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Who keeps the costume department supplied with sequins and red clown noses? Who vets the aerialists and woos the jugglers? Who pays the light bill and hires the cooks? Who signs off on the circus tour and accepts liability? The Big Apple Circus management team: They sweat the small stuff and the big stuff.
He co-founded a circus, established a successful clown character, Mr. Stubs, and teaches clowning workshops all over the country. But none of these roles has been more important to Christensen personally than his years of work with community outreach, including founding the Big Apple Circus Clown Care hospital program in 1986. Today, members of a clown care team conduct "clown rounds" at 18 pediatric facilities around the nation.
Binder went from performing a juggling/clown act on the streets of Paris to founding, along with Michael Christensen, a one-ring, not-for-profit circus in America. Along the way, this dynamic leader has crafted a universally respected show and is, himself, recognized for his contributions to the arts. In 2001, Binder and Christensen were named living landmarks by the NYC Landmarks Conservancy.
Born in France, Dufresnoy has been an award-winning aerialist who appeared with his partner, Mireille, in the Big Apple Circus from 1987 to 1990. The following year, Dufresnoy was hired as the performance director for the Big Apple Circus, and in 1997 he became vice president and general manager. During the Play On! season, Dufresnoy begins to take on even more responsibility as Founder Paul Binder steps away from his day-to-day role with the circus, and Dufresnoy is groomed to take over as artistic director. Together, Binder and Dufresnoy scout for new talent at the Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo, and they acknowledge their varying artistic sensibilities as this important transition takes place.