Richard Foulds, Ph.D
Biomedical Engineering, NJIT
THE BIOMECHANICS OF THE VICTORIAN CIRCUS
Circuses have captured the imaginations of people for hundreds of years, with acts of daring and danger, wild animals, and sometimes performers who seem stranger than life. We will explore the biomechanical bases of a number of death-defying performances such as the flaming natation, funambulism, and sword swallowing. In addition, we will consider several not-so-dangerous tricks of musical pigs, talking mules and contortionism.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Children of all ages, the Circus (and our semester seminar series) is about to begin!” (Barnum and Bailey ringmaster’s opening announcement at each performance for the past 130 years… well, almost)