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Colleano, Con


Con Colleano (1889-1973), was born Cornelius Sullivan of Aboriginal, Anglo-Irish and West Indian descent. Colleano began his circus life in his family's rural circus, the Colleano's All Star Circus. He performed his first act at 3 years of age doing tricks upon his father's feet called the Risley Act. Eventually, Colleano could perform nine different acts including bareback riding, flying trapeze, tumbling, trampoline, and playing the trombone in the circus band. With years of training, he perfected his performance on the tightwire, developing his unique forward 'feet to feet' somersault. This took almost ten years to learn. His act was influenced by Spanish bullfighting and his costume was that of a 'toreador' or bullfighter. He would dance on the wire, performing flip-flaps and springs to a standing  position as well as the forward somersault.

Other Colleano Family members are represented in the collection, including Maurice Colleano, acrobat, dancer and comedian; his wife Elsie Bower, Hoyce, George and Lyn, and Winnie Trevail (Wife of Con Colleano) also an acrobat.

Collection Holdings

News clippings, poster, photographs relating to the Colleano Family. Date Range: 1910 - 1974

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