Friday, July 15, 2011

..Power Up..Fully Charged Ringling Bros Returns to San Diego..

SAN DIEGO ---- A circus is coming to town that wants to plug you in and fully charge your battery using thrill-o-watt.

After skipping San Diego last year, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is charging back into the Valley View Casino Center on July 14 through July 17 with its band of eight elephants, 24 horses, five zebras, 18 Bengal tigers, clowns, acrobats, and more. They will be arriving by the famous Blue Unit train that has a total of 59 cars and is more than a mile long.

Celebrating its 141st year, "The Greatest Show on Earth" has a new look this year with lots of music, tightrope acts and a flying fire act (also known as "The Human Fuse"). The theme is "Fully Charged," which aims to "transcend technology by pushing the limits of physical strength and human-animal relationships." According to Ringmaster Brian Crawford Scott, this year's circus has dazzling new lighting effects (including more than 100,000 pounds of hanging lighting equipment) and colorful costumes to appeal to the computer generation accustomed to high-resolution video and 3-D special effects.

The troupe of more than 118 performers and 56 animals has been on tour for eight months and will end its tour in December. The new ringmaster comes from a musical theater background and was discovered at the circus's talent search in Manhattan early last year.

"I serve as the link between the audience and the show," said Scott. "The energy that we produce with the show and the feedback from the crowd, there's really nothing like it."

Ticket-buyers who arrive early can take advantage of two free interactive circus programs. Ninety minutes before showtime, the public can tour the Animal Open House to see the cages where the animals are kept between shows. And one hour before the show, they can enter the arena for the All Access Pre-Show Power-Up Party, a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the makings of the circus. Families can step onto the arena floor to meet performers, try on costumes and learn circus skills. During the pre-show, ticket-holders can watch an elephant paint a "masterpiece."

Some of the highlights of this year's circus are the brave five-member Danguir troupe. These high-wire artists from Russia, Spain and Morocco will form a walking pyramid and jump from shoulder to shoulder high above the arena floor. The gravity-defying Fernandez Brothers from Mexico will jump, leap and skip rope from atop the revolving cylinder-shaped Twin Turbines of Terror in a daring display of athletic strength and agility.

Scott says that the most dangerous stunt to be performed will be "The Human Fuse," which involves a man on fire being shot 130 feet from a giant crossbow at 65 mph across the arena floor. Another moment that stands out is when the famous animal trainer Tabayara traps himself inside a cage with 12 large Bengal tigers.

The nine confetti cannons and the bright costumes ---- made with a blingy 3 million rhinestones and sequins ---- will add to the high-energy show.

"Be sure to bring your smiles," said the ringmaster.