Big Top

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Big Top


a collapsible structure designed for traveling circus shows. A big top is usually a dome-shaped canvas tent stretched over tall center poles and side poles by means of various fastenings; inside the tent are stands for spectators, room for equipment, and a backstage area. Big tops originated in the 1830’s at the Cirque d’Eté on the Champs Elysées in Paris. They became widely popular in the USA and later in other countries. The first one in Russia was constructed in Moscow, in Neskuchnyi Sad in 1830.

The big top was the main circus structure in prerevolutionary provincial Russia, and traveling circuses with big tops of various types are practically the only form of circus in all the capitalist countries. In the USSR, a vast network of tent circuses is operated simultaneously with numerous permanent circuses.


Kuznetsov, E. Tsirk [2nd ed.]. Moscow-Leningrad, 1971.
References in periodicals archive ?
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begin Friday, October 19 and run through Sunday, January 13, 2008, under the Big Top at Lincoln Center, the second stop on the Big Apple Circus's 11-month, 10-city tour.
There will also be more performances of Frantic outside the Pontio Shop on the High Street at 2pm and before the main Big Top show FLOWN at 6.
It was created as a site-specific show for its big stage space, but we always had the intention of taking it on the road in the big top.
has been working hand in hand with Big Top Shelters in order to provide structural engineering for the American military.
The annual event began in the big top on Kings Dock.
The production is housed in a specially designed big top tent.