Cir­cus, fam­ily af­fair for ring­mas­ter

The Drumheller Mail - - SPORTS - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail sub­mit­ted

For Joseph Bauer grow­ing up, it was never an op­tion to run away and join the cir­cus, he was al­ready there.

In fact, for eight gen­er­a­tions, his fam­ily has been a part of the cir­cus. This year his daugh­ter is on the tour with him, ex­tend­ing the fam­ily tra­di­tion an­other gen­er­a­tion.

The Royal Canadian Cir­cus SPECTAC 2016, is com­ing through Drumheller on Wed­nes­day, May 18, and Joseph Bauer is the ring­mas­ter.

“My fam­ily orig­i­nally comes from Switzer­land, and they came in 1953 to the Great­est Show on Earth, the Rin­gling Brothers, Bar­num and Bai­ley and be­came Amer­i­can ci­ti­zens not long af­ter that and toured through­out the US,” he ex­plains.

He said his fam­ily orig­i­nally per­formed on the sway poles, a tra­di­tional cir­cus ac­ro­batic act. They con­tin­ued with other acts and pro­duc­ing shows for world fairs and even Dis­ney.

Bauer him­self will be per­form­ing in the Gi­ant Wheel of Des­tiny on this tour.

Be­sides Joseph, he has a sis­ter who is mar­ried to Tarzan Zerbini, who owns their own cir­cus. His wife is an eques­trian and his niece is also per­form­ing.

“It’s a big fam­ily af­fair,” he said. “It is some­thing that is in our blood. Per­form­ing in the air with my fam­ily is a high­light of my ca­reer.”

SPECTAC! 2016, show­cases an in­ter­na­tional cast in­clud­ing An­thony Pages fly­ing trapeze, the wheel of des­tiny, Chi­nese pole ac­ro­bats, The Kam­barow Cos­sack Riders from Mon­go­lia, the Russian Swing and Ro­ma­nian Ae­ri­al­ists, clowns and the Lib­erty Horses. Be­cause of a per­mit hold up at the border, there will be no ele­phants per­form­ing in the show.

“The cir­cus is still the old­est form of fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment, it’s older than base­ball,’ he said.

Over the years the cir­cus has rein­vented it­self with resur­gence of acts such as Cirque du Soleil.

There have also been changes of at­ti­tudes in re­gards to the use of an­i­mals. This year the Rin­gling Brothers Bar­num and Bai­ley have re­moved ele­phants from their tour.

“Our ele­phants have a 100 acre prop­erty right out­side of St. Louis and half of the year they are roam­ing the hills of Mis­souri,” he said, “We re­ally love these an­i­mals, they are part of the fam­ily.

He adds they raise aware­ness and funds to sup­port the Asian Ele­phant Sup­port through­out the tour.

The Royal Canadian Cir­cus SPECTAC! 2016 is set for two shows at the Drumheller Me­mo­rial Arena on May 18 at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

This is the 253rd An­niver­sary of the Zerbini Fam­ily Cir­cus. Since the hum­ble start of the Zerbini Fam­ily Cir­cus in Paris, France, in 1763 ten gen­er­a­tions of Zerbini’s have trav­elled the world shar­ing their tal­ents with cir­cus au­di­ences on three con­ti­nents. Visit the Zerbini fam­ily run ele­phant care and re­tire­ment fa­cil­ity in Gainesville, Florida­laboutele­phants. com

It’s a big fam­ily af­fair. It is some­thing that is in our blood. Per­form­ing in the air with my fam­ily is a high­light of my ca­reer.”

The cir­cus is a fam­ily af­fair for Joseph Bauer who is an eight gen­er­a­tion per­former. He is ring­mas­ter at SPECTAC! 2016 in Drumheller on May 18.

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