Culture

Circus

CIRCUS is a six-hour series that takes you on an unforgettable trip with the legendary Big Apple Circus. From the big top to the "back lot," explore a distinctive world with its own rules, lingo and no fixed address. Follow the diverse characters who make up the Big Apple family and find out what it really means to live life in the ring.

Down the Road

53m 11s

Amid the final performances, we hear about everyone's plans for the future. Many will be leaving Big Apple Circus. Some have consciously chosen a different path. Others have no idea what they're going to do next. As the trailers pull out of the lot, and the tent comes down for the last time, we join in the time-honored circus farewell: not "goodbye," but "see you down the road."

Episodes

  • Down the Road: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Down the Road

    S1 E6 - 53m 11s

    Amid the final performances, we hear about everyone's plans for the future. Many will be leaving Big Apple Circus. Some have consciously chosen a different path. Others have no idea what they're going to do next. As the trailers pull out of the lot, and the tent comes down for the last time, we join in the time-honored circus farewell: not "goodbye," but "see you down the road."

  • Born to be Circus: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Born to be Circus

    S1 E5 - 53m 41s

    Many performers who grew up in the circus find it difficult to imagine another kind of life. Luciano and Gladis Anastasini who are in charge of this year's dog act, are no exception. Seven generations of circus performers have preceded them. Both grew up in the circus, and it is the only life they have ever known. The question is, will their sons Adriano and Brando carry on the family legacy?

  • Survival of the Fittest: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Survival of the Fittest

    S1 E4 - 53m 41s

    We're in New York's Lincoln Center. The snow is coming down and the garden hoses that supply running water to the trailers are frozen solid. Still, the show goes on. Circus life can be a grind - and it isn't for everyone. A crewman, a trapeze artist, and even Artistic Director Paul Binder weigh their options and contemplate making a transition to the "real world."

  • Change On!: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Change On!

    S1 E3 - 53m 41s

    On the eve of the first performance, a pivotal act is cut and the performers sent packing. Tensions are running high. Making matters worse, a seasoned company regular has been diagnosed with cancer and will drop out of the show. Lackluster ticket sales are not helping the situation. The next stop is New York City and as the trailers hit the road again, everyone knows what's at stake.

  • One Ring Family: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    One Ring Family

    S1 E2 - 53m 41s

    The clock is ticking down to the first full dress rehearsal in Walden, but the show is nowhere near ready. As the pressure ratchets up, and the fate of the performers and the show hangs in the balance, we get inside the dynamics of the Big Apple family, watching relationships begin to gel, and tracking developing rivalries and romances.

  • First of May: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    First of May

    S1 E1 - 53m 41s

    Walden, New York is home base of the Big Apple Circus. Here, the 150 members of the company gather from all over the country and the world to put together a new show for their year-long, town-to-town tour. As the sets are built, costumes designed and fitted, acts rehearsed and refined, we get acquainted with the members of the Big Apple family.

Extras + Features

  • The Big Apple Hits the Road: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Big Apple Hits the Road

    2m

    Each location on the circus tour has distinctive features, and its own set of challenges. But is it a foreboding omen that the first stop of the tour is Dulles, Virginia, where the terrain is -- literally -- rocky? Here, the show is still going through its growing pains, and everyone is working frantically to mount a high-caliber show for their first paying audience.

  • Meet Paul Binder: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Meet Paul Binder

    1m 9s

    Big Apple co-founder "Mr. Paul" is both the leader of the troupe and one of its most recognizable personalities in the ring.

  • Clown Rehearsal: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Clown Rehearsal

    3m 5s

    The Big Apple Circus' trio of clowns, Glen, Mark and Barry, are tasked with creating clown bits to be sprinkled throughout the show. It's a tough process and you're never sure what's funny until the moment of truth — when you're in front of an audience that's either laughing with you or just staring blankly at you.

  • Preview Trailer: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Preview Trailer

    32s

    Preview of PBS' upcoming six-hour miniseries CIRCUS, airing in November 2010. Hit the road with CIRCUS and take an unforgettable trip from the big top to the "back lot" with the diverse characters who make up the legendary Big Apple Circus.

  • Preview: Meet the Flying Cortes: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Preview: Meet the Flying Cortes

    5m 12s

    The Flying Cortes arrive just in time to perform on opening night in Dulles, Virginia. Brothers Alex and Robinson Cortes, along with flyers Chrystie Toth and Alida Wallenda Cortes, talk about what it feels like to soar through the air on the trapeze.

  • Meet Steve Smith: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Meet Steve Smith

    1m

    The Big Apple's guest director takes his work seriously -- but not himself. He talks about why he loves the circus.

  • Glen Gets a New License: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Glen Gets a New License

    2m 33s

    Preparing for a year on the road with the circus, Glen Heroy goes to the local DMV to renew his driver's license.

  • Singing in the Rain: Evolution of an Act: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Singing in the Rain: Evolution of an Act

    2m 46s

    Because of an unexpected change in the Play On! show's program, clown collaborators Barry Lubin and Mark Gindick were charged with developing a replacement act. The comedic duo dreamt up and performed a playful version of Gene Kelly's "Singin' in the Rain" -- a dance sequence with a healthy dose of water spitting.

  • Preview: Welcome to the Circus: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Preview: Welcome to the Circus

    2m 35s

    Join PBS on an unforgettable trip with the legendary Big Apple Circus. Meet the diverse characters who make up the Big Apple family. Get an intimate look at their fears and frustrations, triumphs and failures and find out what it really means to live life in the ring. Premieres November, 2010 on your local PBS station.

  • Preview: Barry Coaches Glen: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Preview: Barry Coaches Glen

    2m 44s

    Veteran clown and Big Apple Circus icon, "Grandma" aka Barry Lubin, shows circus newbie Glen Heroy the ropes of performing in a circus ring. Can Glen pull off a Big Apple signature routine, called "lead-a-band" as they would like him to?

  • The Early Years: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Early Years

    4m 28s

    Get to know co-founders Paul Binder and Michael Christensen, as they take you down memory lane to the early days of their partnership, long before the Big Apple Circus ever existed, when they were just a pair of street jugglers.

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