken in 1978.

Paul and Michael were on their way with the new created New York’s BIG APPLE CIRCUS!

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Categories
Circus Clown Performing Arts Photography

Big Apple Circus ‘CLOWN CARE’ 25th Anniversary

On Monday at 11am a Celebration was held at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital on Broadway and 165th St.

Serving that facility for 25 years, The Big Apple Circus Clown Care staff sang, blew bubbles, played music  and entertained the children and adults.

In 1986, Big Apple Circus co-founder and Creative Director Michael Christensen founded this professional hospital clowning program.

In the beginning it was only three clowns. Michael Christensen (Mr. Stubbs), Barry Lubin (Grandma) and Jeff Gordon (Gordoon)

Today the Big Apple Circus’s Clown Care is at 18 leading pediatric hospitals nationwide with over 80 talented professional clowns.

It also has inspired many other groups world-wide to develop in Germany, France, Mexico etc.

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The ceremony began with remarks by Big Apple Circus Chairman Chris Wearing.

Chris Wearing

Dr. Robert Seigle, pediatric nephrologist spoke about his relationship with the Clown Care group from the beginning.

Dr. Robert Seigle

The other speaker was nine time Emmy  award winning broadcast journalist Jane Hanson, host of NBC’s LX NEW YORK.

NBC’s Jane Hanson (w/clown nose)

They had celebratory cup cakes donated by Magnolia Bakery.

Philip Thurston, Press Contact for the Big Apple Circus organized this delightfully heartfelt event.

Philip Thurston and Clown Dikki Ellis.

The event was very emotional. Michael spoke about the role of the clown in the hospital environment. The Big Apple Circus Clown Care has been working in hospitals for 25 years and has brought joy and laughter to many children.

Mr. Stubbs (Michael Christensen) speaks to the hospital patients and press.

Directing part of his talk to the clown members of the audience he spoke of the importance of their work.

The Clowns gathered together at the end of the celebration and collectively chanted;

“See you down the road”

The tuba and banjos began playing as they marched out of the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and into the street.

They gathered their belongings, suitcases and instruments and paraded out the front door and took the subway to another hospital in Harlem.

Here are some photographs from the day.

Karen McCarty

Deborah Kaufman

David Engel

Audrey Crabtree and Andy Sapora

Dikki Ellis and Deborah Kaufman

Getting ready to Parade out the door.

The Big Apple Circus Clown Care CLOWNS!

(Not listed in order)

(Michael Christensen, John Grimaldi, Erin Schmahl, Karen McCarty, Josh Matthews, Julie Pasqual, Will Shaw, Audrey Crabtree, Watson Kawecki, Laine Barton, Leo Dessilets, Phyllis Capello, Ron Hoffman, Deborah Kaufman, Sarah Petersiel, David Engel, Lauren Sharpe, John Leo, Dikki Ellis, Hilary Chaplain, Maria Para.)

(L to R)Audrey Crabtree, Michael Christensen, Deborah Kaufman and Hilary Chaplain

The Big Apple Circus Clown Care ensemble (in hospital coats) travel to the next hospital in Harlem.

Mr. Stubbs (Michael Christensen) entering the subway at 165th Street station with props and gear!

Juggler Will Shaw with Big Apple Circus Clown Care 25th Anniversary Banner getting on the elevator with peers.

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Help the New York  Big Apple Circus Clown Care community outreach program continue by donating here!

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Categories
Clown Music NY Clown Theatre Festival 2010 Performing Arts Photography Variety Arts

Shorty and Fatty’s Half Century Extravaganza – NY Clown Theatre Festival Show

The show was a collection of performers that HAD to be at least 50 years old…IF not older!

The hostesses of the show were Karen McCarty and Deborah Kaufman.

Of course the IDEA for this foolish evenings festivities came from the mind of Jan Greenfield. (over 50 too!)

I had a chance to get to the theatre early and take a portrait of the hostesses.

Deborah Kaufman and Karen McCarty Host the Cabaret

They get the show on the road by dancing a number together to rev up the audience spirits.

Are you ready for the show to begin?

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First to start the show is Hilary Chaplain with her delightfully demented piece  THE DIVA.

Uh Oh…What show must go on?

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GORK (Michael Getlan)  the stage hand helps clean up the roses.

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The next act to appear in the cabaret comes from the wilds of Finland.

LILI’s HAIR AND BEAUTY PARLOR

Lily Sukula-Lindblom and audience member Bryce Kasson.

Innocent audience member gets her ‘makeover’ and responds!

The Final Picture for Hair and Beauty Parlor

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The ‘oldest mime in the world’ is Richmond Shepard.  He was there and performed a few comic mime pieces.

Comical stories with nice funny mimetic touches.

Richmond was an inspiration for many mime performers to follow.

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The show was not without disturbances. An act titled ‘Clifton’s Senior Moment’ turned out to be an impostor.

John Leo tried to get in on the show’s action but got pulled off soon.

Out you go impostor. Stay out of here!

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THE HOLE

Next up was the piece featuring Nancy Smithner(c), Therese Schorn (r) and Bernie Kramer(l).

It was a strange piece to say the least!

The young girl is being scolded by the grandmother for misbehaving.

After climbing down a ladder into ‘the hole’ they put on mask and play. They also pull out their tails.(?)

After playing they climb out of ‘the hole’ and back to the drawing room. Grandma reads them the bible.

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WILL SHAW sings ‘This Old Man’.

Very unique discussion of the lyrics during the song! lol

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JULIE GOELL performs ‘Feminity Tonight’.

Preparing a nice facial using uncommon ingredients.

A little egg on the nose is always good for the overall appearance.

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VASES with David Sharps

Not only is David an accomplished juggler and performer he also happens to be a captain of a sea vessel.

Karen and Deborah with signs.

David manipulates the small vase.

David with the very heavy and large chinese vase.

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BERNARD KRAMER performs “My Way”.

Singing Frank Sinatra’s  MY WAY as he proceeded to visually portray his ideas about his ‘way’.

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Mildred and Foo Foo

Here we had another example of a performer trying to ‘get in’ to the show even though he wasn’t qualified. (not 50+)

John Leo was remarkable in his never ending attempts to perform in the show.

(and his never ending array of wild and funny characters! Thanks for the hilarity JOHN)

The gig is over. They found out who you really are John Leo!

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THE AMAZING ZAKAHHR

featuring Michael Christensen

Michael has had a long revered career in the NY circus scene. Having performed in Europe with the one-ring circus’  he and juggling partner Paul Binder came back to NY in 1977 and created the BIG APPLE CIRCUS. Michael also created in 1986 the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit. One of the first season’s of the BAC Michael performed his new act with his new character The Amazing Zakahhr.

Now many odd years later he shows us again his wonderfully creative and off beat mind in action.

“Carnavorium bloodius maximus, the Latin name of one of the most remarkable and vicious creatures of the animal kingdom, the Long Haired, Silverback, Soldier Mole! The Soldier Mole, capable of burrowing through solid granite, having no known predators, this mole reigns supreme in the vast arid wastelands of the middle east.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your safety please remain seated!

We now present

The Amazing Zakahrr

And his trained Soldier Mole, Githha!”

Karen and Deborah help Zakahhr get curtain away for the entrance of his trained mole.

His head to the ground to hear the rumblings of his trained mole.

Exasperated by the effort to keep the trained mole from causing havoc on stage.

His arm under the carpet means only one thing. He is performing the finale  ‘grip of death’!

(he is taking a huge chance not to have his hand chewed off  by the mole Githha)

With a hand bloodied he comes out from beneath the rug ‘alive’.

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Final Curtain Call. All of the performers are ready for bed!

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Categories
Circus Clown Performing Arts Photography Variety Arts

Final Performance for NY Downtown Clown Revue

Tonight we saw the Golden Nose Awards Ceremony. IT was a festive evening with Golden Noses going to Eric Davis for “Clown of the Year’. The “Clown Organization of the Year” Golden Nose Award went to Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit. Michael Christensen accepted the award. The Audience Choice award for Best Clown Act went to “Otto and Lewis” and the award was accepted by Brian Foley. His partner Matthew Duncan was in St. Louis getting married. The Audience Choice Best Clown Character went to Brett Alters for his – Squeeks the Clown.

Host and Producer Christopher Lueck leaves the stage a proud man!

Christopher Lueck (and Amanda Pekoe) have  produced the show for the past 4 years and has presented over 400 clown acts during that time. The entire clown community would come out for these shows which happened the 3rd Monday of every month. Christopher announced during the March show that he was going to not produce the show any more and the Golden Nose Awards Ceremony would be his last ‘hurrah’. It was a splendid evening with great performers and organizations getting their just awards. It will be missed!

Great Job Chris. We will Miss You!

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