Vanishing Act

Vanishing Act

Among the last of its kind in the United States, the Garden Brothers Circus consists of about 12 acts, 30 human performers and 15 animals. Setting up and tearing down, city by city and state by state, the traditional traveling circus appears and disappears in a matter of hours, only to do it all over again.
Published: October 20, 2018 | Updated: February 16th, 2019 at 12:54 am
Vanishing Act
The elephant trainer had only been a part of The Garden Brothers Circus for less than a week. He would practice their routine behind the performance building prior to the show.
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The two clowns of The Garden Brother Circus, also known as the Cifuentes family, are father and son. Among three families within the cast, the Cifuentes perform three acts, one of which includes their dog.
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There are four people who perform acrobatics while riding horses in the ring. One of the horse riders then gets off and cracks the whip in the middle of the ring while the performance is going on.

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The Garden Brothers Circus’ elephants, Viola and Izzi, are the final act of the circus and two of the few performing elephants left in the country. They travel alongside the performers.

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An hour before the show, the performers emerge from their trailers to let their audience enjoy pony rides, camel rides, obstacle courses and face paint. New York State doesn't allow elephant rides, but other states do.
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Each moment that the performers have available, they try to sleep. Mr. Valerias is the patriarch to a family of circus performers as his son, Ariel, met his wife, Stefanie Clouse, performing. Now his son's family is also on the road with The Garden Brothers Circus.
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The stadium size varies, so the stage does as well. The traveling circus performs in small arenas or ice rinks where semi-pro teams normally play. In Elmira, the circus crew was able to set up its full stage because of the space they had in First Arena Stadium.
Vanishing Act
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is a visual journalist for The NewsHouse.