In 1768 Philip Astley founded the modern circus and exported it throughout Europe, especially to Paris and St. Petersburg. On July 5, 1782, the English horseman opened the Manège Anglois on the Parisian Boulevard du Temple. The public is so fascinated by his numbers, that the king granted him the privilege of opening a permanent amphitheater. Astley then split himself between London and Paris in managing his amphitheaters (the opening of a third in Dublin will be imminent). His shows were based on the intertwining of different theatrical forms: circus, music and theater. The ring was combined with the stage: the playbills crossed equestrian numbers, juggling, acrobatics, vaudevilles, pantomimes and Commedia dell’Arte performances. The hippo-drama La Bataille et la Mort du Général Malborough staged in Paris on December 3, 1788 is a case point. The pantomime was played by the Astley company in collaboration with the Antonio Franconi circus, which, since 1791, will permanently occupy the Astley’s amphitheater, later known as Cirque Olymplique and Cirque National. Here, since 1811, the acrobatic and equestrian numbers will be combined with pantomimes (also with dialogues), single acts and, since 1849, with military plays in four acts. The most representative examples are Le Pied de Mouton (1806) by Martainville and Les Pillules du diable (1838) by Laloue, Bourgeois and Laurent also staged in various Parisian popular theaters. In 1792, Astley exported his circus to St. Petersburg together with his rival Charles Hughes, who had already been at Catherine II court in 1773. In 1782 Hughes had opened the Royal Circus and Equestrian Philharmonic Academy in collaboration with Charles Dibdin, a well-known London playwright and musician. The Royal Circus amphitheater was significantly equipped with a ring for equestrian exercises and a stage for the representation of pantomimes. With a troupe of acrobats, musicians, actors and riders (including Peter Ducrow), Astley and Hughes exported to St. Petersburg shows marked by the theatrical crossing, like La chasse à la cour de Windsor.

(2022). Il circo moderno: una storia di migrazioni e contaminazioni sceniche . Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/227411

Il circo moderno: una storia di migrazioni e contaminazioni sceniche

Mazzoleni, Elena
2022

Abstract

In 1768 Philip Astley founded the modern circus and exported it throughout Europe, especially to Paris and St. Petersburg. On July 5, 1782, the English horseman opened the Manège Anglois on the Parisian Boulevard du Temple. The public is so fascinated by his numbers, that the king granted him the privilege of opening a permanent amphitheater. Astley then split himself between London and Paris in managing his amphitheaters (the opening of a third in Dublin will be imminent). His shows were based on the intertwining of different theatrical forms: circus, music and theater. The ring was combined with the stage: the playbills crossed equestrian numbers, juggling, acrobatics, vaudevilles, pantomimes and Commedia dell’Arte performances. The hippo-drama La Bataille et la Mort du Général Malborough staged in Paris on December 3, 1788 is a case point. The pantomime was played by the Astley company in collaboration with the Antonio Franconi circus, which, since 1791, will permanently occupy the Astley’s amphitheater, later known as Cirque Olymplique and Cirque National. Here, since 1811, the acrobatic and equestrian numbers will be combined with pantomimes (also with dialogues), single acts and, since 1849, with military plays in four acts. The most representative examples are Le Pied de Mouton (1806) by Martainville and Les Pillules du diable (1838) by Laloue, Bourgeois and Laurent also staged in various Parisian popular theaters. In 1792, Astley exported his circus to St. Petersburg together with his rival Charles Hughes, who had already been at Catherine II court in 1773. In 1782 Hughes had opened the Royal Circus and Equestrian Philharmonic Academy in collaboration with Charles Dibdin, a well-known London playwright and musician. The Royal Circus amphitheater was significantly equipped with a ring for equestrian exercises and a stage for the representation of pantomimes. With a troupe of acrobats, musicians, actors and riders (including Peter Ducrow), Astley and Hughes exported to St. Petersburg shows marked by the theatrical crossing, like La chasse à la cour de Windsor.
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