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November 1127 2011 circus

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  • 1. ENGLISH LANGUAGE 1127/02 October/November 2011Paper 2 Comprehension 1 hour 40 minutesAdditional Materials: Answer PaperREAD THESE INSTRUCTIONS FIRSTWrite your Centre number, index number and name on all the work you hand in.Write in dark blue or black pen on both sides of the paper.Do not use staples, paper clips, highlighters, glue or correction fluid.Answer all questions.Leave a space of one line between your answer to each part of a question, e.g.between 3(a) and 3(b).Leave a space of at least three lines after your completed answer to each wholequestion.The insert contains the comprehension passages.Mistakes in spelling, punctuation and grammar may be penalised in any part ofthe paper.At the end of the examination, fasten all your work securely together.The number of marks is given in brackets [ ] at the end of each question or partquestion. This document consists of 3 printed pages, 1 blank page and 1 insert.
  • 2. ENGLISH LANGUAGE 1127/02 October/November 2011Paper 2 ComprehensionINSERTREAD THESE INSTRUCTIONS FIRSTThis insert contains the comprehension passages. This document consists of 3 printed pages and 1 blank page.
  • 3. Read Passage A and Passage B and then answer the questions which areprinted on the Question Paper.Passage A1 The modern circus has its roots in antiquity, both in the east and in the west, and the very word “circus” comes form the name given by the Romans to the stadium where chariot races and other spectacular shows were held. Further exciting events were held in amphitheatres like the Colosseum in Rome, where tiers of seats surrounded a central overall arena rather like a modern circus ring. Here men fought with each other or struggled to survive against wild animals for the entertainment of the whole populace of Rome from the Emperor downwards; it was the only public show where men and women were not separated, although social status remained, as was usual, an important factor in the way the seating was arranged. In China’s eastern Han dynasty, magnificent acrobatic productions were introduced by the Emperor, a tradition which, as we shall see, has been kept alive by Chinese acrobats until the present day. There is little doubt that the shape of the modern circus ring can be traced back to these early entertainments, as can the inclusion of animals and acrobats. From Passage A: [1] From paragraph 1: 1. The shows given by the Romans are described as “spectacular”. Give one other word from this paragraph which has the same meaning. 2. Give one piece of evidence from this paragraph which suggests that [1] Roman society was a strictly ordered one. 3. Which two features of the traditional circus have come done from [2] the Roman civilisation?2 However, it was not until the eighteenth century that the idea of the now traditional circus was established, when Philip Astley, who had started a horse-riding school in London, gave up teaching riding, realising that the riding displays given by him and his wife were far more popular and lucrative. He put up a wooden building ot house these displays, with tiered seats surrounding a circular stage, and hired other performers, like clowns, to complete the show, naming it “Astley’s Royal Amphitheatre of the Arts”. Later it came to be known as a “circus” after one of his rivals called his own show, “The Royal Circus”. As well as the display riding and other entertainments, the programme ended with dramatic performances of scenes from history.
  • 4. Astley’s associate, Antonio Franconi, took the circus to France, and he has been credited with establishing the now-standard circus ring size of 13 metres in diameter. From paragraph 2: 4. Explain, in your own words, why Philip Astley decided to change [2] from teaching people to ride to giving riding displays.3 The popularity of the circus soon spread throughout Europe and to the rest of the world, reaching its zenith in the first half of the twentieth century. A ringmaster became a part of the traditional circus to introduce performers. More and more novelty acts were brought in, which could include anything from juggling and knife-throwing to fire- eating and sword-swallowing. Acrobats increased the popularity of the circus, especially the tightrope walkers and trapeze artists who walked and flew high above the heads of the enthralled spectators. Meanwhile, clowns with heavy white make-up and red noses kept the audience amused, sometimes even trying to make themselves part of the action in the ring, with particularly hilarious results. From paragraph 3: 5. When were the clowns said to be especially entertaining? [1]4 While dancing horses continued to feature, wild animals were at first used only for display purposes in menageries (small zoos) attached to circuses. Soon, however, they joined the horses as performers, with tricks such as bears balancing on balls, apes riding bicycles and elephants standing on two legs becoming commonplace. Perhaps the most popular animal acts involved the big cats, where trainers managed to make the most ferocious of animals obey their commands. However, nowadays, those who feel strongly about the rights of animals maintain that circus animals are kept in unnatural conditions. These ”animal rights activists”, as they are called, campaign vigorously against using such acts in circuses, claiming that the only way that animals can be trained to do things so alien to their nature is by intimidation and cruelty. As a result, countries as far apart as Sweden, Costa Rica and Singapore have restricted the way animals are used in circuses, while some countries have banned them altogether, and animal-free circuses are rapidly becoming the norm around the world. From paragraph 4: 6. What two objections have been raised to the ues of animals in [2] circuses?
  • 5. 5 In the second half of the twentieth century, many in the west became more interested in alternative forms of entertainment, and the number of traditional circuses rapidly declined, although this was not the case elsewhere in the world. For example, although China has a long history of acrobatics, circuses in China really only began to thrive when, in 1949, they began receiving state subsidies. The Chinese State Circus, a touring circus in the traditional circular format, aims to present Chinese circus arts to the rest of the world, combining Kung-fu martial arts with plate-spinners, aerial acrobatics, a Lion Dance and an excerpt from Chinese opera. This has much in common with the “ringless” kind of circus which has recently come to prominence. Two of tehse, the Canadian “Circus of the Sun” and the Chinese “Seven Boards of Tricks”, are typical of this new breed, relying as they do on a fusion of theatre, ballet, acrobatics, modern dance and music to tell a story. From paragraph 5: 7. We are told that the Chinese State Circus “has much in common” [1] with modern circuses like the “Circus of the Sun” and the “Seven Boards of Tricks”. In what way does the Chinese State Circus still resemble the traditional circus? Passage B1 Gerald’s first visit to the Chinese opera and both bewilderingn and awe-inspiring. The first half passed in a haze of sound and colour, and he had very little idea of what was going on. The white make-up on the faces of the women reminded him of the clowns which had so terrified him on his first childhood visits to the circus, and the shrill intensity of the music was like nothing he had ever heard before. From paragraph 1; 8. Geralld “had very little idea of what was going on” in the opera. [2] Give two other separate words from this paragraph which convey the same meaning.2 In the interval he questioned Li about the opera they had just seen, but she said that she knew little about opera herself. She explained that few young people wished to train to sing interest in the slow pace and rigidity of this kind of entertainment, preferring the cinema and television for their amusement. In any case, nowadays everyone wanted to be a star who would be universally recognised. She did, however, know the opera that was being shown after the interval, which was one of the most famous: “A beautiful princess is sent as a peace-offering by the Emperor, her father, to marry a chieftain of the
  • 6. barbarians beyond the Great Wall,” she explained. “As she makes the long journey to the frontier, beset by wind and cold, she remembers her family in the capital and the luxurious life at court. Finally, with a last melancholy look backward, she crosses the frontier into exile.” From paragraph 2: 9(a) What qualities do the cinema and television possess which make [2] young people prefer them to the Chinese opera for their entertainment? 9(b) Apart from the difficulty involved, explain fully why young people [2] do on wish to train for the Chinese opera.3 When the performance recommenced, Gerald’s understanding of the story was much improved because of his eyes and ears were better attuned to the intricacies of the movements. The tilt of a wrist, for example, or the turn of the head, implied an emotion which the audience recognised. At last the star of the show appeared, adorned in glowing colours, wearing a crown which dangled tassels and furs and stood a foot higher than her head. She stood on the stage with all individuality stripped away, an archetypal and perfect princess, her whitened face heavily rouged. Gerald thought that he could see a difference between the skill and grace of her movements and those of the earlier female characters, that hers somehow conveyed a greater strength of emotion. It was a tragic tale, and when, at the end, she slowly turned her face to the side and sank to the floor, lifting up her long white sleeves to hide her face, the audience was held spellbound for several moments. Then, as the orchestra began the music which heralded the end of the performance, it was drowned out by an ovation far greater than any he had ever experienced before. From paragraph 3: 10. Li gave Gerald a brief outline of the opera. Why else was Gerald [2] better able to understand what was happening on the stage after the interval? Explain in your own words. 11. How had the princess’s individuality been “stripped away”? [1] 12. How did the audience show its appreciation of the performance? [1]
  • 7. From Passage A and B: 13. For each of the following words, give one word or short phrase [5] (of not more than seven words) which has the same meaning that the word has in the passage.From Passage A: 1. zenith 2. vigorouslyFrom Passage B: 3. beset 4. luxurious 5. spellboundFrom Passage A: [25] 14. The idea of the traditional circus was established in the eighteenth century. Using your own words as far as possible, summarise the way the circus has developed from the eighteenth century to the present day.USE ONLY MATERIAL IN PASSAGE A FROM PARAGRAPH 2 TOPARAGRAPH 5.Your summary, which should be in continuous writing (not note form),must not be longer than 150 words (not counting the words given tohelp you begin).Begin your summary as follows: The first circus was established in theeighteenth century when…