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Circus Now is proud to honor Big Apple Circus, 7 doigts de la main, and Philippe Petit, in our first annual Celebration of American Circus, featuring the inaugural American circus awards, to be held Sunday, January 4th at 8 p.m. in the Big Apple Circus Big Top in the prestigious Lincoln Center plaza.

ABOUT THE CELEBRATION

Part ceremony, part performance, the Celebration of American Circus will honor several artists and organizations that have revolutionized the circus arts landscape in America, while spotlighting the thriving state of the circus arts in America and New York City.

In conjunction with the celebration, Circus Now is proud to announce the creation of three new national circus awards to be presented on the occasion to their inaugural recipients:

  • the Evolving Circus Award to Gypsy Snider (7 doigts de la main, Pippin)
  • the Elevating Circus Award to Philippe Petit (Man on Wire)
  • the Community Impact Award to Big Apple Circus

Detailed descriptions of the awards are listed below.

Enlivening the evening will be performances by several of North America’s most talented and esteemed circus performers including:

  • Charlotte & Nicolas (7 doigts de la main, Pippin) in hand-to-hand
  • the Ricochet Project (Cohdi Harrel and Laura Stokes) on duo rope
  • the Anastasini brothers (Big Apple Circus) in a Risley act

The celebration will be directed West Hyler (Acrobuffos’ Airplay, Big Apple Circus Metamorphosis) and hosted by Mark Gindick (Wingman, Happy Hour) and Stephanie Monseu (Bindlestiff Family Cirkus), with a special guest appearance by Tanya Gagne (Wau Wau Sisters).

Join us after in the Big Apple Circus rotunda on Lincoln Center, for drinks with the honorees and members of the cast of Pippin.

It’s a watershed moment in American circus history! The Tony-award-winning Pippin closes on Broadway. Big Apple Circus begins its final week at Lincoln Center. Circus Now: International Contemporary Circus Exposure debuts at NYU Skirball. Come celebrate with us, and experience this exciting time as we honor the art of circus in all its diverse beauty.

ABOUT THE AWARDS AND RECIPIENTS

To honor and spotlight the distinguished achievements in the American circus arts, Circus Now is proud to announce the creation of a series of awards, to be presented annually at a ceremony in New York City. For this inaugural year, we are especially pleased to have such a distinguished and impressive roster of honorees, all of whom have spent decades furthering the cause of the circus arts in America.

Community Impact Award
This award is given annually to a circus artist or organization that has succeeded in harnessing and demonstrating the power of the circus arts for community engagement and social good, and in bringing diverse audiences together through quality programming.

Recipient: Big Apple Circus

Dibble with noseA leading presenter of live family entertainment, Big Apple Circus is a non–profit performing arts and community outreach institution founded in 1977. Variety Magazine calls Big Apple Circus “The Finest Up-Close Circus in America.

Internationally-renowned Big Apple Circus, New York’s original one–ring circus, delights audiences of all ages with a new show each year, featuring world–class circus artists performing under its Big Top in a 10-month, multi-city, national tour. In addition to its critically-acclaimed performances, Big Apple Circus shares its special magic with 300,000 year-round across the country through its unique Community Outreach Programs that extend beyond the Big Top to hospitals, nursing homes, and community centers — Big Apple Circus Clown CareSM, Circus After School®, Vaudeville CaravanSM, Circus For All!®, and Circus of the Senses® .

Big Apple Circus is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.  Art Works.  Big Apple Circus programs are made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.  Big Apple Circus is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by generous contributions from a variety of individuals, foundations, corporations, and government agencies.  Big Apple Circus is led by Chairman Richard E. Mayberry, Jr., President Ron Gross, Executive Director Lynn M. Stirrup, and Artistic Director Guillaume Dufresnoy. Big Apple Circus will be performing at Lincoln Center through January 11, 2015.

Evolving Circus Award

This award is given annually to an individual whose personal and/or professional contributions have made a significant and permanent impact on the circus field in America, with specific consideration of how the recipient’s work has influenced the perception of the circus arts by the American public and the arts and entertainment industry.

Recipient: Gypsy Snider (Co-Founder, 7 Doigts de la Main; circus choreographer, Pippin)

Gypsy Snider

Born into the circus ring, as the daughter of the founders of San Francisco’s Pickle Family Circus, Gypsy Snider began her artistic career at age four. A graduate of Switzerland’s Scuola Teatro Dimitri, she performed for three seasons with La Compagnia Dimitri, and thereafter consistently developed her own amalgam of theatre and circus, going on to perform internationally with Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Knie, Pomp Duck and Circumstance and Teatro Zinzanni.

She has been impassioned since adolescence by directing and teaching, and has been a guest teacher with the San Francisco Circus Center and National Circus School of Montreal and a director with the New Pickle Circus, Jamie Adkins/Cirque Eloize, the National Circus School’s show Crime and for various special projects with Cirque du Soleil ; she choreographed performances for the Queen of England’s Royal Variety Performance and William and Kate’s Canada Day celebration. Gypsy directed the circus creation in the revival of Pippin directed by Diane Paulus and won a Drama Desk Award and a Outer Critic Circle Award). Pippin was the most nominated show in New York in 2013 and won 4 Tony Awards.
Gypsy co-formed Les 7 doigts de la main in 2002. She was an original performer in Loft and Mistress of Ceremonies in Cabaret des 7 doigts, a co-creator of Loft, co-director of Traces (Drama Desk Award, Oustanding Choreography), and director of A Muse (2012 and 2013) and co-director of Intersection (2014).

Elevating Circus Award
This award is given annually to an individual or an organization who has made a lasting contribution to increasing public awareness about the beauty, artistry, creative potential of the circus arts through their body of work, with particular attention paid to interdisciplinary collaboration or expression.

©Matthew Bannister & Keith Bomley, dBOX

©Matthew Bannister & Keith Bomley, dBOX

Recipient: Philippe Petit (High Wire Artist & Writer of 10 published books, including, TO REACH THE CLOUDS, the basis of the Academy award-winning documentary, MAN ON WIRE and the upcoming 3-D feature film, THE WALK, directed by Robert Zemeckis, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Philippe.)

Philippe Petit, universal poet laureate of the high wire, was born in France and took his first steps on the wire at age 16. He learned everything by himself while being expelled from five different schools. Performing on five continents, he taught himself Spanish, German, Russian and English, and developed a keen appreciation for architecture and engineering. Using his wire to extend the boundaries of theater, music, writing, poetry and drawing, he has become an inimitable High Wire Artist.

On August 7, 1974, Philippe accomplished what may be the most astounding “artistic crime” of all time. He walked a high wire illegally stretched between the rooftops of the Twin Towers of the World Center, making eight crossings over the course of an hour, a quarter mile above the sidewalks of New York. Philippe’s book, To Reach The Clouds (re-titled Man On Wire in paperback), which recounts that adventure is the basis of the 2009 Academy Award-wining documentary film, Man On Wire, as well as the upcoming 3-D Robert Zemeckis film, The Walk—starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Philippe—which will be released on October of 2015.

In the four decades since the World Trade Center walk, Philippe has performed on the high wire more than 100 times around the world including Paris, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Jerusalem and New York City and as a special guest of The Big Apple Circus. He has been an Artist-In-Residence at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine for more than 30 thirty years. On August 7, 2014, Philippe celebrated the 40th anniversary of his World Trade Center walk in a show entitled, “Look Up!” with Paul Winter on the soprano saxophone and Melissa Leo giving dramatic readings from To Reach The Clouds.

Philippe is the recipient of the first Action Maverick Award, the New York Historical Society Award; the prestigious James Parks Morton Interfaith Award; the Byrdcliffe Award; the National Institute of Social Sciences Gold Medal; he is a laureate of the Fondation de la Vocation par Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet and, the French Ministry of Culture bestowed upon him the title of Chevalier des Arts & des Lettres. He has been a featured speaker at the national TED Conference.

Philippe’s most recent book—his tenth!—Creativity, The Perfect Crime was published by Riverhead Books in the Spring of 2014.

Philippe’s new high wire project is: Rapa Nui Walk, on an inclined cable set on Easter Island in homage to the Rapa Nui and their giant stone statues known as Moai.

Among Philippe’s most cherished goals is the continuation of his first series of High Wire Master Classes: Tightrope! An Exploration Into The Theatre Of Balance.

In addition to walking the high wire, Philippe Petit gives lectures and workshops on creativity and motivation, writes, draws, performs close-up magic, practices lock-picking and 18th century timber framing, plays chess, studies French wine, and was recently sighted bullfighting in Peru. Also, he has been arrested over 500 times…for street juggling!

When he’s not traveling, Philippe shares his time between New York City and a small hideaway in the Catskills.

 

 

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