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
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
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."
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
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
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
Glen and Mark's Pre-Show Rituals
Big Apple Circus clowns Glen and Mark share their pre-show rituals. Mark stretches; Glen pretends to stretch.
Glen Gets a New License
Preparing for a year on the road with the circus, Glen Heroy goes to the local DMV to renew his driver's license.
Preview: Gladis and Luciano
Luciano and Gladis Anastasini, who are in charge of the year's dog act, are eighth generation circus. Both grew up in the circus, and it is the only life they have ever known - certainly, the only one they can imagine. They met and fell in love in the summer of '78. Now they live and travel in their eighteen-foot motorhome, with their two sons, Adriano and Brando, and their fourteen dogs.
The Espana Funeral
With the sudden passing of Gladis Espana Anastasini's father, Gladis and Brando fly down to the funeral. Here, we see that friends from the larger circus community have come to pay their respects to a brilliant performer who loved putting on a show. And we meet Gladis' extended family, the brothers and sisters she used to fly with in their family act - the Espana Flying Trapeze troupe.
Christmas at the Circus
The entire company of Big Apple Circus comes together to celebrate the holidays, with dinner in the ring, a visit from Santa Clause, and a special musical presentation by an ensemble that includes Harmony French, Guillaume DuFresnoy, Sarah Schwartz, Olivier Taquin, and Don Covington.
Everyone is still getting to know each other in the first few weeks of Walden. And what better way to break the ice than a company-wide potluck, where everyone brings a dish that represents their native home?
Preview: Spirit of the Big Apple
A glimpse of the can-do spirit that not only inspires circus artists to attempt amazing feats of artistry and bravery in the ring each day, but also inspires the audience to feel that anything is possible, and that ordinary people can do extraordinary things.
PBS Previews: CIRCUS
A preview of the PBS series, CIRCUS, which follows the Big Apple Circus on their annual year-long town-to-town tour. The preview includes behind-the-scenes footage and commentary from the filmmakers on the making of the series.
Preview: Load In Girls
The crew are the backbone of the circus. Taking down the tent and setting it up in each location, they literally move the circus. Like so many who ran away and joined the circus - the working crew find a home away from home at Big Apple, where the work is hard but the meals and living are free. It's hard but rewarding work, we learn, but can three new girls survive their first load in?
Preview: Meet the Flying Cortes
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.
Growing Up Circus
The traveling circus is a family business and kids are as common a site on the lot as clowns. Circus kids know that they live in a unique world and often wonder what life is like on the outside.
Preview: Barry Coaches Glen
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?
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That Way Madness Lies
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The Wild Ponies of Chincoteague
Finding Your Roots