Born 80 years ago in a circus caravan parked in the market square of the Hungarian city of Keszthely, István Kristóf had his path in life laid out from the beginning. As the child of a renowned strong man father and an aerialist mother, it’s no wonder that he grew up in the bright lights of the ring, accompanied by a celebrated elephant, Aida. He earned his first international successes as an aerial acrobat with the Hunor group before partnering with his equally talented wife, Ilona Sallai. As “Duo Kristof”, they won the Silver Clown Award at the Monte Carlo Circus Festival. Other prestigious awards were to follow, along with a 24-year tenure as director of the Capital Circus of Budapest, where he and his son, Kristian, conceived of and launched the Budapest International Circus Festival. The singular life stor y of István Kristóf of fers a glimpse into the mar vellous world of the circus.
This book is that story, as told in his own words.