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By Bunt H., Muskens R. (eds.)

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Sample text

The act with the mule staged his struggle to make the animal pull a cart. However, despite his efforts, the mule would not budge. In the end, the mule was seated in the cart and the clown was pulling the cart out of the ring. This latter act was so popular that the Soviet Union printed a postal stamp honoring Karandash, showing the mule sitting in the cart being pulled by the clown. In today’s European circuses and their outreach, we can observe two paradigms: on the one hand, traditional teams formed by a whiteface, now often played by a woman, and one or two augustes; and, on the other hand, clowns who perform solo, occasionally using the ringmaster as interlocutor or bringing into their interludes some willing members of the audience.

Confronted with various body parts scattered on the ground, he tried to put the statue back together but kept making hilarious mistakes. The act with the mule staged his struggle to make the animal pull a cart. However, despite his efforts, the mule would not budge. In the end, the mule was seated in the cart and the clown was pulling the cart out of the ring. This latter act was so popular that the Soviet Union printed a postal stamp honoring Karandash, showing the mule sitting in the cart being pulled by the clown.

Examples of this continuity nowadays include the whiteface Pipo and the auguste Charlie Cairoli. The latter has often been mistaken for his deceased father. Or a well-known clown can have an understudy replace him for a period of time when he cannot take part in person in a show for which he is under contract. This is known to be the case for Barry Lubin, whose creation the original clown Grandma is at times impersonated by another artist who has been trained appropriately. This provides an interesting example— probably not the only one—of the fundamental split that exists between a clown persona and the human person who embodies it.

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