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Video: Preview of new Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus “Dragons” & Interview with director Shanda Sawyer

December 14, 2011

OW's Seth Kubersky interviews Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey Circus director Shanda Sawyer

If, like me, you grew up as a fan of the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey circus, Central Florida is a great place to be. Not only has the state served as the traditional winter home of the circus, but our region is ground zero for new productions of the century-plus-old show.

On Monday Dec 14th, I was invited to the Florida State Fairgrounds for a rare peek behind the curtain, as the circus showed off the opening scene from their upcoming “Dragons” show to the press. As you can see from the below video I shot, even in this rough rehearsal state — without costumes, lighting, live music, or large animals — you can get a sense of the scale of this latest spectacle , which is inspired by images of the mythological fire-breathing lizards from around the world. Interwoven with footage from the prototype performance, you’ll also see clips of my interview with show director/writer Shanda Sawyer.

As an added bonus, after my video you’ll also find a link to footage provided directly by the circus featuring their world-famous clowns. “Dragons” premieres in Tampa in a couple weeks, and you can see it for yourself at Orlando’s Amway Arena January 12-16th.

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  • Pcuvie

    Use the fake dragons and leave the real animals out of the show.

  • JanieMom

    As a child I was caught up in the illusions that the circus
    creates to suck children in, now I am an adult and know things where never as
    they seemed.  I have read and seen too
    much irrefutable evidences that Ringling has “always” used cruel and barbaric
    methods behind closed doors to train their baby elephants to perform circus

    With the Internet at our fingertips there is no excuse for
    not educating yourself about animal abuse for entertainment.  It is overwhelming if you look.

    of Representative Bill Young of Seminole County has Co-Sponsored H.R. Bill 3359
    the Traveling Exotic Animal Prevention Act.
    This circus animal abuse is well documented in this bill.

    Bob Barker said in support of
    H.R. bill 3359 TEAPA, “The best day in a circus elephants life is the day
    they die.  This is the only way they can
    escape a life time of abuse.”

  • Manma

    You pay to go and you encourage others to go. Good job supporting an industry that tortures animals on a daily basis.

  • afghanround

    Boycott animal-circuses! Support the TEAPA bill in congress:

    Just say NO!

  • Luigimalabarista36

    muy bonito pero faltan los payasos luigi and chiky