‘International Guide To the Circus’, Edited by Rodney Huey PhD

The Fédération Mondiale Du Cirque (World Circus Federation) have published an excellent guide for anyone new to the language of circus arts and, as they claim on their website, it will be ideal for members of the press who need to comment on circus and need to quickly brush up on the appropriate terminology.

The clear and graphically appealing layout offers a snappy reference guide, which provides the definitions of 100 common circus terms for the layman, as well as a superb potted history of circus development.  What’s more, the terms are translated across 9 different European languages, ensuring the guide’s relevance in a truly international field.

Beginning with production terms, such as the various tents and structures used to build a circus setting and the basic work roles, the book then begins to focus on specific types of act – the aerial work, acrobatics, animal acts and equilibristics.  We are also provided with terminology specifically for referring to clowning, juggling and other speciality acts.

The list is by no means exhaustive, and will undoubtably be too basic to interest any regular circus fans – unless for the beautiful photography that illustrates each entry; however, as a glossary for the uninitiated, this book will allow you to feel a part of the circus world, and give you the confidence to talk about circus with a relevant and educated vocabulary.


The Guide is available from the Fédération website here.

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