Monday, June 3, 2013

Spectacular, Spectacular!

Acrobats on the flying trapeze = not passé

"...no words in our vernacular,
can describe this great event,
you'll be dumb with wonderment."

Acrobats, contortionists, even dancing bears...tonight's performance at the state circus could not HELP but remind me of Moulin Rouge, one of my very favorite movies.  I didn't begin the night in a stellar mood.  I am becoming jaded, I think.  The Chinese acrobatic thing where they haul themselves up with strips of silk has become passé.  The guy who did the balancing act with the big pot at Shanghai Circus World had a bigger pot, and everyone knows that size DOES matter.  At least when it comes to pot balancing acts.  And beyond all that, I paid for the freaking VIP seats, but they are NOT the front ones.  They are big and cushy and the one I was sitting on was not broken (unlike the one I sat in for the international circus, but behind the front three rows.  I am ALL about the front row, rock fans.

I've been to the circus three times now in as many months.  Why did I go again, especially admitting the fact that I'm becoming bored with some of it?  This circus was special.  It wasn't the trapeze artists, which were, admittedly NOT passé.  It wasn't the jazzy contortion number (actually, their jumpsuit costumes annoyed me), or even the woman who could twirl ten hula hoops at one time (the student who did that with three hoops at SUIS' talent show a couple years back would have been eating her heart out).  I wasn't kidding about the dancing bears...this circus had animals.  Which, I guess, means it wasn't supposed to be performed in the state circus building, which is a member of the World Society for the Protection of Animals, but somehow, here it was.  There were not as many animals as were originally advertised by the UB Post, but I was most interested in seeing the bears, anyways. 
There's the usual question of animal cruelty.  Nobody really wanted to come with me, because they didn't know how they felt about that.  Should wild animals be trained?  And if they are, can you guarantee that they will be well-cared for?  The bears in the circus tonight seemed healthy, at least.  It's hard to guess at their mental state.  They did their tricks - tumbling, balancing, carrying a dog around the arena - without hesitation, and their trainers seemed affectionate toward them.  They were amazing to watch; they're beautiful creatures, and huge, and absolutely lethal looking.  They had muzzles on their mouths, but their claws were terrifyingly long.
In the end, I decided VIP seating was okay.  When I left the Hill, I decided not to bring my "big guns" (my DSLR), since it was sure to draw more attention to myself, and I hate that moment when the usher taps on your shoulder and shakes his finger at you for taking pictures.  Either the ushers didn't care that we were snapping away, or they didn't bother me because I paid for the privilege, because I did take some photos, and even decided that I would take a video.  So enjoy!

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