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Circus Trivia Quiz Questions With Answers

Free fun circus trivia quiz questions with answers.

 

Circus Trivia Quiz Questions With Answers

What is a circus?
A: A circus is a company of performers who put on diverse entertainment shows that may include clowns, acrobats, trained animals, trapeze acts, musicians, dancers, hoopers, tightrope walkers, jugglers, magicians, unicyclists, as well as other object manipulation and stunt-oriented artists.

Who is credited with being the father of the modern circus when he opened the first circus in 1768 in England?
A: Philip Astley.

The traditional format, whereby a ringmaster introduces a varied selection of acts that mostly perform choreographed acts to traditional music, developed when?
A: In the latter part of the 19th century and continued almost universally to be the main style of circus up until the 1970s.

As styles of performance have developed since the time of Astley, so too have what?
A: The types of venues where these circuses have performed.

Where were the earliest modern circuses performed?
A: In open air structures with limited covered seating.

From the late 18th to late 19th century, custom-made circus buildings (often wooden) were built with various types of what?
A: Seating, a centre ring, and sometimes a stage.

When were the traditional large tents, commonly known as "Big Tops" introduced?
A: In the mid-19th century as touring circuses superseded static venues.

 
These tents eventually became the what?
A: The most common venue and remain so to the present day.

Contemporary circuses perform in a variety of venues including tents and what?
A: Theatres and casinos.

Many circus performances are still held in a ring of what size?
A: Usually 13 m (42 ft) in diameter.

This dimension was adopted by Astley in the late 18th century as the minimum diameter that enabled an acrobatic horse rider to do what?
A: To stand upright on a cantering horse to perform their tricks.

Contemporary circus has been credited with reviving the circus tradition since the 1980s when a number of groups introduced circuses based what?
A: Based almost solely on human skills and which drew from other performing art skills and styles.

The modern and commonly held idea of a circus is of a what?
A: A Big Top with various acts providing entertainment therein.

However, the history of circuses is more complex, with historians disagreeing on its what?
A: Origin.

 
For many, circus history begins with whom?
A: Englishman Philip Astley.

For others its origins go back much further, to what?
A: To Roman times.

In Ancient Rome, the circus was a building for the exhibition of what?
A: Horse and chariot races, equestrian shows, staged battles, gladiatorial combat and displays of (and fights with) trained animals.

The circuses of Rome were similar to the ancient Greek what?
A: Hippodromes.

For events that involved re-enactments of naval battles, what was done to the circus?
A: It was flooded with water.

The Roman circus buildings were, however, not circular but what?
A: Rectangular with semi circular ends.

The lower seats were reserved for whom?
A: Persons of rank.

 
There were also various state boxes for whom?
A: The giver of the games and his friends.

The circus was the only public spectacle at which men and women were what?
A: Not separated.

What was the first circus in the city of Rome?
A: It was the Circus Maximus, in the valley between the Palatine and Aventine hills.

It was constructed during the monarchy and, at first, built completely from what?
A: wood.

After being rebuilt several times, the final version of the Circus Maximus could seat how many people?
A: 250,000.

What was it built of?
A: Stone.

For some time after the fall of Rome, what happened to the large circus buildings?
A: They fell out of use as centers of mass entertainment.

 
Instead, itinerant performers, animal trainers and showmen did what?
A: They travelled between towns throughout Europe, performing at local fairs.

The origin of the modern circus has been attributed to Philip Astley, who was born when?
A: 1742 in Newcastle-under-Lyme, England.

He became a cavalry officer who set up the first modern what?
A: Amphitheatre for the display of horse riding tricks in Lambeth, London on 4 April 1768.

Astley rode his horses in a circle rather than a straight line as his rivals did, and thus chanced on what?
A: Tthe format of performing in a circle.

Astley performed stunts in a 42 ft diameter ring, which is the what?
A: The standard size used by circuses ever since.

In 1770 Astley hired acrobats, tightrope walkers, jugglers and a clown to do what?
A: To fill in the pauses between acts.

Astley was followed by Andrew Ducrow, whose feats of horsemanship had much to do with establishing what?
A: The traditions of the circus.

 
In England circuses were often held in what?
A: Purpose built buildings in large cities.

The Royal Circus opened in London on what date?
A: 4 November 1782.

In 1782, Astley established the Amphithéâtre Anglais in Paris, the first what?
A: The first purpose-built circus in France followed by 18 other permanent circuses in cities throughout Europe.

In 1826, the first circus took place under a what?
A: A canvas big top.

Where did the Scotsman John Bill Ricketts bring the first modern circus to?
A: The United States.

He began his theatrical career with who?
A: Hughes Royal Circus in London in the 1780s.

He then travelled from England in 1792 to establish his first circus in what US city?
A: Philadelphia.

 
The first circus building in the US opened on what date?
A: April 3, 1793 in Philadelphia, where Ricketts gave America's first complete circus performance.

What US President attended a performance there later that season?
A: George Washington.

In the Americas during the first two decades of the 19th century, the Circus of Pepin and Breschard toured where?
A: From Montreal to Havana, building circus theatres in many of the cities it visited.

Victor Pépin, a native New Yorker,] was the first American to do what?
A: Operate a major circus in the United States.

In 1825, Joshuah Purdy Brown was the first circus owner to use what?
A: A large canvas tent for the circus performance.

Circus pioneer Dan Rice was the most famous pre-Civil War circus what?
A: Clown.

The American circus was revolutionized by Whom?
A: P. T. Barnum and William Cameron Coup.

 
What did they launch?
A: The travelling P. T. Barnum's Museum, Menagerie & Circus, the first freak show.

Coup also introduced the first multiple what?
A: Ringed circuses.

He was also the first circus entrepreneur to use circus trains to what?
A: Transport the circus between towns, a practice that continues today.

In 1919, Lenin, head of the USSR, expressed a wish for what?
A: The circus to become "the people's art-form", with facilities and status on par with theatre, opera and ballet.

In 1927, what was established in Moscow?
A: The State University of Circus and Variety Arts, better known as the Moscow Circus School.

From the 1960s onward, circuses attracted growing criticism from whom?
A: Animal rights activists.