Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Are you Circus*

*Ra da da da da da da da circus
Da da da da da da da da afro
Circus afro, circus afro,
Polka dot polka dot polka dot afro…..

The song that was stuck in my head ever since an exclusive invite form Jamm’s arrived for Rambo International Circus that is in town. The invite got me and my 5yr old a front row experience to the magical world that is Circus. This post is about the circus it takes to keep a circus running..

At Rambo, though I didn’t see any aquatic cobras or Trapeze Americano or Jet packin’ Dogs nor did I see Balloons descending to the children of the world*. 

But I did witness delicious men flinging themselves in the air without a care in the world. Women juggling cubes 5 times their size. An elephant that looked good enough to earn a spot in the Indian Cricket team. I saw women dancing gracefully while being suspended 50 feet above ground. Men painlessly laying down on a bed of arrows. An enchanting couple who changed costumes in a blink of an eye. The adorable clowns who mastered the human pyramid and a high IQ dog who showcased some amazing math skills.

The Circus had me cheering, it had my Jaw hitting the floor, it had me at the edge of my seat. My son clutched my arm tight when an artist riding a unicycle on a tight rope fell.. much to his relief the artist dusted himself off and got right back on and finished his performance.. He was elated when he was called upon by a clown to be a part of a small gig. The mother-son duo had a good time at the circus.. It left us both wide eyed. But at the same time there is so much room for improvement.

I had mixed emotions about my visit to Rambo. Most of the performances were engaging and it’s a good change from the world of podcasts and HD gaming. But circus has lost its power to lure over the years.. Only 20% of the seats were occupied on a Friday afternoon. I was hoping to see a little more crowd since the Diwali holidays were on.

It’s no denying that the art of Circus is slowly dying.. To get a better understanding of what goes on behind the curtains I got in touch with the owner of Rambo Mr. Sujeet Dilip. He validated my belief that it’s not long before the great Indian Circus is History.

During our conversation he revealed that Rambo started off with their first show on 26th Jan 1991 with great admiration form the audience. Rambo has been like a family to him and over the years he has strived hard to keep the show running. From being one of its kind circus in India to have been affiliated to the World Circus Federation, Monte Carlo, to getting international talents from all over the world. He is mighty proud to have successfully trained local prodigies who have made successful careers in circus aboard. He and his family have literally given everything they have to keeping the show running.

It takes a lot to keep a circus going he said… A staff of 120 that need to be fed and accommodated. If international acts are bought in, as per the Government regulation each international performer needs to be paid 1.35 lac each where as each local performer is only paid around 20k. Each day 60K worth of diesel is guzzled up just to keep the Air conditioning and lights running. 

Once the circus packs up and moves locations, they need as many as 40 trucks to transport the equipment and a man power of 300 men to help undertake this move. A rent of somewhere around 10-12lc. per month is to be paid for the land where the circus stands.With more and more empty seats with each show the numbers just don’t add up.

The main problem I see is that the Circus has not really matured with the changing needs of the audience. They need to reach out to audience through social media more vigorously. Train the existing performers in the art of flamboyance. The clowns need to learn that you don’t need to be loud to be funny. The comparing needs to be clear, I could barley understand a word..This circus needs some serious buffing around the edges to become more edgy.

In spite of a few frayed ends the Rambo circus still makes a safe bet for you to spend a few hours reliving the magic that is Circus. Rambo has set up tent at the Bandra Reclamation grounds till the 16th Dec 2015. I highly recommend you go there to check out the International performances. For tickets and more log on to bookmyshow.com

 What to expect at Rambo 2015..

*The above reference in the post are from the movie: Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. If you are someone who has no fancy rats clue as to what am I referring to I suggest get a DVD Today! 
As Gia puts it, “Circus stick together.”