The Fédération Mondiale du Cirque, in conjunction with the Third World Circus Day, launched its International Guide to the Circus, an easy-to-read publication defining 100 key circus terms translated in nine languages. The Guide evolved out of the Federation’s Preservation Project, which identified a need for uniform terminology to conserve, preserve and promote the heritage of the Circus at the international level. Unlike most circus glossaries that are arranged alphabetically, the 24-page Guide is categorized by aerial acts, acrobatics, balancing, juggling, daredevil and specialty acts, clowning and performing animals. Terms are illustrated by colorful photos supplied by circuses and participants in the Federation’s annual World Circus Photo Contest. The Guide is the first in a series intended to further develop a harmonized terminology in the context of distinct themes and to aid in identification and cataloguing of items in collections.

The international Circus guide can be purchased here.




To view and search these and other circus terms and related commentary by researchers and scholars, please visit the Circus Terminology Database.

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