Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Circus Came to Town

Da-da-dada-da-da-da-da-dada.....There has been an international circus, Circus Safari, that has been touring around Macedonia and the other weekend it came to Shtip. Despite having lots of other things to do, including cooking for our adult dinner party later in the day, I begged Phil to take me to the circus and he obliged (just like any good boy should do) and we set off through the rain to the circus. As we pulled up outside the big red and white tent, my excitement grew (as Phil can attest to, I was pretty excited and may or may not have been bouncing up and down a little bit) and I could only imagine what an Eastern European circus would look like. I have been to the circus before in the US, the last time being about 5 years ago when I chaperoned a group of children there, but I figured since it was in Macedonia, it wouldn't be quite the same. We walked into the tent and lets just say this circus resembled the ones from my childhood that were held in the local armory with a very "small town" feel. As we climbed up the bleachers to sit down, we tossed around a few potential newspaper headlines such as, "2 Americans dead after circus bleachers collapse" and "Americans mauled in Macedonia by rogue lions" (Clearly since I am writing this though, we made it out just fine). I saw lions and horses, elephants and camels and instantly returned to a child-like state of enthusiasm.

Again, pictures will do a better job showing what it was like than my words, so ladies and gentleman, sit back, relax, enjoy the show, and welcome to the greatest show on earth!

The sky may have been cloudy, but the tent caught my eye right away.
This was what we saw when we walked in.
There were lions performing in "Lion School"
They rested their paws on the "cage" walls and they all shook- hence the "mauled by rogue lions" newspaper headline.
The acrobatics were hard to capture, but this was a young rope acrobat.
The first clown I have seen who didn't creep me out. I think it had something to do with very little makeup and overall normal clothing. He was from Israel and traveling with a Romanian ringmaster and other circus performers from all over the world.
A ring acrobat.
There were horses who jumped through hoops....
....and posed on platforms.

This lady danced, climbed into big cloth pillowcases and changed her clothes.
Another acrobat, this time using only silk.
What circus is a circus without a camel!
After some mascot bull fighting, the mascots and clown started to dance to "Move it" from Madagascar.
All of the kids in the audience joined in a large train and dance party.
Last but not least, the elephants came out. Notice there is no real fencing keeping them in the ring. At this point, the kids were getting restless and in true Macedonian fashion, parents weren't really disciplining their kids so they were running around. The ringmaster announced at least 20 times for parents to keep their kids sitting next to them and for the kids to not scream- didn't really help. Oh MK.
Because of the chaos of the audience at this point, and the fact that elephants are massive creatures that you shouldn't spook, they said no taking photos, this was just so cool though, I managed to discretely snag a photo without the flash. Its a little hard to see, but one elephant is resting his front two legs on the other elephant's back and the elephant trainer has been raised into the air by the trunk of the elephant.
After attending the circus I was asked how it was. My response, it was pretty awesome. I mean it is a small-scale, low budget traveling circus so the acts weren't that crazy, but how many people can say they saw an international traveling circus in Macedonia?!

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