The iconic traveling circus, which in 2017 halted performances after more than 140 years of operation due to declining ticket sales (and years of controversy over its continued use of animal performers), will return in September 2023, has announced the production company Feld Entertainment on Wednesday.
The famous title of the circus – “The Greatest Show in the World” – remains. But the new show notably lacks live animals: the elephants, tigers and the rest of the beasts whose appearances in the circus aroused the ire of animal activists and the public before the end of the original show, are not included in the revamped tour.
For years, animal welfare groups criticized and picketed the circus for what they saw as unfair and cruel treatment of wild animals, especially its elephants. The trunked giants were the stars of the Ringling Circus for more than 100 years, often performing stunts throughout the show, before showrunners phased them out of the circus in 2016. Many elephants retreated to a reserve Florida wildlife.
Giulio Scatola, a former Cirque du Soleil choreographer who leads the cast of the new Ringling Circus, told the New York Times that the new show will incorporate the stories of its performers to create a narrative thread, rather than a series of disconnected acts. and impressive. .
Kenneth Feld, CEO of Feld Entertainment, described the new iteration of the show as a welcome development in an interview with The New York Times.
“Logically, to be successful for 146 years, you have to constantly change,” Feld said.
Ringling’s new team is currently holding auditions around the world, though the new cast won’t begin rehearsing the final product until next summer. Then, in September 2023, the circus will embark on a 50-city tour across North America.