Thrills under the Big Top
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Audiences will notice a fresh vibe from beginning to end, which all starts with the youthful producing team of the Feld sisters. “As producers of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, we love to challenge our creative teams and this year Rye Mullis is leading the Built To Amaze team as the youngest director in Ringling Bros. history,” said Alana Feld. “Rye is bringing to life an unforgettable experience bursting with amazing performers, brightly colored construction equipment with oversized power tools, fantastic costumes, cool music, great choreography and brilliant lighting.”
The fast-paced show builds on its
construction theme to involve audiences from start to finish. “Our producers are young, our director is young and we have a new young cast ranging from 20-29 years old,” McClain said. “We also have more dancing than ever before – even the elephants dance.”
McClain, an accomplished animal trainer, cowboy and rodeo star who is in his 11th year with Ringling Bros., is familiar to many circus fans as the longtime host of the popular pre-show. “I love people and love making kids happy, which is what I did during the preshow in an up close and personal way and what I bring to my role as ringmaster now.,” he said,
And as, McClain pointed out, he is the circus’ first “equestrian’ ringmaster. With McClain and his horse leading the way, this year’s circus involves more animals than ever before – 95 in all. They are featured in never before-seen routines showcasing their many unique talents – and those of their trainers.
The many riveting new acts include the award-winning duo of Alex and Irina Emelin of Russia. The pair has spent years constructing unique acts full of comedy, animals (including ferrets), magic and dynamic athleticism earning the married couple nine international comedy awards. Their eclectic animal menagerie includes 16 black and white poodles that are balls of energy and involved in hilarious non-stop mischief, according to McClain.