Under the Coliseum: Jordan World Circus

Balancing act: A circus performer rides an elephant during “The Elephant Act.” Three elephants performed tricks throughout the act.

Balancing act: A circus performer rides an elephant during “The Elephant Act.” Three elephants performed tricks throughout the act.

Casey Brown

Copy Editor

At 7 p.m. on Feb. 18, Lawton played host to the Jordan World Circus at the Great Plains Coliseum. Children and adults of all ages attended the event.

The Jordan World Circus is a three-ring circus that includes several acts such as aerial performances, a daredevil motorcycle show and animals from around the globe.

The crowd started gathering at 6 p.m. to enjoy the pre-show entertainment including pony rides, face painting and elephant rides.

The show opened with a tiger act that featured seven Bengal tigers entertaining the crowd by jumping over each other as well as hoops that were lit on fire.

After the tiger act, the crowd enjoyed a lively clown performance – one of three.

Ten women in brightly colored costumes then took to the sky for the first aerial performance of the evening. The acrobats were in the air for over 10 minutes performing death-defying twirls and spins on silk ribbons and hoops.

The crowd gasped with each pirouette and spin.

One woman hung from the ceiling by her hair as she twirled fire and spun above ring one. In ring two, a woman twisted and balanced on a moon-shaped apparatus.

Leo Garcia then took to the Wheel of Destiny where he somersaulted through the air while balancing in a metal wheel.

Garcia’s wife, Getti, and the other women in the aerial performance executed a hula-hoop routine in which they each danced with as many hoops as possible.

One performer added over 20 rings.

The highlight of the show for many children, was the dog act led by Laura Herriott, which included five dogs performing tricks for the audience including walking upright on their hind legs and jumping through tall hoop. One dog – donning a superman cape – climbed a ladder that reached to the ceiling and jumped down.

The Garcias then returned to the ring to entertain the crowd. Their 12-year-old son, Maximus, joined them. The three rode motorcycles around the stage before entering the Globe of Death.

After intermission, another motorcycle daredevil and two acrobats took to the sky on a tightrope. The acrobats performed various stunts while the daredevil rode his motorcycle back and forth across the tightrope.

Herriott took the stage again in ring two with a camel, Arabian horse, a llama and a Shetland pony. The four creatures ran circles around the ring and played tricks on one another.

Three magnificent elephants made their way to center stage and performed a balancing and dance act. They captivated the crowd’s attention to entire time they were on stage.

Following the third clown act of the night, the Garcias took the stage again, so Leo Garcia could be shot from a canon. This was no ordinary canon, however, because it was built by Garcia himself, consisted of hydraulics and was made to look like a rocket.

Ringmaster Tess Emerson said the Jordan World Circus has been to Lawton before. She said she enjoys her life on the road with the circus.

“It is a crazy lifestyle, but I love it,” Emerson said. “I have a hard time staying in one place. I really enjoy it, and I get to see the whole country.”

Originally from Ohio, Emerson said she travels with the circus nine months out of the year. She joined the circus over five years ago.

“I have a degree in musical theater performance. I moved to New York City to be an actress. I saw a circus and I wanted to learn aerials, so I went to circus school, and like two years after that I joined the circus.”

Of the show, Emerson said she most enjoyed seeing the joy of children.

“My favorite part of the show is the kids that come here,” she said. “They really make it for me.”


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