1 At the Greatest Show on Earth, surprise and wonder delights the audience with over the top feats of strength, agility, and courage.
2 Introducing Andre McClain, the Ringmaster. In addition to being a very lively Ringmaster, Andre is also an accomplished animal trainer, cowboy, rodeo star, country singer, and songwriter.
3 Andre does an amazing job of directing all the circus acts, the exotic animal, and equestrian presentations.
4 This is Alex and Irina Emelin, who have spent years constructing never-before-seen acts full of comedy, animals, magic, and dynamic athleticism. Moscow natives, Alex was inspired by his uncle, who was a clown and Irina is a second generation circus performer. The two met while performing in circus shows.
5 This is a unicycle group called King Charles Troupe. It was started in 1958 in South Bronx, NY, by a father who was concerned with the downturn of his area. He taught his son and every boy who wanted to learn, to ride a unicycle. His club had rigid rules. They are exciting to watch!
6 There is so much to see both on the ground and high in the air.
7 Tabayara Maluenda is said to be the world's most charismatic animal trainer, mesmerizing Children of All Ages with his energy and passion.
8 Taba's catch phrase, "Azúcar!" - meaning "sugar" or "sweet" - is a crowd favorite, and illustrates his remarkable ability to communicate and bond with horses, tigers and Asian elephants, alike.
9 There's no doubt Tabayara is connected to his extended animal family as feeding and caring for them is a 24/7 job.
10 A native of Chile, Tabayara began his circus career at the age of 13 as an acrobat. Because he loves animals so much, he spent all of his free time with the animal trainers.
11 His mother, a sixth-generation trapeze artist, didn't want her young son to follow in the footsteps of her father, a tiger trainer.
12 But for Tabayara, after watching the great animal trainer, Gunther Gebel-Williams perform on TV with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, there was no looking back.
13 One day, the animal trainer in his circus didn't show up and Tabayara, just 15 at the time, stepped into a cage with leopards, tigers, and a lion as a fill-in. Fear soon turned to respect and he knew he had found his calling.
14 The big cats showcased in this circus have a relationship with their trainers based on mutual trust and respect. However, the trainers never forget that these animal are incredibly strong and fierce.
15 The tiger is one of the largest predators in the world – and one of the rarest. Due to the beauty of its coat and the loss of its habitat, the tiger has become an endangered species.
16 One hundred years ago, as many as 100,000 wild tigers roamed the forests and grasslands of Asia. But today, fewer than 3,200 tigers remain in the wild.
17 In the past 80 years, three subspecies of tigers have gone extinct. The six remaining subspecies - Amur, Bengal, Indochinese, Malayan, South China, and Sumatran - live only in Asia, and all are threatened by poaching and habitat loss.
18 The Greatest Show On Earth features Bengal tigers in four color phases ranging from white to orange, striped in black.
19 All the tigers in this show were bred in captivity and act as ambassadors to raise awareness of and to help the circus conserve their species in the wild.
20 Tigers are the largest living members of the cat family. A tiger typically grows to be 40 inches tall at the shoulder, nine feet long, and 500 pounds in weight.
21 Tigers have a life expectancy of about 15 years in the wild. They often live a third longer life in captivity: up to 20 years!
22 The horse acts at the circus are always exciting. This is Lucenir Viera Souza, who joined the circus as an aerialist and now performs with her own animals, including horses and elephants. She also performs with her husband, who happens to be Tabayara Maluenda.
23 Also working with horses is Robert Stipka, the son of a famous Hungarian horse trainer. The Greatest Show On Earth features Arabian, Friesian, Quarter, Standardbred, and Miniature horses.
24 Duo Solys, a pair of acrobats, are incredibly strong and agile. Their act was jaw-dropping!
25 This is the dynamic hand-balancing husband-and-wife team of Duo Fusion, who combine Latin heritage with strength, agility, and balance.
26 Another view
27 The Danguir Troupe is led by Mustafa Danguir, whose dream is to cross the Seven Wonders of the World on the high-wire. Danguir holds many high-wire world records.
28 This type of balance performance requires a high level of trust between the performers in order to support each other both physically and emotionally.
29 Elliana Grace, at 20 years of age, is currently the youngest female cannon ball in the world. Elliana grew up in a circus setting, as her mother, Jessica Hentoff, founded Circus Harmony, a social circus school that uses circus arts to motivate social change.
30 A circus treat - a snow cone in an elephant cup - a must for children!
31 These are the Trampoline Tower Tumblers, a breath-taking act that combines powerful acrobatics, two trampolines, and a 12-foot tower. The troupe catapults their bodies in a harmonized, freestyle aerial tumble where they dive over, around, and even through the translucent, three-story high tower.
32 Riding the elephant is Ashley Vargas, who performs acrobatics while riding both elephants and horses.
33 When she was younger, Ashley was an avid figure skater and had aspirations of skating with Disney On Ice or becoming a New York City Rockette.
34 It was her attraction and love of animals that eventually led her to becoming a circus performer.
35 The Asian elephant is a species unlike any other – the second largest land mammal in the world and one of the most intelligent animals on earth.
36 Elephants respond to some 60 verbal commands, as well as recognize human and animal friends after years of separation.
37 Unfortunately, with less than 35,000 Asian elephants left on the planet, it is also one of the world’s most endangered species.
38 As the steward of the largest sustainable elephant population in the Western Hemisphere, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey takes its responsibility to educate the public about these magnificent animals seriously.