The Big Apple Circus began in 1977, during the 1970s revival of the “Big Apple” name. It is still going.
Wikipedia: Big Apple Circus
The Big Apple Circus is a circus based in New York City. Opened in 1977, later becoming a nonprofit organization, it became a tourist attraction. The circus has been known for its community outreach programs, including Clown Care, as well as its humane treatment of animals. Big Apple Circus filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 2016 and exited bankruptcy in February 2017 after its assets were bought by Compass Partners. The Circus was renewed in October 2017 for its 40th anniversary season and returned to start a new season in October 2018 at Lincoln Center, receiving glowing reviews.
Gregory Fedin and his then wife Nina Krasavina, both born and trained in Russia, started a circus school to train future “first” generation circus performers. They started the small school in a lower Manhattan loft.
The circus couple worked with Paul Binder and Michael Christensen to develop the Big Apple Circus following the European style “one ring” circus. In 1977, they located and secured an open ground area, in Battery Park, where the Big Apple Circus debuted. Headlining the early shows was a single trapeze, a dog act, tight rope walking, jugglers and clowns, double trapeze artists, and a host of other performers.
During 1978, the circus moved from Manhattan.
30 May 1977, New York (NY) Times, “Going Out Guide” by Howard Thompson, pg. 22, col. 1:
STAY HOME, KING KONG Circus-minded New Yorkers who have wondered how it would be to perform - and haven’t we all? - have their chance tomorrow morning at 147 Spring Street, starting 8:30. Acts of all kinds and ages are invited to audition for the city’s first resident sawdust company, the Big Apple Circus, which makes its debut the weekend of the Fourth of July in Battery Park. The new one-ring project, which has partial civic and business backing, will be quartered in a specious tent at the Battery for seven weeks, performing thereafter in other boroughs.
There’s one restriction for circus applicants: Animal acts are limited to small species. Judging the entries will be the stars and founders of the Big Apple troupe. They include Philippe Petit, who walked a wire between the World Trade Center towers; Nina Kasavina and Gregory Feldin, acrobatic clowns formerly with the Moscow State Circus. and Paul Binder and Michael Christensen, jugglers of “Sesame Street.”
8 July 1977, Daily News (New York, NY), Friday sec., pg. 11, col. 1:
The Big Apple has a circus
PAUL BINDER and Michael Christenson practiced juggling three years on the streets of London, Paris, Rome, Athens, Vienna and Istanbul. They’ve also been on “Sesame Street.” Now they’re ready for the big time. They’ll be starring in the Big Apple Circus, which is gearing up for a mid-summer opening at Battery Park City.
15 December 2008, New York (NY) Times (online), “Ask About the Big Apple Circus”:
The Big Apple Circus is a nonprofit performing arts institution committed to children and their families. It was founded in 1977 by Paul Binder and Michael Christensen to introduce American audiences to the intimate environment of a one–ring circus under a big-top tent. Since its inception, the Big Apple Circus has produced 31 shows, each created around a specific theme integrating aspects of traditional theater (e.g., original musical compositions, lighting, choreography, sets and costumes) with classical circus artistry such as clowning, juggling, acrobatics and equestrianism.
7 November 2017, New York (NY) Times (online), “Review: The Big Apple Circus Is Ripe for Another Bite” by Alexis Soloski:
A year ago, the Big Apple shrank a little. Big Apple Circus, which opened in 1977, had amassed more than $8 million in debt and did not produce a fall show. A crowdfunding campaign sputtered, and the circus filed for bankruptcy . But after a successful auction, Big Apple Circus has returned to Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center with its, well, core sensibilities intact.
Big Apple Circus has switched from nonprofit to for-profit, but on a Saturday this month, the big top looked more or less the same. The souvenir stand had stayed modest; the portable toilets were unimproved. Concessions were of the chips-popcorn-churro variety, though the Dippin’ Dots came in a glowing cup, which seemed troubling. There was also a small booth selling beer and wine, where a few of the parents had lined up. At 11 a.m., some people find the circus taxing.
Word Mark BIG APPLE CIRCUS
Goods and Services IC 041. US 107. G & S: Entertainment Services in the Nature of a Circus. FIRST USE: 19770700. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19770700
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 73280891
Filing Date October 8, 1980
Current Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition February 8, 1983
Registration Number 1236748
Registration Date May 3, 1983
Owner (REGISTRANT) New York School for Circus Arts, Inc.; The not-for-profit corporation NEW YORK 1 E. 104th St. New York NEW YORK 10029
(LAST LISTED OWNER) BIGTOPWORKS LLC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY DELAWARE 1820 RINGLING BLVD. SARASOTA FLORIDA 34236
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Attorney of Record Claudine Meredith-Goujon
Disclaimer No claim is made to the exclusive right to use the word “Circus”, apart from the mark as shown.
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR). SECTION 8(10-YR) 20130412.
Renewal 2ND RENEWAL 20130412
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New York City • The Big Apple • 1970s: Big Apple Revival • Sunday, July 28, 2019 • Permalink