Arts

Arts give us a way to explore our lives and the lives of others, whether it's on canvas, on-stage or on a page.


Circuses haven't changed too much through the generations, but one thing you'll be hard pressed to find now is a freak show. Yet, they were once an integral part of the circus experience.

If you're a tightrope walker or fire breather for a circus, your insurance needs may be just a tad different than the rest of us. Read on to discover the kinds of insurance circus performers need.

Let's just go ahead and say it: yes, knife-throwing is very dangerous. But there are strategies that a knife-thrower uses to keep an act as safe as possible.

Today, we're fairly accustomed to seeing tattoos on people. But not that long ago, they were a shocking sight for Western audiences, making them a perfect match to be part of the circus.

Working in some circus jobs is not for the faint-hearted. Tightrope walkers, lion tamers or human cannonballs all face death every day. Read on to find out which is the most dangerous job.

There were many weird and wonderful things you could see at circuses of the past, from bearded ladies to tattooed men. But what the heck was a pickled punk?

Imagine jumping from four stories up and landing in a kiddie pool. Some brave souls make a living performing this crazy feat over and over. How do they survive that kind of punishment?

Since the 1600s, performances of "Macbeth" have been plagued by accidents and mysterious mishaps. Is it all because Shakespeare used actual witches' curses in the play?

You might not be whipping knives at the wheel of death by the time you finish reading this article, but you'll be on your way. Ready to learn about this awesome pastime?

You may eat off them every day, but some performers prefer to entertain with their plates. Where did plate spinning start, and what are the physics involved?

The spotlight goes up on a man, alone except for a large aluminum ring that he grips with one hand. With perfect timing, he steps in, out and around the spinning and wobbling ring in a well-choreographed dance. How does he do it?

Tiny but mighty, fleas are capable of some pretty amazing feats. How is insectoid strength harnessed for human entertainment?

Born to be a showman, P.T. Barnum overcame a number of obstacles (including numerous fires, the loss of several fortunes and one dead elephant) in order to make a buck. Who was this man who was so determined to create the greatest show on Earth?

You've probably seen these women gracefully performing pirouettes or juggling acts in the air — all while suspended by their hair. Does it hurt? And what conditioner do they use?

For some, being a circus performer is a job; for others, it is a way of life. Many circus families stretch back seven or eight generations. Who are some of the most storied circus families still under the big top today?

They bend, they twist, they fold themselves into all sorts of strange and unnatural positions. How do contortionists become human pretzels?

Watch the ball roll along his arm, around his back, down the other arm and under his palm. You've just seen contact juggling, an ancient practice where the ball stays in constant contact with your body. What's behind its newfound popularity?

Whether we love them or hate them, clowns aren't a rare sight. But have you ever thought about how much people can earn when they run off with the circus? Learn that and more about the serious business of clowning.

Dragon Con's parade is an annual event, drawing huge crowds to the heart of Atlanta to see Stormtroopers, Time Lords and a fleet of sci-fi and fantasy vehicles. Here are some of the best moments in the 2014 parade.

A true burlesque performance doesn't have to depend on taking off clothes. It's about telling a story. Whether a leg or something more is the final "reveal," the audience should be pleased if the story is well-told. That's the beauty of burlesque.

Dragon Con's parade is an annual event, drawing huge crowds to the heart of Atlanta to see Stormtroopers, Time Lords and a fleet of sci-fi vehicles. Here are some of the best moments in the 2013 parade.

In the hope of educating future wizards, we give you this sorcerer's hall of shame, populated by those who fell from grace, grasped for the stars or failed to leave the tarmac in the first place. How did your favorite wizard fare?

Can weather move indoors? Thanks to an artist from Amsterdam, yes. Learn how these works of climate art come to be, and whether you're likely to have indoor weather of your own anytime soon.

Dragon*Con is a science fiction and fantasy convention that takes place in Atlanta, Ga., every Labor Day weekend. One of its main events: a parade featuring Stormtroopers, steampunk, Stan Lee and a whole lot more.

Gen Con is a huge gaming convention held every year in Indianapolis, Ind. And, just like many cons, it's a home for great costumes.