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Bello Nock (born 1968), usually known simply as "Bello", is a clown performed by Demetrius Alexandro Claudio Amadeus Bello Nock. A performer for three years with the one-ring Big Apple Circus early in his career, he later joined the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, where in 2008 he starred in a tour named after him, Bellobration, the first time in the company's 137 years that a clown had been given that honor. As of 2010, he is again performing with the Big Apple Circus. Nock performs without the traditional clown makeup. His signature appearance is his foot-tall natural red hair, flashy tuxedo or zoot suit with bow tie, white gloves and saddle shoes. He was named by Time as "America's Best Clown."
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Born in Sarasota, Florida, Demetrius Nock is a seventh-generation circus performer, an American of Swiss and Italian ancestry. A descendant of the family that founded Switzerland's Circus Nock in the 18th century, Nock began performing at age 3, playing the baby on the burning house in Disney on Parade's "Dumbo's Circus". At 6, Nock played Michael Darling in the touring version of Peter Pan with Cathy Rigby. Bello first performed his family's trademark sway pole act at the age of 15. He performed with his family all around the world with the troupe known as the Nerveless Nocks. Bello was the featured artist in Mexico's Circo Atayde before joining New York's Big Apple Circus, where he became the star attraction in 2000. Bello completed three tours with the Big Apple Circus; the last being Bello and Friends. While with the Big Apple Circus, Bello also attended the International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo, where he won five awards, including the Silver Clown (presented by Princess Stephanie of Monaco) and the Walt Disney Award for Creative Entertainment. In 2001, Nock joined Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus as their headliner.
Bello completed four tours with Ringling Bros, the last being Bellobration. Nock was the first person in Ringling's 140-year history to have a production named after him. Ringling Bros. producer Kenneth Feld said of Bello: "[He is] unlike anyone in the history of circus, a once in a lifetime performer..." In 2001, Time Magazine included Bello in their list of "America's Best Artists and Entertainers", calling him "America's Best Clown". Nock calls himself a comic daredevil. He is known for his foot-tall, natural red hair and his unique ability to make his audience laugh while performing daring and dangerous stunts. He is an athletic and acrobatic performer. In 2004, the Daily News said that Nock "might be the greatest athlete ever to set foot in the World's Most Famous Arena"[this quote needs a citation] (Madison Square Garden).
Nock also designs and build all his own stunts and riggings. In March 2007, The New York Times presented a two-page, full-color feature on Nock's Double Wheel of Steel, which was a completely new, one-of-a-kind stunt performed for Ringling's Bellobration.
Bello performed live in approximately 500 shows for 5 million people a year while with Ringling Bros. He performed there for a total of eight years; often with three shows on Saturdays and Sundays; he had no understudy or stunt double. Nock performed everything from his 80 ft. high sway poles, a motorcycle on a high wire, two different giant wheels of steel, motorcycle globe, a comedy high wire, bungee, trampolines, a diving board trampoline, leaps over elephants, quick change magic, and multiple audience participation routines. In addition, Nock performed skywalks over the Reliant Stadium and American Airline Arena as promotional events. Nock also hung on a trapeze under a helicopter over the Statue of Liberty.
In November 2008, Bello left Ringling Brothers. He went to Europe to perform for several months and then came home to perform in the aptly titled Bello Comes Home with Circus Sarasota. In the fall of 2009, Nock walked a high wire over the Lincoln Center in New York City to announce his return the Big Apple Circus for their 32nd production, Bello Is Back!
The New York Times review of October 29, 2009 stated that '..."Bello Is Back!" feels so fresh.' and Time Out New York said that Bello's return to the Big Apple Circus "imbues the entire show with humor" and that "the circus feels fresher and funnier than it has in years."
In 2011 Bello performed at the Great Parade in front of the Chabad world headquarters in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn performing a stunt by jumping off the roof of a four story tall building in front of an audience of over 20,500 people in addition to thousands watching live over the Internet.