The Whitney's Collection: Selections from 1900 to 1965

Solo en Inglès

Hear about the artists and artworks in this exhibition on this kid-friendly guide, made specially for kids 6–10 years old.

Animals, level 2

0:00

Narrator: You should be looking at a lion or an elephant. Christine Zerbini has worked with many different circus animals.

Christine Zerbini: Yes, I’ve performed with a variety over the years. Everything from zebras and elephants to cows and pigs.

Narrator: Christine talks to the animals while they’re performing together. She uses the French word brave, which means “well done.”

Christine Zerbini: Our horses, if you say “brave,” that means that everything is good. That’s a very soothing way of saying “good,” and it’s easy for them to understand. Each trainer has their own words or cues for the animals, but we just like to reward them a lot and give them a lot of soothing, comforting vocals. As soon as you see—even if it’s not a hundred percent, even if it’s just a small effort—we let them know, “Brave, good boy!” So that way they understand, oh, okay, that’s what I have to do. And normally by the second time, they’ve caught on right away.

If they don’t get to perform, they really feel left out. And I think that feeling of just being out there with them is the best reward of all.

Narrator: You should be looking at a lion or an elephant. Christine Zerbini has worked with many different circus animals.

Christine Zerbini: Yes, I’ve performed with a variety over the years. Everything from zebras and elephants to cows and pigs.

Narrator: Christine talks to the animals while they’re performing together. She uses the French word brave, which means “well done.”

Christine Zerbini: Our horses, if you say “brave,” that means that everything is good. That’s a very soothing way of saying “good,” and it’s easy for them to understand. Each trainer has their own words or cues for the animals, but we just like to reward them a lot and give them a lot of soothing, comforting vocals. As soon as you see—even if it’s not a hundred percent, even if it’s just a small effort—we let them know, “Brave, good boy!” So that way they understand, oh, okay, that’s what I have to do. And normally by the second time, they’ve caught on right away.

If they don’t get to perform, they really feel left out. And I think that feeling of just being out there with them is the best reward of all.