The dragon that saved the show


So, you have a circus and like everyone else in the entertainment business you noticed the financial crises we are said to be in, by the number of empty seats during shows. What would you do? Remember: it’s a big crisis and you don’t have much money. Anything you will do will be a great risk.

Ringling Bros Circus looked back in it’s history and thought “what would one of our founders, Barnum, have done?”

Remember one of his sayings that got him famous: “there’s something for everyone”. And that is what they put in their new show. Something for everyone. But just look at how they did that. For me it’s a classic example of what you should do if people start to loose interest in your show. The worst thing you could ever do is making the show even less ´cool´ for your audience.

They must have put all the money they could find in this show. And with that they made sure there’s something for everyone. They made their own dragon…..

Dragons is a masterpiece that honors The Year of the Dragon.  Circus performers from all over the planet were assembled for Dragons, making it a 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’.

Only those wo accomplished the strength, courage, wisdom, and the heart of the mythic beast can see one today. The whole show is about accomplishing these elements. In the end, ofcourse, a ‘real’ dragon is summoned and takes off for a flight while breathing fire all over. This show has something for everyone, and that is why now empty seats are part of their history again. If you like myth you will love it. If you like spectacle you need a bucket to catch your drewl. There are great and amazing circus acts. It has story….. No matter what your interest is, the dragon has it for you.

You can almost feel the energy of the crew through the screen…

Does your show or business have the spirit of a dragon?

About the dragon:

Although the $500,000.- golden dragon seems to fly through the air with the greatest of ease, people who worked on the project said the lifelike design is so large that it initially presented the team responsible for building it with a lot of technical problems. “In the past, we’ve used hydraulic and air cylinders” to power designs, explained Rick Papineau, vice president of scenic elements for Feld Entertainment. Papineau’s team of about 16 people, responsible for building the dragon, decided early on that they would need to use 600-pound electric motors to animate the creature so it would move like a living animal. Workers spent more than three months and what Papineau estimates were about 5,000 man-hours building the 4,000-pound dragon. The team started with sketches and then moved on to design the main body. Although Vienna, Va.-based Feld’s designers have worked on shows such as Disney Live!, and Disney on Ice, the team quickly realized the design would require more advanced technology than they had ever used. This dragon, which is the circus’s most ambitious creation to date, has its own customized software control system and a state-of-the-art diagnostic system. Its wings will flap as it moves around the arena and its head will move left and right. Each one of those moves requires one of the three-foot-long, 600-pound motors. “To lift two tons in the air to make it have fluid movement is quite a chore,” said Papineau, who has worked as part of Feld’s circus operations for about 20 years. The 3,000 separate, individually applied scales added to the exterior of the dragon make it look even more real, he said. And if anything goes wrong, the diagnostic system is set up so that Papineau can look inside the creature and see what’s happening from the control board in his office. His team is excited to see how circus-goers, especially the young ones, react to the dragon. “I want to see kids scream and yell, and maybe be scared, just total amazement,” he said. “That’s what we work for.”