This wasn't Barnum and Baileys Big Top nor Cirque de Soleil...it was...Uluslararası Avrasya Sirk- The International Eurasian Circus. The performers were from Mongolia and it's bordering countries East of Turkey, south of Russia but before China. I read about it in the local paper and was eager to go. There is just something so magical and yet so scary about circuses. This one didn't disappoint on either level, ghetto fabulous for sure!!! I had initial fears there might be old mistreated animals but thankfully just enthusiastic performers.
It was also an opportunity to use our new Nikon D60 Camera. I still needs lots of practice and a lesson or six. What setting for the best photos at night? Also when there is lots of action...performers flipping around? Advice is very welcome!
We were some of the first there...front row chair baby, 15TL compared to 5TL for the backless stools farther back. My pregnant self was feeling fortunate for the backrest on my plastic chair! The above photo is an example of that scarier side of the circus. You had to pay 5TL to ride up and then come back down on that little swinging chair in the middle of the big top. The kids that rode had a look of fear rather than excitement! I am definitely one for adventure but it looked quite precarious even for me!
Actually, the whole circus initially looked quite dubious and seemed to age as we waited for the show to start! It conjured up images and nostalgia for the old circuses of the 1930's America with their freak shows and claims of "the greatest show on earth". This train of thought was broken by the pre-show mix of music they were playing, the Peurto Rican Regatone song, Gasolina! Yeah holla! Shout out to my girl, Aly(tried to text you:)
It was one of those international moments when I remember how small this big world is getting; me an American, 9 months pregnant with my Turkish husband in Turkey watching a Mongloian circus and listening to Puerto Rican Regatone surrounded by a crowd of Turkish covered women and English holiday makers.
Our nephew came with great enthusiasm for it was his first time at a circus. He was slightly nervous about the clowns but he did great.
Then the lights dimmed, the song switched and the performers popped out from behind the thick red plastic curtain. Their energy winding us all up, there costumes shocks of florescent polyester, heads bopping curly clown wigs. Running, dancing, clapping, smiling, cartwheeling, jump roping balls of energy! The show had begun...
They had it all(except for aging or mistreated animals which I was glad for!). Next was an aging acrobat who twisted by her teeth high in the sky. This act was impressive and during her performance she was all smiles and showmanship but I later saw her selling clown noses and hats and the smile was gone...not happy with that new job. There were audience participation pieces, a guy balancing several stacks of glasses(my hubby was unimpressed by this one), contortionist twin like team (very impressive), comic clown relief, a strong man with his pretty entourage, a trapeze girl wrapped in ribbon, tumbling men holding amazing poses, a magic act, a tight rope show...
hula hupper, fire throwers and one eater(we were a little nervous at this part honestly...spitting flammable fluids...remember we were ringside) with two big boas. It was a great little ghetto fabulous circus, a little rough around the edges but packed with lots of talent!
I kept wondering how the performers came into that life? The acrobats of the group seemed like possibly family with one coach/dad type figure? Were they born into the circus life? I guess I will never know...