Under the Big Top with the Cole Bros. Circus
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The astonishing feats performed by the Cole Bros. troupe start with the tent raising on opening day. Commencing before daybreak, the circus erects its massive Big Top, assembles some 2,000 seats, rigging and lights, and completes construction of its mobile city of entertainment before noon.
The 2013 Edition of Cole Bros. Circus salutes their decades of circus history, led by ringmaster Chris Connors, with mystifying magic, aerial and acrobatic thrills and
This year’s spectacle features Princess Vicenta’s fascinating assemblage of white tigers; the regal Asian elephants with special guest star-siblings, Baby Hugo and his sister Val; and for the first time in the U.S., the high-wire artistry of Columbia’s Tabares Troupe. Also, from Kazakhstan, the amazing Lana who dazzles her audience as she turns the center ring into a magical realm of llusion. Daredevil turns include ThunderDrome, the moto-globe of death, and The Human Cannonball, who bursts from the barrel of his cannon at intense velocity. Comic relief arrives compliments of the crowd-pleasing Bermudez Troupe, who try to steal the show one smile at a time.
For 23-year-old aerialist Xan Kaplan, who performs as part of Cole Bros. Corps de Ballet, her role with the circus is a dream come true. Kaplan, who grew up in Manhattan and Queens, has been fascinated by the circus since a young child. “I’m not from a circus family, but my twin sister and I were always interested in circus performing. I started out doing gymnastics and then moved on to acrobatics when I discovered the trapeze.”
When she was in high school she hung a trapeze bar from a beam in her parents’ house, and her first aerial performance was a doubles-trapeze with her sister at a small cabaret style show. After high school, Kaplan went to circus school at the Circus Warehouse in Long Island City, a specialized educational facility run by professional circus performers. “I was hooked on performing right away and kept performing in nightclubs and small shows in New York City while I went to school,” she said.