They work in a dim light, almost in the dark, where their bodies and gestures are drawn by the light that seeps in from the curtain leading to the stage, where they will create their magic.
Circus performers are amongst the most ancient artists in the world. They have been travelling around with their show since Ancient Rome, becoming an important inspiration for directors, writers and many other artists.
With their show, they can take both adults and kids in a land of dreams, still it is behind that imaginary line marked by the curtain that all the work that creates this magic takes place.Nowadays the circus, like many others forms of art, has to cope with our contemporary reality that seems to be no longer attracted by this art. Also, the circus has to face animal-rights activists who only see this art as a ‘problem’, and that might actually lead it to its end.
Nevertheless, circus and circus performers keep working in the dark, behind the curtain, to make their audience dream, even if sometimes they have to give up animals completely and use new forms of entertainment. In fact, the circus is already reinventing itself aiming to survive.
About this, Oscar Wilde once said:
‘To test Reality we must see it on the tight-rope. When the verities become acrobats we can judge them.’
This in fact is the reality of the circus, workers vaulting on a rope that at the same time try not to dissolve in a dream.