Over the course of two decades, John Hargrove worked with 20 different whales on two continents and at two of SeaWorld's U.S. facilities. For Hargrove, becoming an orca trainer fulfilled a childhood dream. However, as his experience with the whales deepened, Hargrove came to doubt that their needs could ever be met in captivity. When two fellow trainers were killed by orcas in marine parks, Hargrove decided that SeaWorld's wildly popular programs were both detrimental to the whales and ultimately unsafe for trainers.
After leaving SeaWorld, Hargrove became one of the stars of the controversial documentary Blackfish. The outcry over the treatment of SeaWorld's orca has now expanded beyond the outlines sketched by the award-winning documentary, with Hargrove contributing his expertise to an advocacy movement that is convincing both federal and state governments to act.
In Beneath the Surface, Hargrove paints a compelling portrait of these highly intelligent and social creatures, including his favorite whales Takara and her mother Kasatka, two of the most dominant orcas in SeaWorld. And he includes vibrant descriptions of the lives of orcas in the wild, contrasting their freedom in the ocean with their lives in SeaWorld.
Hargrove's journey is one that humanity has just begun to take-toward the realization that the relationship between the human and animal worlds must be radically rethought.
Through photographs and illustrations, Peta Tait presents an extraordinary survey of 140 years of trapeze acts and the socially changing ideas of muscular action in relation to our understanding of gender and sexuality. She questions how spectators see and enjoy aerial actions, and what cultural identities are presented by bodies in fast, physical aerial movement.
Adeptly locating aerial performance within the wider cultural history of bodies and their identities, Circus Bodies explores this subject through a range of films such as Trapeze (1956) and Wings of Desire (1987) and Tait also examines live performances including:
* the first trapeze performers: Léotard and the Hanlon Brothers
* female celebrities; Azella, Sanyeah, black French aerialist LaLa, the infamous Leona Dare, and the female human cannonballs
* twentieth-century gender benders; Barbette and Luisita Leers
* the Codonas, Concellos, Gaonas, Vazquez and Pages troupes
* imaginative aerial acts in Cirque de Soleil and Circus Oz productions.
This book will prove an invaluable resource for all students and scholars interested in this fascinating field.