Diana Starr Cooper Night After Night

ISBN 13: 9781559633062

Night After Night

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Vividly depicting the colorful lives of the clowns, acrobats, and performing animals that make up the Big Apple Circus, this observation of classical circus traditions discusses the mutual coexistence that can occur between people and animals.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Poet Cooper's rapt meditations on circus life and a night's performance by the Big Apple Circus. Cooper shifts subjects as rapidly as a circus changes acts, starting with an overview: ``Seen from a field at night, with its swags of white lights scalloped from mast to mast against the sky, it looks like an ocean liner far out on the water. Yet it is still a tent.'' The Big Apple Circus appears annually in Manhattan, in Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park, with its trucks, trailers, and horse and elephant stalls. A one-ring circus, it brings focus, rather than diffusing attention among multiple rings. ``Elephants smell, deliciously, of elephants. Beautiful ladies sweat.'' Aerialists deliberately chalk their hands, smile at their risks, and make flying real. In lyrical prose, Cooper makes palpable the electricity flowing between audience and performers, whose displays of technical excellence are ``virtuoso moments''--don't call them ``tricks.'' Cooper is especially rich on the complicated wonders of elephants and goes on for many splendid pages about the nuances of their characters and their physical presence. But then she is absolutely serious about all the circus animals, their individual natures, their minds. A small book immensely alive and flowing with feeling. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Those who view a day at the circus the equivalent of a night at the opera will be caught up in the spirit of this book about the itinerant Big Apple Circus, a one-ring affair that offers its audience up-close seating. First-time author Cooper rhapsodizes about the acts, from horses, camels and elephants to trapeze performers, contortionists and clowns. People whose approach to the Big Top is less reverential will be somewhat more skeptical about Cooper's disquisitions on the psychology of trained animals (dignity is irrelevant to them, she maintains) and will be hard put to share her wonderment at clowns blowing soap bubbles at one another. She notes that in this country, unlike in Europe, almost every adult who attends the circus is accompanied by a child, but she is reluctant to draw the conclusion that Americans consider the circus entertainment fit for children only. Cooper is an unusually good stylist, but her subject matter does not fare well under the weight of her approach. Illustrations.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Cooper, Diana Starr
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