the circus is back

The Italian circus "Il Florilegio" announced in a press conference yesterday in Algiers that they will return with their tents this summer to Algeria. This is the 5th year that the circus has appeared here.

I attended one of their shows in Constantine that first year, and I will never forget it. I still have the ticket tucked into the small book I carry around with only the most special of mementos. Now, I've seen my share of circuses, but never have I felt the magic that I did during that show. The magic came not only from the circus itself, which included dogs playing soccer, trapeze artists, motorcyclists in a cage, etc....standard circus fare but with great european charm (the circus traces its roots back to 1872), but from the audience itself.

The great majority of the audience, you see, had never, ever in their lives seen a circus before, and the faces were priceless. Looking around the room I saw such a mixture of people, old and young, traditional and not so, veiled and bare-headed, all joined together, laughing and awestruck by the events in front of them. Alas, a moment I wish I could bottle...

No comments: