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Dance & drama: Roll up, roll up

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By Jane Bowerconsultant to primary schools in art, drama, dance and literacy

Use Toulouse-Lautrec’s painting At the Circus Fernando: The Ringmaster to inspire dance and drama

Circus elephant

At the circus — animals perform too!


Learning objectives: To understand the lives and views of circus performers in the 19th century; to use debating skills to consider whether animals should perform in circuses.

You will need: Poster, ‘At the Circus Fernando: The Ringmaster’; first, second and third of the ‘At the Circus Fernando: The Ringmaster’ activity sheets, ‘Diary of a circus performer’, ‘Circuses – for and against’ and ‘Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’; music reminiscent of circuses such as ‘Overture’ from Barnum by Cy Coleman, or ‘Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!’ from the Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band or the ‘Finale’ from Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns.


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