In San Diego,Ca
Uncle Rusty, Dizzy Dave & Bon Bon of the San Diego All Star Clown club, at the North Park Toyland parade in San Diego, Ca.
by Paul Belanger COAI International Ambassador to China
Here is of some of the many people reading The New Calliope .
I have been fortunate to be a part of the largest circus competition and festival all throughout China, for 4 years now (this competition and festival is the largest in all of Asia and is only topped by the rich history of the Monte Carlo Circus Festival).This is a competition of the best of the best in the world competing in much of the circus arts to include trapeze, tight wire, slack wire, contortionists, jugglers, magicians, acrobats, animal acts, specialty acts and of course Clowns.This is not just a competition but also a showcase of talent, which is viewed live in at least 10 major countries.Thousands of entertainers vie to be a part of the competition, but it only comes down to a final 32 acts in the competition, with an option of touring throughout China after the competitions.You may already know I put together the first balloon program for any international circus festival.This year I brought entertainers from the USA to do a large balloon program.Besides myself (Paul Belanger) I was with Aaron "Dizzy Doc” Hays, Robbie Furman (a great funny man) and 4 Chinese Clowns / Balloon Entertainers.( Tian Guo Yu, Li Xiao Yan, Huang Yu Meng and Wang Zhizhong) to help.The program included 2 balloon dragons, which were 30 foot long each, a 10 foot balloon golden lion, and numerous interactive balloons, giant bubbles and walk around clowning. Of course there were many interactive balloon stage performances too.Many of the balloon creations were one of a kind, never before done anywhere else in the world. One of the clowns, Wang Zhizhong, was a student of mine 2 years ago in China (now has many students of his own), but he has improved so much that I find myself asking Him how he is doing his many new creations. The Eastern discipline is truly amazing in the art.The clowning and balloons are an East/West combination of clowning. The Chinese Clowns were thrilled to receive old copies of Calliope magazine – they are now hooked and plan on doing so much more!One of the clowns was a student of mine, who taught and worked with 3 others. In only 2 years, I was asking them to teach me some of what they learned. It has been an amazing 5 years of working throughout China!In the past few years I have not reported much, but that will change. Since I am the COAI Ambassador to China – I will periodically update the East/West clowning in China.I have been producing Clown/Comedy Festivals, interactive balloon fashion shows and trying to open up many venues in China. This is only the beginning. In the next few years there are some projects planned and a further expansion into even more cities in China.