Talented comedy wire walker as well as a great clown in the ring, Pio Nock.
They were the consummate circus power couple when an equipment malfunction during a Big Apple Circus performance grounded daredevil aerialist Pedro Reis only two days after he proposed to “Queen of the Air” Dolly Jacobs.
After recovering from his accident, Reis experimented with other circus acts and created an aerial pas de deux with Jacobs called “On Wings Of Love”, but the flame and passion for performing had scarred him. They then decided to form their own circus, but one with great heart and a mission to serve the community in a way that no other circus had before. In 1997, Circus Sarasota was born in Sarasota, Florida, the historic home of Circus King John Ringling and his wife, Mable.
Jacobs and Reis took every risk, financially and emotionally, to nurture and build Circus Sarasota into an organization that made everyone proud. Their critically acclaimed seasonal performances in February have elevated the profile of the circus arts, building a following among those who normally frequent opera houses and concert halls. Throughout the year, their professional clowns provide therapeutic outreach and meaningful encounters with individuals in institutions such as nursing homes and adult day care centers. Professional circus performers also provide a curriculum-based educational program in local schools and after-school centers. Over 5,000 individuals young and old every year are touched by their programs.
Circus Sarasota celebrated its 10th season in 2007. “We had waited long enough to get married and now Circus Sarasota is not only stable, but successful,” says Reis. Their wedding takes place today, Friday October 26, 2007 in the courtyard of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art with over 250 guests from far and wide in attendance.
Born to circus stardom, Dolly Jacobs the daughter of legendary clown, Lou Jacobs, was a headliner with her balletic aerialist Roman Ring act. Her father, who passed away in 1992, will be remembered with a memorial on each guest table at the wedding.
Pedro Reis, who received his circus training at a YMCA in Cape Town, South Africa, was also a headliner. He created the Survivors, an aerial act that was considered one of the most daring in circus history and later as a solo aerialist on the cloud-swing, another death defying act. He and Jacobs first met while rehearsing with the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus. As their relationship grew, many in the circus world whispered that their love was reminiscent of another great aerialist couple – Lillian Leitzel and Alfredo Cordona who, in the early 20th century were considered the most spectacular aerialists of all time. Tragically, Lillian fell to her death in an equipment malfunction and Cordona pined for her the rest of his life.
The love story of Pedro Reis and Dolly Jacobs has a much happier ending, one which serves as a romantic reminder of the power of two.
Circus Sarasota will open its 2008 season on February 1 and run through February 24. For more information, visit www.circussarasota.org.
Pedro and Dolly,
Here's wishing that the immense joy that your artistry has created over the years be returned to you a thousand-fold on this, your wedding day, and from this day forward into your new lives together as husband and wife.
Pat, Terry & Shane
The Cashin Family
THIS JUST IN!!!
From Jackie himself...
You know, of course, that my father created and built this bendover way back in the 40's.
He had previously a bendover horse that he called Spark Plug. Spark Plug was a cartoon horse in the Snuffy Smith cartoon
series. It was Barney Google's horse. The horse was always drawn with a full length blanket, not showing the legs. My father got the idea of what a great bendover it would make as you would not have to worry about legs.
He trained me in it and I must say it was always a great surprise and made a big hit in the show and also on the South American, Cuban, Russian and European tours as it was different. He had the horse head from a wire frame and paper mache. The ears wiggled back and forth, the eyes used to light up and powder would shoot out of it's nostrils, making it all the more interesting.
It was indeed, very heavy, so when he created the elephant, (he laughed that after all his year with circuses, he actually had to go down to the library to get a photo of what an elephant really looked like) it was done with simply a wire frame covered by grey material and accents.
It was so much lighter!
He always admired Paul Wentzel's piano wire creations and would have built it that way but working with piano wire, welding it, that was a skill that he did not have.
Billy Ward worked the cloth and yes, he did it well in Russia (first time I ever worked with him) and Europe and the finish of the '64 season.
I still have it, or rather it is stored at Chuck Sidlow's. We did do it once at Van Wezel.
Hope this is enough information for you.