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Gamma Phi Circus at ISU

10 am Monday on Focus: Learn about about the circus tradition in Bloomington-Normal.

circus performers

Early in the 20th century, acrobats, specifically trapeze artists, would winter in Bloomington-Normal to practice in empty mills and empty buildings with high ceilings. Focus producer Lindsey Moon guest hosts and talks with Marcus Alouan, director of the Gamma Phi Circus at Illinois State University, about how those performers sparked a circus movement in Bloomington-Normal. We’ll learn more about Gamma Phi Circus, one of the oldest and one of the only collegiate circuses in the country and will hear about the circus camps the university sponsors to keep the circus tradition alive.

Then during the second part of the hour, we’ll listen back to a conversation Lindsey had with Duncan Wall. With no prior circus, dance or tumbling experiences, Wall spent a year studying circus in Paris, France on a Fullbright scholarship and wrote a book about the experience and circus history called “The Ordinary Acrobat: A Journey Into the Wondrous World of the Circus Past and Present.”