Big Top

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The building is circular and is a popular space to perform circus due to its high ceiling and walls shaped like a big top. It was a fantastic place to open the tour with sell-out audiences nearly every night.
"The most important thing, I think, is that we can reach cities we wouldn't normally go to in a big top just because to set up a big top and stay for six to eight weeks and have an audience, you need a certain number of people in the town.
Roll up, roll up: Don't miss your chance to win tickets to the circus and a Big Top model.
Auditions for the "Pickled Person" will take place inside The Big Top at 11am on Thursday July 26, and interested parties should call the job centre to book an interview on 08456 004262.
The best place for Anne is not a Big Top but somewhere she can live out the rest of her days in peace and dignity."
The branch in the Big Top is not dead yet, but it will be soon.
Tickets for the Big Top gig are priced [euro]47.50 and go on sale on Friday.
But when the weather turns windy and the big top is blown away, will Sarah and Duck be able to save the day?
The festival, which is due to run from April 30 to May 1 this year, was due to centre around a big top in the Mystery Park, but the team need to raise funds so this can happen.
Big Top on Beach Rd, Bangor A Big Top, the smell of popcorn and some excited children gave the wrong impression that Flown is just a circus without animals.
For a decade, the city's Gala Theatre has enjoyed a monopoly on the pantomime scene, but now there's a Big Top rival.