The great spectacle
Show after show after show, every day again the same song lingers in the air. It has to go on. The circus must survive. The people who travel with the circus tell the story about determination, passion, talent and the creation of a fairytale life.
As the music starts playing out of the loudspeakers on top of the tent to lead the guests into the tent, everyone knows the show is about to begin. You can feel tension in the air. All the artists know that now is the moment to show what they have prepared for. The clowns are blowing up their balloons and getting countless hula hoops ready, the trapeze performer practices one last time on the ropes before going on stage. The horses are given exotic feathers to look as graceful as possible to make a great performance. When everyone is on point, the great show can begin.
Circus Trapez is travelling from town to town throughout the whole of Denmark for about six months out of the year. Every week, two towns are being presented a show which the artists have practiced almost all their life for. This is because being in the circus means either you are being taught to perform from a very young age or you are born in to the circus.
Circus Trapez started up May of this year has proven that the art of having a circus hasn’t disappeared yet. Circuses have been around for centuries. They have proven their strength of surviving, even in our rapidly changing society.
“I was born in the circus and my family started performing in the streets and in theatre about 400 years ago.” the owner of the circus says proudly.
Isabella Enoch and Bernhard Kaselowsky are the founders of the new circus. They have an elephant, camels, goats, horses, ponies and cows. There are 25 people working to make everything possible and the
tent can hold a total of 550 people. Isabella says it was a dream come true to have her own circus after working in her family’s circus for a long time.
“It wasn’t easy to build up a new circus in Denmark from scratch, but I think as long as there are children there will be circus,” Isabella says while looking out her office window, which is located in one of the caravans.
Show time is prime time.
Performers are the most important element in the circus. They make or break the show and have a big responsibility to keep everything running; to make a seamless show. Stine-Marie Greisen is one of the artists performing in circus Trapez. Barely 18 years old, she has practiced working with animals while participating in circus camps since a very young age. Now, she lives her dream performing with all kinds of animals. One of them is an elephant named Ramboline, she is almost twice Stine’s age. This is only adding to the fact that circuses are an ancient tradition, with animals that have been around for longer than most of the artists.
As the sun sets, the stars are starting to become visible and the show is coming to an end. Stine is getting ready for her final act with the elephant, changing into her her finely crafted blue dress. She is excited. She is tense. Adrenaline is rushing through her body.
She is ready to go to the centre of the ring— to put herself out there in front of the unknown. For just a small moment she can be a star herself.
‘“Even after years of working with Ramboline
I’m still nervous every time I’m going on stage. Elephants are wild animals and they will always remain that way. They can’t be tamed, but if you show respect towards the animal, he will respect you back”
Even tough everyone is very respectful towards the elephant, she still likes to joke around once in a while.
“Sometimes the elephant breaks loose, runs around and starts eating everything she can find. Also, if during the show, she sees something laying in the corner of the stage, she will definitely steal the popcorn or the candy floss from the guests.”
A timeless fairytale
Travelling, building up the tents, eating, cleaning, feeding and preparing animals, preforming the show, sleeping, performing the show again, eating, building down the tents, travelling further again... This is everyday reality for the 25 people living the life of a Danish circus. While doing these tasks, there is also time for friendships, party and love. Of course there are also disagreements and arguments like in every other relationship.
Georgia Brumbach has been working for the circus since the beginning of the season. She is originally from Germany and has a two-year-old son. Along with her son, she is living in one of the trailers with her partner who also works for the circus and her Dalmatian who is guards the caravan day and night.
“Circus life is tough when you have a two-year-old child, especially when it gets colder in the autumn months. If I don’t get my quality time with my child in the evening, I wouldn’t be able to live,” Georgia says.
Zora Nikodemova is one of the trapeze performers who doesn’t live with the circus, but at her own house. She comes and goes to Circus Trapez whenever she is needed. Zora works with a lot of circuses all around the world including Greenland, New Zealand, Japan and a lot of other countries, to show the world which tricks she has in store for a public of many different cultures to witness.
Zora is happy to be a freelancer, “no one owns me. No circus owns me. I travel around on my own and I am free to go wherever I want to go. Although now I’m not that free anymore, not because of the circus but because I have children now, I have to stay in one place so they can go to school and do what children need to do.”
Time may run differently in a circus, but this time will just be distributed in another way. People like Isabella, Berhard, Stine, Georgia and Zora live in their own time zone. Their whole life revolves around circus— around making people see what they are capable of, to make children and grown ups feel amazed, enchanted and in some way inspired. They’re creating a different world, Circus Trapeze is all about composing a timeless fairytale based on every day life encounters, for all the spectators to escape from their own reality for just an hour or two.