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Today's Circus Burlesque Performers

1920's Traveling Circus Trailers

Teri Darnell, Inc.

This series is inspired by my fascination with combining performing art with visual art. Sideshow depicts abandoned early 20th century traveling circus trailers with today’s sideshow performers. Through the use of color and light, Teri captures the beauty of a lost art with the life that’s bringing it back.

Sideshows became a part of the circus in the United States in the late 19th century. Typically, these shows included human abnormalities and girl shows. The girl show was primarily a vaudeville style revue with costumed dancers, singers and comedians.

A unique and vital element of the sideshow was the “talker,” who lured customers inside. Talkers were often associated with the phrases “Come One Come All”, and “Step right up!” As the 20th century progressed, public attitudes changed toward the political correctness of sideshow exhibitions, causing the severe decline of the sideshow.

Today, growing number of performers are reviving the traditional sideshow arts, and many now perform in spot engagements from rock clubs and comedy clubs to corporate events.