Saturday, February 14, 2009

The French Circus

As we walked up to the big top, all I could think was, “This must be what circuses were like in the US before arenas and lawsuits!”

Picture this . . . The animals are chained up outside the big top. Well, the lions were inside a semi, but all the other animals (les exotics) were chained up outside. Camel, horses, llama, some other animal that looked a bit like a yak, etc. Inside the big top were bleachers, a huge cage, and a platform supporting the spotlight.

We sat right next to the spotlight platform and waited for the show to begin. Of course, the announcer was speaking in French, so I could only understand a small portion of what she said. However, it quickly became very clear that the lions were on the way out!

They were gorgeous, and separated from the audience only by the cage you can see in the pictures. They had “loge” seating right in front of the cage – literally! When the other animals were paraded around, the people sitting in loge seating could reach in and pet the animals. Wow!

Okay, back to the lions. There were two beautiful lionesses, and they performed a few cool feats for us – one balanced on a plank and the other walked across a series of poles. It was pretty cool!

When the lion show was over, they completely dismantled the cage. It took about 5-7 minutes, but they tore it all down and moved it outside. It was fun to watch as they moved out the cage and rolled out the red circle in the center of the ring for the next performance.

Some of the other performers included three young – and very muscular! – men who did acrobatics and human pyramid-types of shapes to cool music. They were really fun to watch.

Next were two brothers who apparently performed in the Monte Carlo circus. They climbed the rope to the tight rope, balanced a huge metal ladder on the tight rope, then proceeded to balance themselves on the ladder! One brother was on one end, performing slowly on a trapeze while the other brother was on the other end of the ladder to keep it from tumbling the 25 feet to the ground! And guess what? There wasn’t a net under them. I was literally on the edge of my seat the entire time. I didn’t take a single picture because I was afraid that my flash might disrupt them.

We saw some comedian dogs perform, and they were very cute. Here is what the kids looked like while they were watching the dogs. :)

We also saw the exotic animals and the horses. Then, last of all, we saw the clowns. Oh my. It was all in French, so I really didn’t get much of the humor. It was something to do with the clowns playing their trumpets on the sidewalk, and the policeman was trying to chase them away. The thing that made the clowns terrific was the fact that there was a tiny child clown, too! He was maybe 2 years old – maybe. However, he performed like a master! He played his little trumpet when the other clowns did. He moved his chair away from the policeman when the other clowns did. He picked up his other props when he was supposed to. It was adorable!

A very fun way to spend an afternoon!

Love to all!

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