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Three hour series includes excerpts from over fifty hours of original interviews, hundreds of never before seen photos, exotic film clips, and a lot of very cool stuff . . . all backed by a mind-blowing original soundtrack.


Circus Sarasota...Reviving the Art of Circus in America for Library Distribution


In the early 20th Century, American Circus was magic. Mysterious. It promised visual wonders that are now commonplace with today's reality shows. Television itself became our circus.

Circus its earliest days, Circus in America was a combination of daring-do, sideshows, and family entertainment. Everybody went when the circus came to town. More adventuresome souls joined in the nomadic, romantic lifestyle of circus, and left town with it!

Hey that's me!

In the 1950's Circus in America reached its 20th Century heyday! See the kid in the Hopalong Cassidy hat! Hopalong Cassidy...thanks to early television, circus was already starting to lose its appeal, but as an artform it brought in a whole new generation of performers and entertainers eager to leave town and join. Circus today is a different creature, and new generations are starting to be amazed by its performers and its wonders!

Circus Today...Nik Wallenda crossing Sarasota on the high wire!

“Circus Sarasota” is a feature documentary that sheds light on the past and present of Circus in America as seen through interviews and performances by some today’s top circus talent working in America, including Nik Wallenda of the legendary Wallenda family, as they tell the story and their part in it. Our guides in the story are Pedro Reis and Dolly Jacobs the dedicated creators and Co-Directors of Circus Sarasota. How they began is a story unto itself. He was a poor South African boy who literally ran off to join the circus! She, the daughter of a famous circus performer who grew up with sawdust between her toes!

The Trailer:

Pedro Reis, a twenty-five year veteran circus performer, and his wife, Dolly Jacobs, an acclaimed world-premier aerialist and daughter of the legendary clown Lou Jacobs, created Circus Sarasota in 1997, combining their years of experience and their passion for the art of Circus.

Pedro and his group, The Survivors. Dolly on the Rings, their lives as performers in the Ringling Circus 20 years ago. They met at a Circus, you might say!

When they started performing together, Pedro and Dolly created "The Wings of Love". Dolly still performs, Pedro manages the Circus.

In 1997 Pedro and Dolly created Circus Sarasota, a non-profit organization that celebrates Sarasota’s remarkable circus heritage. In creating this establishment, they combined their years of experience with their passion for the art of the circus. The couple was determined to present the circus as the valuable art form they knew it to be. Today, they continue to bring in talent from all over the globe to create a one-ring five-star European-style circus, a show that has few equals in North America. At Circus Sarasota, incredible acts of daring athleticism are interspersed with traditional circus acts to create a sophisticated and exciting showcase of family entertainment.

Sarasota's own Dolly Jacobs, Co-Founder of Circus Sarasota comes from Circus "Royal Blood" and has performed for audiences world-wide. Here we see her with her legendary father, the clown Lou Jacobs.

Perhaps it's all John Ringling's fault that Circus got both its good and bad names!

Sarasota, Florida is one of the world capitals of Circus. John Ringling moved his Circus here in the early twenties and built a dynasty, permanently affecting the city and its people. So important was the little winter tourist town to the idea of Circus that Cecile B. DeMille shot his epic “The Greatest Show on Earth” here in the 1950’s when Circus gained its highest level of popularity in America.

Cecil B. DeMille's Film, shot in Sarasota at the height of Circus' popularity in the fifties.

Since then, from the sixties to well into the nineties, Circus fell to a low level of interest as must see American family entertainment. Unlike Europe, where Circus has always been revered, America seemed to forget its role in preserving this great tradition.

Recently, the US Postal Service issued this great collection of stamps!

But Circus and its people have survived to bring back the true nature of the beast as great value, great entertainment, and great performing art.

One of the world's top jugglers has only one arm!

World-Famous Renalo the Clown and Ringmaster Joseph Dominic Bauer share stories.

Today, ageing boomers who are first-time circus goers are amazed that it took them so long to catch on! “Circus Sarasota” tells the story along with the high drama and the glamour of artful-traditional circus acts, creating a sophisticated and inspirational showcase of exciting family performing-arts entertainment. 

Can Circus regain its status in the hearts and minds of new generations of Americans?

“Circus Sarasota” broadens the artistic contribution of Circus, while raising the level and perception of American Circus to that of the other fine arts.

Purchase Circus Sarasota for Academic Library Distribution $250

Academic rights INCLUDE the DVD with PPR and DSL. Use of third-party streaming services is OK. Academic licensees can also ask for a custom quote for single screenings. 

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