NARRATOR—Someone placed the needle on a phonograph record.[MUSIC—PHONOGRAPH-LIKE CIRCUS MUSIC.]
NARRATOR—And the circus began. Calder knelt on the floor, bringing each character to life with his hands while his friends watched and ate peanuts. If making sculptures out of wire impressed them, nothing could compare to the originality of Calder’s Circus. Calder presented his circus figures as part of a live performance decades before anyone used the term “performance art.”
Michael Christensen is Co-founder of the Big Apple Circus.
MICHAEL CHRISTENSEN—The first time I saw the Calder Circus was in a film clip, and Mr. Calder was there running the show. And I was struck with the absolute joy and delight that he was having with his circus, and that’s the same joy and delight that we have with our circus. That doesn’t change.
NARRATOR—Because we can’t show you the circus in action, in this room and in another nearby, you’ll see films that show Calder performing his circus and show the way the circus pieces would have moved.