For A Moment You Fly: The Big Apple Circus

Documentary about a small, non-traveling circus in New York City called the Big Apple Circus. The circus features many human performers including acrobats, jugglers, tumblers, etc, but no animals. The performers talk about how much they love performing in the circus, especially this one. Movement and precision acrobatics help make this tape more than just a document about people, but more of a sensory portrait of the feel of a circus.

00:21Copy video clip URL Tape begins. Tumblers begins jumping off a small trampoline and somersaulting through the air. The image is very washed out.

00:38Copy video clip URL Title: “For a Moment You Fly”

00:50Copy video clip URL Voiceover: “New York City, the Summer of 1977” over a shot of NYC. Voice gives a small synopsis of what was happening in NY that summer.

01:08Copy video clip URL Performers appear on a street, running towards the camera and through various shots of downtown NYC, finally making it to the Big Apple Circus big top.

01:42Copy video clip URL The performance begins.

02:18Copy video clip URL Camera cuts to practice, as two tumblers practice various moves.

03:15Copy video clip URL Interview with Paul Binder, circus director.

03:40Copy video clip URL Back to the tumbling performance.

04:05Copy video clip URL Michael Moschen does a juggling/dance with fire balls. Then a shot of him practicing is shown as he gives an interview about how he got involved with the circus. Various shots of him juggling at practice and performing follow, interspersed.

06:55Copy video clip URL Group of performers discussing the “Spanish Webs and Roman Rings”, which Suzanne Perry then performs on, also with practice and performance footage interspersed.

09:27Copy video clip URL Interview with Perry, who explains she also does bookkeeping and runs an office besides her circus duties. The camera then cuts to her at work. More footage of her performing follows.

13:13Copy video clip URL Paul Binder and Michael Christianson juggle at a performance. The camera then cuts to an interview with them: “The act was developed over a number of years, and most of it came from out of work on the street.” Clips of them performing follow are interspersed with interview snippets. Binder talks about how in the 1960s, he and his compatriots were very involved in the anti-war effort and other larger social causes. However, the ’70s have been completely different, and have produced a “tremendous need for human sized events.”

17:18Copy video clip URL Paul Lubera gets ready to perform on the trapeze. He then performs as he discusses his various injuries and his love for his job in an interview/voice-over.

20:00Copy video clip URL Interview with Binder and Christiansen. “I think the secret about circus people is that you as a tv/camera crew can begin to capture the moment when the performer makes the trick, just that moment, you’ll see a whole another world. That’s the moment when everything flies away…and just for a moment, you fly.”

20:20Copy video clip URL The Back Street Flyers practice behind the circus tent on the beach. Then they are interviewed and each is introduced. The same washed-out footage from the opening follows, of them jumping off a trampoline.

21:44Copy video clip URL The Back Street Flyers perform in the tent. Practice footage follows.

25:42Copy video clip URL Interview with Binder, discussing starting a circus in New York City. He feels that a small circus is the perfect antidote to the overwhelming feeling of New York City, because it is a small-scale, personalized experience.

26:41Copy video clip URL Los Indianos perform and the Big Apple Circus Band plays as credits roll and performers take their bows.

29:18Copy video clip URL End of Tape.

 

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