Opening logo for Electric Circus
|Genre||live dance music|
|Presented by||Monika Deol
Rainbow Sun Francks
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of seasons||15|
|Executive producer(s)||Joel Goldberg|
|Location(s)||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Camera setup||Single camera
|Running time||90 minutes (1988-2001)
60 minutes (2001-2012)
|Original channel||MuchMusic (1988-present)
|Original run||September 16, 1988 – December 12, 2003|
Electric Circus, aka EC, was a Canadian live dance music television program aired on MuchMusic and Citytv. It aired from September 16, 1988 until December 12, 2003. The name originated from the nightclub that once existed at Citytv's first studio at 99 Queen Street East in Toronto.
The show was also simulcast on MuchUSA starting in 1994, during the show's run and also had a loyal following among American viewers, especially dance music fans who tuned in since it was the only place to see artists and videos from the genre, which usually gets shunned or avoided by MTV in the United States. In addition, a Francophone version of Electric Circus aired on Musique Plus, telecasting live from Montreal and had the same set up as Toronto's.
The dance hall where people were invited to dance which the show used was the MuchMusic studios on the main floor of the CHUM-City Building in Toronto, but audiences often spilled out onto Queen Street West, and on warm days the windows to the studio were opened, with some acts performing outside. It was also not uncommon for dancers to be stationed on the CHUM-City rooftop or even on rooftops of buildings across the street, effectively making the surrounding neighbourhood part of the set. Most music played was pre-recorded but live acts also were invited on some shows, and in the 1990s guest deejays were also featured. The show was hosted by Monika Deol until 1996, along with Michael Williams, followed by George Lagogianes, and also featured dancing floor director MC Craig F. (Craig Halket of Combat Des Clips on MuchMusic.) After that, a rotation of various hosts took over. The show was an hour and a half, until 2001, when it shortened to just an hour long. Two concerts were hosted annually. One at Canada's Wonderland, during the summer and another in the winter, at Winterlude in Ottawa.
Like its American antecedents American Bandstand and Soul Train, Electric Circus was known for its flashy dancers and many of these dancers became fan favorites in their own right. A couple of these dancers later graduated to host the show. Most dancers lived in the Greater Toronto Area. Some regulars also travelled from Niagara Falls, Montreal and Buffalo, New York for the Friday evening show.
The show's original producer, Pasquale Delisio, went on to produce many music videos and even a few feature films (He is now Managing Director, Creative/Production Services for CourtTV, a CHUM property). His minimalist approach to the set - using nothing more than a well run Vari-Light installation, and camera work from videographers including George Lagogianes and talented dancers & live performances Goldberg created a show that highlighted the music and the dancers while throwing cutaways to the music videos. After Goldberg moved on, the set became more elaborate, the dancers' costuming became choreographed, the quality of the dancing declined, and most of the performances were synched - with the exception of the DJs who mixed the breaks as well as a short feature each episode.
In 1988 some of the original featured dancers included The WiZ, Tori G (also an editor for CITY TV), WARP-1, Brenda C, The Cowboy, Kenrick and Tyra J. Many of the dancers were regulars at "The Club At Richard's" in Mississauga, as well as working professionally in the "Go-Go" circuit. The WiZ (incidentally the first one asked to be on the show) who was also a DJ & Producer, created the first theme the show ever had, "The EC Rap" as well as a short audio "stinger" for the breaks - both can be found on one of his websites along with some streaming mixes of music from that era The WiZ.
In the summer of 1996 the show packaging had a complete re-design, with a new multi-camera film open directed by MuchMusic Creative Services producer Carl Armstrong. A new show theme was also created, titled "Hang On Here We Go!(Theme to E.C)". Almost a year after the new theme went to air and because of viewer popularity, a full-length version of the song was released under the band name Jet Fuel, and featured lead vocals by Aleah D'Kos and guest vocals by a gas mask wearing (video) K-os. The song was included on the MuchDance 97 compilation cd(6X Canadian Platinum) and Pure Dance 3(Canadian Platinum). The song was also released on 12" vinyl and CD single with various mixes and remixes. The song charted on dance radio and in clubs across Canada in the spring of 1998 and was performed live during Electric Circus at Canada's Wonderland in front of 50,000 people that summer. This music theme remained with the show until the last episode. The CD single by Jet Fuel is available on iTunes etc.
Guests on the show included Britney Spears, Erasure, Pink, Aqua, Alice DeeJay, Martha Wash, Paulina Rubio, *NSYNC, Stars on 54, Steps, Anastacia, Taylor Dayne, Cathy Dennis, Kylie Minogue, Daft Punk, Ralph Fiennes, Emjay, Robin S., Destiny's Child, Vengaboys, Sarina Paris, O-Town, Ginuwine, Booker Huffman, Chyna, Bow Wow, Sash!, Tina Cousins, Bubba Sparxxx, Eiffel 65 and many more.
MuchMusic aired an Electric Circus special on Christmas Day 2006.
MuchMusic featured an Electric Circus New Year’s Eve special on December 31, 2011. In the days before the special it was advertised as the return of Electric Circus.
MuchMusic aired Electric Circus on October 27, 2012 for Halloween.
- Monika Deol (1988–1996) - now a mother of four in Vancouver
- Juliette Powell (1996–2000) - now a media entrepreneur
- Nadine Ramkisson (2000–2002)
- Rick Campanelli (2002) - now co-host of ET Canada
- Bradford How (2002)
- Rainbow Sun Francks (2002–2003)
- Namugenyi Kiwanuka (2002–2003)
- Amanda Walsh (2002–2003) - now actress in the United States
- Liz Trinnear (2012)
- Tyrone "T-RexXx" Edwards (2012)
- Michael Williams (1988 to ????)
- George Lagogianes(199? to ????)
- "MuchMusic Tears the Roof Off the 299 Big Top with the Return of ELECTRIC CIRCUS on New Year’s Eve" (Press release). Bell Media. 2011-12-19. Retrieved 2011-12-20.