National Geographic : 1993 Dec
On Television Growing Up Under India's Big Tops Children everywhere dream of joining the circus. For a few young girls in India, the chance to become contortionists or acrobats in a traveling circus can be a springboard out of poverty. "Circus of Dreams," a film pro duced for EXPLORER by Martin Bell and Mary Ellen Mark, delves into the exotic world of the Indian circus for a look at the life of a talented "plastic lady" named Pinky (above, at center). Contracted to the circus at age three by her destitute mother, Pinky, now ten, practices hours dai ly. For the exercise koti she brings one leg to the ground, then raises it 200 times-while doing a handstand. Trainer Pratap Singh and his wife, Sumi, instruct their young charges on washing, dressing, praying, play ing, and performing. "We teach them to respect their costumes exactly like a musician respects his instrument," says Pratap. "Then God will lead you to the very top." Circuses do not completely sever the children from their families. The film visits Pinky's mother and sister, who live in a rural village in the state of Maharashtra. Says her mother, "I have not made any mistake in send ing her to the circus. It was in her fate to go." Pinky's family also depends on her earnings, which are sent home every month. Mark--renowned for her still photography-and Bell, the film's director, traveled India with two cir cuses, compiling a visual anthology of spectacular acts for the film. "Circus of Dreams" airs December 19 on EXPLORER, TBS Superstation, 9p.m. ET. Four Families Face Alaska's Wilds They hunt caribou and moose in frigid wilderness. They gather berries while on alert for wolves and grizzlies. They lead lives of daunting isolation where winter temperatures can dive to 60 degrees below zero. "Braving Alas ka," a National Geographic Special now available on home video, pro files four modern pioneer families. Mail arrives by bush plane three or four times a year; a radio is often the only link with the world. A vid eo visit with the Korths, Haydens, Wilsons, and Browns reminds us of the essentials-and, when faced with the hundredth meal of moose meat, the value of a sense of humor. "Braving Alaska" is a December selection of the National Geographic Video Club. NATIONALGEOGRAPHICEXPLORERAIRS ON TBS SUPERSTATION,SUNDAYSAT 9 P.M . ET. NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSPECIALSAIR ON PBS; CHECKLOCALLISTINGS. FOR INFORMATIONON NATIONALGEOGRAPHICVIDEOS, CALL 1-800 -343-6610, MONDAYTHROUGHFRIDAY, 8 A.M . TO 5 P.M . ET, IN THE U. S. AND CANADAONLY.
1993 Nov 30