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Before the cinema, the amusement park, and the carnival, the circus was the ultimate destination for family fun. While time has drawn competitors, none of the grandeur of the spectacle has been lost. Entering the big top still feels like a portal to another world. Since the beginning days of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, fans have marveled at the acrobats, guffawed at the antics of the clowns, and delighted in seeing the exotic animals appear before their eyes. The circus show has also stepped into the 21st century, including pyrotechnics, laser lights and more special effects. With the introduction of Cirque du Soleil, the game has changed completely to include much more divergent and creative experiences. The conceptual and artistic beauty of Cirque shows produces wonders to behold with the whole family.

The circus began in England in 1768, and the original ringmaster was a man named Phillip Astley. The early circuses actually resembled rodeos, with equestrian riders taking center stage, supplemented by smaller acts. They grew to include theatrical battle reenactments (the grandfather of modern circus theatrics), and eventually other large animals—mainly elephants and big cats. These circuses with animals as their main draw debuted around the turn of the 20th century, including the famous Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus that continues to this day.

Beginning in the 1980s, the focus shifted to the circus talents of furless bipedal animals – humans. These shows include a variety of talented performers engaging in acrobatics, gymnastics, aerial acts, contortion and other physical acts so spectacular they made the circus performers seem purely inhuman.

No matter the era, the circus is built on showcasing the unusual, the outrageous and the magnificent. It’s an experience that you won’t want to miss, and Ticket Liquidator can get make sure you’re at the circus with guaranteed tickets at low prices.

Cirque du Soleil

The most famous of the modern circuses is Cirque du Soleil, a self-described "dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment." Each circus show is an eclectic stew of circus styles from around the world with continuous live music to create a grand performance that serves not only to dazzle, but deliver a compelling story. The centerpiece of Cirque du Soleil is it acrobats, who perform choreographed routines that seem to defy gravity and the laws of physics. While the show is currently held permanently in Las Vegas, with eight different shows at various hotel theaters, versions of Cirque du Soleil are also consistently on tour performing in cities worldwide. When you spot or hear news of a big top sprouting up at the edge of town or in a vast park, you know Cirque du Soleil has made a stop near you. Despite struggling financially in its early years, Cirque du Soleil made its rightful catapult to undisputed success, becoming the largest theatrical producer in the world, with 90 million people having experienced the circus shows worldwide.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey

Dubbed "The Greatest Show on Earth," the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has been dazzling audiences with its unique show for generations. No matter which Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus comes to town, whether it be Built to Amaze or Legends and Super Circus Heroes, the bottom line is that it's one-of-a-kind entertainment that you won't see anywhere else. Spotlighting the talents of humans and the wonder of beasts, it’s a circus show that offers sights that its audience can only see in person.

Another circus currently performing shows is the UniverSoul Circus. They are performing right now in nine cities nationwide and are always on the move. Branded as the #BestCircusEver, this act seeks to draw a diverse circus audience to its performances. The venue holds not only the typical circus but also mini events of a more outlandish nature, such as House Party on Steroids! and Gospel Extravaganza. The show features both human talent and trained animal acts. What makes the UniverSoul Circus stand out against other circus acts is its ethical treatment of its animal performers. It has never been cited for animal abuse and is strongly opposed to any form of cruelty to animals, offering peace of mind to any circus-goer that worries about the health and condition of the animals they see.

There are various other circuses, including the not-for-profit Big Apple Circus, and the international youth circus, Circus Smirkus. Whether you’re looking for something to attend on your big trip, or an upcoming event near you, circuses are a surefire, family-friendly way to have fun. Look into tickets for a future circus show today, and plan your next great adventure.

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