VIENNA, Va., Jan. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Circus launches an all-new production, Dragons, on January 4, 2012, for a 90-city US tour. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Dragons(SM) is a once in a millennium event that honors The Year of the Dragon. Circus performers from the farthest reaches of the earth have assembled for Ringling Bros. Presents Dragons to showcase their astounding acts of bravery and astonishing athleticism. Ringling Bros.® Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson presides over this fantastical celebratory tournament of circus champions that brings together mystic dragon lore with authentic circus feats. Dragons is a never-before-seen blend of renowned spiritual and real life legends that can be found only at The Greatest Show On Earth! ®
The anticipation builds throughout Ringling Bros. Presents Dragons as Children of All Ages® bear witness to one phenomenal Ringling Bros. circus act after another, from Shaolin Kung Fu Warriors, charging Cossack riders, magnificent Asian elephants, fierce tigers to the frenzied Globe of Steel. As the audience observes these and even more real world displays that pay tribute to the dragon, their continued excitement will bring glimpses of the elusive beast. But, the big question remains; what will it take to lure a true dragon from its golden lair?
Ringling Bros. Presents Dragons opens with the All-Access Preshow® available to all ticket holders. Families can join Preshow Host Andre McClain and participate in interactive experiences such as learning juggling and balancing skills, get performer autographs, see one of Ringling Bros. majestic Asian elephant's paint a one-of-a-kind masterpiece and meet the Ringling Bros. Clowns, whose side-splitting spoofs, absurd antics and comical parody are guaranteed to keep audiences roaring with laughter!
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey searched far and wide, from north to south and east to west, to bring audiences spellbinding acts, including:
- The Shaolin Warriors, from China, execute intense and fearless Kung Fu martial arts dating back to the 5th Century. Trained at an early age to become masters of their discipline, the Shaolin Warriors demonstrate powerful concentration and skill by using rapid movements and the sheer strength of their own bodies to twist eight foot long metal rods; break six foot long wooden poles in one precise strike; or be lifted seven feet in the air on the points of five handheld spears. Not even 16 steel blades rotating within a metal ring of fire can unnerve the steady mind of a Shaolin Warrior as he jumps through the razor-sharp blaze blindfolded!
- The Riders of the Wind, a dozen of the most deftly-balancing Cossack riders, charge into the ring on their thoroughbred horses, displaying great strength and amazing dexterity. The equestrian acrobat riders perform intricate maneuvers on horseback, including a double-man pyramid that builds to a remarkable Roman riding five-man high pyramid, all while the horses are galloping at full speed!
- The Globe of Steel features the Torres Family who will shatter all records by putting eight family members on specialized motorcycles. Once locked inside a 16-foot steel globe, all together they will orbit at an unprecedented 65 miles per hour within inches of each other.
- Hailing from Great Britain and appearing in the United States for the first time, Alexander Lacey, trainer and award winning presenter, along with his big cats including tigers and lions, summons brazen bravado and valor in one mixed cat display. Lacey's fearless command of the big cats' agility and strength demonstrates unconditional respect between man and predator.
- Featured in a dazzling aerial display, Viktoriya Medeiros and Widny Neves, the Hair Hang Heroines ascend 35-feet in the air from just the strands of their long dark hair. Relying on the pure strength of their hair, they juggle, flip and even spiral down a silk chiffon!
- The Flying Caceres, with their double decker high trapeze designed specifically for Ringling Bros., will soar elegantly through the air at The Greatest Show On Earth. They will present the wildly difficult forward triple somersault and in the first worldwide attempt, troupe leader George Caceres will undertake a full twisting double bar-to-bar somersault.
- A whimsical, heartwarming and awe inspiring display of showmanship brings an animal menagerie from 10 pounds to 10,000 pounds only found at Ringling Bros. Presents Dragons. Treasured Ringling Bros. Asian elephants, the largest herd of any circus in North America, are presented in an incredible spectacle of majestic wonder and strength. Andre McClain presents a charming display of mixed hoofstock including horses, ponies, mini-donkeys, and goats; Hans Klose with his ten high-energy rescue dogs display their animal athleticism by high jumping, hurdling, back flipping, walking on their hind legs and even diving from 16-feet up in the air; and, Mayya and Andriy Panfilov amaze as their troupe of performing domestic felines scale a "kitty low wire," balance on top of balls, jump through hula hoops and walk across parallel bars only using their front paws.
- In a friendly tournament of Russian Bar Renegades and Teeterboard Titans, two amazing acrobatic troupes attempt to outdo one another as they vault from a 12-foot long, six inch wide Russian bar showcasing an overwhelming series of flips, twists and somersaults sequences. These athletes will astonish as they ramp it up by securing themselves to six foot tall stilts before being launched from the teeterboard, executing not a just single, not even a double but an unbelievable triple somersault!
- Roaring through the arena sky is the dueling double motorcycle high-wire! Hearts will pound as two daredevil riders race their motorcycles on specially designed high-wires suspended 30-feet over the audience. Precariously poised from each bike are beautiful aerialists who feed the flames of excitement with flips and spins all while on the moving bikes!
"We are so excited and have been waiting for 2012, the Year of the Dragon, to arrive so that we could create a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey production of such magnitude that celebrates mystical dragon lore with genuine circus feats," says Producer Nicole Feld. "Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Dragons is truly a once in a lifetime event where fantasy and real world legends literally collide at The Greatest Show On Earth! ®," adds Producer Alana Feld.
To create Ringling Bros. Presents Dragons producers Nicole Feld and Alana Feld assembled a creative team who's story-telling of the exotic interwoven with circus action, humor and fun include:
Shanda Sawyer (Concept, Director and Lyricist): Directed the 136th and 139th Editions of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; choreographed, directed and consulted on a host of television specials, touring shows and music videos, including Dancing with the Stars, The 69th Academy Awards® show, "The Miss America Pageant," as well as artists Beyonce and Miley Cyrus. Sawyer was awarded the Gracie Allen Award for Best Reality Show for the Oxygen's comedy-reality show, Who Need's Hollywood?
Bradley Zweig (Writer): Wrote Feld Entertainment's production Disney's Phineas and Ferb; The Best LIVE Tour Ever! and Disney Live! Presents Mickey's Music Festival; veteran of children's programming who has written for Disney Channel, CW, Cartoon Network, Discovery Kids and Nickelodeon; served as writer and producer on the Henson Digital Performance Studio television series "Sid the Science Kid," for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award.
Joe Stewart (Scenic Designer): Production designer for Disney On Ice Toy Story 3, the 139th Edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey and scenic designer for many television series, including Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Friends, the American Music Awards® show, and the Ellen DeGeneres Show; has worked in television for 30 years and has won three Primetime Emmy Awards.
Greg Poplyk (Costume Designer) – Emmy® nominated costume designer who has designed for a variety of national shows and performances across the United States including Saving Aimee, Guys & Dolls, Yankee Doodle Dandy, My Fair Lady, Land of Nod for The New York City Ballet, A Christmas Carol, Grease, Carousel, and Show Boat.
Alex Reardon (Lighting Designer): Lighting designer for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey 138th, 139th and 140th Editions, Disney On Ice Presents Toy Story 3, and Disney On Ice Let's Celebrate!; designed concert lighting for artists including the Dixie Chicks, LeAnn Rimes, Motley Crue and Paul Simon; created lighting for the premieres of motion picturesThe Hulk and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
Ron Aniello (Song Composer) – Multi-platinum and Grammy Nominated writer, producer, composer and musician who has enjoyed a diverse career working with such artists as Bruce Springsteen, Gavin DeGraw, Lifehouse, Patti Scialfa, Barenaked Ladies, Jars of Clay, Bridgit Mendler, Guster, Sixpence None The Richer and many others. In addition, Ron has composed scores for film and TV, and two musicals for Broadway.
Michael Picton (Score Composer): Award winner composer who also has composed the music for the 137th and 140th Editions of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. Picton served as composer, orchestrator and music producer for Le Reve at the Wynn Las Vegas; has composed for clients including VH1's I want to Work for Diddy, SyFy's network series Flash Gordan, and the PBS documentary POV. He was the Grand Prize recipient at the Turner Classic Movies Young Film Composers competition and scored Turner Classic Movie's DVD release of the 1926 Greta Barbo silent movie epic, The Temptress.
Kevin Wilson (Choreographer): Accomplished choreographer and performer with a range of completed work including the highly anticipated feature film Rock of Ages, as well as Dreamgirls, Austin Powers: Goldmember, and Blades of Glory. Wilson's work has been seen in America's Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance, Your Chance To Dance, 2010 Miss Universe pageant, and the 2011 Nickelodeon Awards.
For the national tour schedule and to find out more about Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Dragons, visit Ringling.com.
About Feld Entertainment: Feld Entertainment is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that lift the human spirit and create indelible memories, with 30 million people in attendance at its shows each year. Feld Entertainment's productions have appeared in more than 70 countries on six continents and include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, Feld Motor Sports, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!
SOURCE Ringling Bros.