Did you know the circus began more than 2000 thousand years ago in ancient Rome with chariot races and equestrian performers? Jugglers, acrobats and mighty warriors drew crowds as large as 250,000 people.
Some hundreds of years later, the British introduced the modern circus to London and Englishman John Bill Ricketts brought it to America in the late 1700s. He established a building in Philadelphia appropriately named “The Circus.” Elaborate events were attended by famous American’s such as President George Washington.
As the circus evolved, the big red and white canvas tent was introduced and clowns became popular right before the Civil War. When PT Barnum came along, the modern traveling circus was born. PT caravanned with animals and a sideshow of human oddities, like freaks with tattoos and women with beards. The invention of the train made it easier to transport lions, tigers, bears, and elephants from town to town.
You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you the history of the circus
…well the reason why is that we the Our Chalet Staff went on a group trip to one of the best Swiss circuses – Circus MONTI in Adelboden on the 29th July.
I had never ever been to a circus before so as soon as I discovered that we were going I was super excited and I’m glad to say it did not disappoint.
As we stepped inside the big yellow and red tent, the smell of sawdust and the strong sweet aroma of cotton candy and popcorn only aided to building up the anticipation.
The theme of this circus was two clowns trying to get closer to their dream to be able to fly one day. In their search they found unexpected worlds they never knew that existed. These worlds folded upon them as a Popup Book.
The show was a dazzling array of acrobatics, comedy, stunts and lots of beautiful costumes. I was hooked from the moment the show began. It opened with amazing tricks with the Diabolo.
One of the best parts just before the interval was the plate spinning as it had the whole crowd on the edge of their seats!
There was lots of screaming around me, Aisling who I was sat next to at some points grabbed my hand and then would start shouting at me to go save them as if I should just get up and join in!
It’s hard to describe, the magic of the circus. As the music played and the performers flew through the air I couldn’t help but be drawn to the top of the tent and the lights and equipment that was holding up the tent and the performers.
I found myself watching the workers moving around props and setting up and taking down each act (some workers were also performers of course) and I couldn’t help but wonder if most people realise how much work goes into making the magic happen.
Rachael Evans (UK)
Our Chalet Assistant – Summer 2013