She is known professionally as "Tamara," but her family forms a true blue-blood circus genealogy. Granddaughter of the world-famous Karl Wallenda, Tamara is a seventh-generation circus performer.
Wallenda and his family were the only high-wire act to regularly perform the dangerous seven-man-high pyramid. As one of Wallenda's seven grandchildren, Tamara learned the ropes of circus performance like another child would learn to ride a bicycle.But destiny decreed an arena other than high-wire for Tamara. Her other grandfather, "Doc" J.Y. Henderson, was veterinarian to Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus for over 40 years. Henderson taught his granddaughter to love wild animals. As she went on rounds to care for the circus animals, she became intrigued with the beautiful but deadly big cats.
When an opening came in her uncle John Jordan's circus, she created an act with five big cats - tigers and lions mixed in one act.
Now a regular part of the Jordan International Circus' annual tour of the United States, Tamara will bring her brood for performances in Salt Lake City on Feb. 1-3 and in Logan and Ogden.
The Globe of Death will also thrill Utah circusgoers. Featured for 10 years at Circus Circus in Las Vegas, the act is a giant sphere made of open mesh in which two motorcyclists race around and around, down and crossways at astonishing speed and angles. The "Sensational Jordans and their Globe of Death" will be performing at ring level, directly in front of the audience.
The circus brings two hours of other thrills on the high wire and trapeze, along with elephants and clowns galore.
The non-profit Correctional Peace Officers Foundation Inc. (CPOF) is sponsoring the circus as a fund-raiser for the families of correctional officers killed in the line of duty. The CPOF also works with local youth organizations.
Tickets are available at the gate, $9 for adults, $5 for children. An advance sale family discount may be obtained by calling the CPOF office at 484-5009. Businesses or citizens interested in sponsoring deserving children may contact the same number. - Karen Boren Swedin
Show also set for Ogden, Logan
The Jordan International Three-Ring Circus will perform at the following locations and times:
Salt Lake City:
Utah State Fairpark Coliseum
155 N. 1000 West
Friday, Feb. 1, 4:30 and 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 2, 12:30, 4 and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 3, 1 and 5 p.m.
Utah State University Spectrum
Wednesday, Feb. 6, 4 and 7:30 p.m.
Golden Spike Arena, Weber County Fairgrounds
1000 N. 1200 West, Ogden
Friday, Feb. 8, 4 and 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 9, 12, 3 and 6 p.m.
- Sponsored by the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation. Call 484-5009 for ticket information.