World Weekly Story: What is the circus that claims to have the greatest performance on earth?

  CCTV News (World Weekly):How many children went to the circus on Children’s Day? Circus performance is one of the good memories of childhood for many people. Today, in some large theme parks, the most popular performance is circus. But on May 21st, a 146-year-old "Lingling Circus", known as "the greatest performance on earth" and one of the three largest circuses in the world, held its final curtain call in new york and announced its closure. The news made many people feel particularly sad, but it also made others jump for joy. What does the closure of Lingling Circus mean?

   Wonderful performance bid farewell to "the greatest performance on earth"

  On May 21st, the farewell performance of Lingling Circus was held in Nassau Veterans Memorial Gymnasium in Long Island, new york, USA.

  Before the performance, Kenneth Field, CEO of the American Field Entertainment Company, the parent company of Lingling Circus, gave a speech in the center of the stage.

  After a tense 10-second countdown, the performance officially began.

  The whole performance lasted for 2 hours and 30 minutes, which was wonderful and won applause from the audience.

  After this final performance, the 146-year history of Lingling Circus came to an end.

  Audience: It was very interesting. The performance was fantastic, but it was very sad. My children just cried and asked me, Mom, why is the circus closed? Today, I brought my mother, aunt and friends to watch the performance. It was a little sad, but I was glad that we could come. I saw their circus when I was a child.

  Audience: Unfortunately, the circus has become a symbol of American culture.

  Past lives of Lingling Circus


  The history of Lingling Circus can be traced back to 1871.

  At that time, Phineas Taylor Barnum, an American, organized a circus performance by showing rare animals and people with strange shapes, which was very popular with the audience.

  Ten years later, barnum cooperated with his main competitor, james bailey, and established "barnum and Bailey Circus", the predecessor of Lingling Circus.

  After barnum and Bailey died, another "Lingling Brothers Circus" formed by five brothers from Wisconsin bought "barnum and Bailey Circus" and merged into "Lingling Circus".

  At the beginning of the 20th century, Lingling Circus began to change its style. Instead of taking animal exhibitions as its selling point, it trained animals to perform with circus actors, among which elephant training became the signature program of Lingling Circus.

  In 1967, Lingling Circus was bought by the Field family. The circus continues to expand, hiring a large number of employees and paying a lot of money to collect the world’s rare animals. Every year, Lingling Circus will tour more than 100 cities and become an important part of American entertainment culture. Together with two rising stars: new york Big Apple Circus and Cirque du Soleil, it is known as the three largest circuses in the world.

  The golden age of circus performance is fading away.

  However, with the rise of film and television entertainment, electronic games and the Internet, the golden age of circus performance is gradually fading away.

  Due to high operating costs and declining ticket sales, many circuses have closed down in recent years.

  In November 2016, the 39-year-old new york Big Apple Circus declared bankruptcy and auctioned its assets in January this year.

  Jonathan Iverson, head of Lingling Circus: It’s a pity that today’s society no longer pursues miracles that can’t be seen on the Internet.

  In addition to the pressure of operation, the criticism from public opinion has also put the circus featuring animal performances in an awkward position.

  Double pressure of management and public opinion crushed Lingling Circus.

  Members of animal protection organizations: They mistreat animals.

  Audience: Never mind? ? They won’t do that.

  Members of animal protection organizations: They abuse animals with tools.

  Audience: Have you really seen these behaviors you are talking about?

  In the eyes of animal protection organizations, circus is the hardest hit area of animal abuse.

  Because most performing animals will be forcibly taken away from their parents after birth. In the process of training, animal trainers will use various ways to destroy their will.

  Elephant performance was once a classic performance of Lingling Circus.

  The elephants on the stage look docile and clever, but their growth process is full of fear and helplessness.

  He was separated from his parents at an early age and received human training. During the training process, the animal trainer will tie up the limbs of the elephant with ropes. Once the elephant’s performance fails to meet the requirements, the animal trainer will stab their sensitive parts with the hook stick in his hand, forcing the elephant to obey because of fear, and finally achieve the goal of domestication.

  Even if they are trained successfully and become star actors, the situation of these animals is equally pitiful.

  Because most circuses use the way of touring performances and travel all the year round, the train has become the home of circus members. They married with children, living on the train, look romantic. But animals are different. On endless roads, they are always chained by cold chains and live in narrow carriages.

  In 2011, for violating the Animal Welfare Law, Field Entertainment paid a fine of US$ 270,000, or about RMB 1.86 million, to the US Department of Agriculture.

  However, Field Entertainment does not admit that it has abused animals.

  Their attitude made animal protection organizations increase their protests against the circus.

  Every time Lingling Circus holds a performance, members of animal protection organizations can be seen outside the venue. They seriously discourage the audience who come to watch the performance.

  Members of animal protection organizations: Now they will go in and watch the performance without looking back, and when they realize the seriousness, they will stand on our side.

  Member of animal protection organization: If you don’t want your children to be treated like this, why do you have the heart to let other people’s children suffer from this?

  Under the pressure of public opinion, finally, in May 2016, after completing the last elephant performance, Field Entertainment decided to retire the elephants in the group and send them to the Florida Animal Protection Center.

  Without the elephant in the town, the circus ticket revenue "dropped sharply".

  In January this year, Lingling Circus announced that it would be completely closed at the end of May due to high operating costs and declining ticket sales. After the closure, all the animals in the group will be sent to other suitable places, but the company did not disclose the specific place.

  Field, CEO of Field Entertainment, USA: Circus has experienced world wars, every economic cycle and many changes. People don’t like circus as much as they used to.

  Circus should also keep pace with the times. Cirque du Soleil’s "O" show relies on technology instead of animals.

  Today, among the three major circuses in the world, the only one left is Cirque du Soleil from Canada.

  This circus, founded in 1984, found a new way, not relying on animal performances to attract attention, but relying on high-tech dance design to gather the world’s best acrobats and gymnasts, coupled with a Hollywood blockbuster-like plot, to present a gripping performance, which soon became a great success and has received rave reviews so far.

  "Thirty years ago, a circus without animal performances would be regarded as deceiving the audience, but now people like a different circus."

  -Denver Post

  Conclusion: More humane, safer, more environmentally friendly and healthier entertainment.

  Some people say that the closure of Lingling Circus marks the decline of this traditional form of entertainment.

  However, many people are still optimistic about the future of circus, thinking that circus performance is also advancing with the times, seeking changes in form and content.

  Indeed, with the change of social concepts and the development of scientific and technological means, people’s entertainment methods have been constantly updated. What we expect is that the mainstream development direction will become more humane, safer, more environmentally friendly and healthier.