Ivor David Balding
We dedicated this year's Big Top season to the creativity and leadership of Circus Flora Co-founder and Producer, Ivor David Balding, who brought joy to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world during his life. We invite you to join us around the ring to celebrate his life and artistic vision.
The family has requested that donations be made in tribute to his life's dream and creation, Circus Flora:
3547 Olive Blvd / Saint Louis, Missouri 63103
Please read more about his amazing life:
Ivor David Balding began his career as stage manager for Actress Eva La Gallienne. After working for Joe Papp at the New York Shakespeare Festival, he founded the New Theatre in New York. During his tenure there he produced 21 plays, including The Knack, The Ginger Man, Scuba Duba, Steambath, The Man in the Glass Booth, and Lenny. His productions were nominated for two Tony Awards and won five Obie Awards. While working for CBS Sports in Europe, Balding conceived and co-produced the Circus World Championships. Held in London, this Circus Olympics was broadcast worldwide on the BBC, followed by network specials for both CBS and NBC. Balding then managed Jimmy Chipperfield's Circus World, one of the continent's most famous circuses. Returning to the United States, Balding worked as a producer for the Big Apple Circus. Balding was the circus consultant to Paramount Pictures for the feature film Big Top Pee Wee, and artistic consultant for the Los Angeles Circus Festival in 1990. He also collaborated with director/choreographer Martha Clarke on Endangered Species, presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival. In 1991 and 1992, Balding served as the artistic director for First Night® - St. Louis, St. Louis' family arts festival celebrating New Year's Eve. In 1985, he co-founded Circus Flora, and has been the producer/artistic director of this highly acclaimed traditional, one-ring circus ever since. More than 25 different productions of Circus Flora have toured the U.S. at venues including the Glimmerglass Opera House; six years at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina; Lincoln Center's Ta'ziyeh; and The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., where Circus Flora was the first to erect a big top tent. In January 2008, Balding received the Excellence in the Arts award from the Arts & Education Council of St. Louis for his lifetime dedication to the arts. Since 2011, he has produced, in collaboration with The St. Louis Symphony at Powell Hall, two highly acclaimed circus-symphony pieces: Floating Palace and A Child's Christmas in Wales. PNC Bank Voices of Achievement and KMOX recognized David's contribution to St. Louis in autumn of 2011. Mr. Balding passed away on May 9, 2014.