'Life in the circus is really good'

'Life in the circus is really good'

Colourful experiences

Acrobat: AnthonyIt’s tough for most Bangaloreans to envisage a life on trapezes, under tents, in the company of menageries — one characterised by constant travel and glitter-filled performances.

But for Anthony, a member of the acrobatic troupe in the Gemini Circus, these are matters that have to be dealt with on a daily basis. He travels all over the country with the circus, putting up gut-wrenching performances with seeming indifference whenever they set up the big top. Metrolife caught up with the acrobat to find out more about the life he leads.

Anthony is originally from Tanzania, and claims that he had always wanted to be an acrobat.

In fact, he started performing stunts at a very young age. “I began to do acrobatics when I was just seven years old. I was born and brought up in Tanzania, and started learning the stunts there. There was a Chinese teacher in my school who taught me how to do them,” he recollects.

He’s been circus-hopping for the last decade or so, selling his talents to whichever troupe selects him on a contractual basis. “I joined the Gemini Circus six months back. Before that, I was with a German circus. Most performers join circus on contract, which lasts for one year.

Agents call and tell us where we have to go to perform, we don’t get to decide that,” he says, adding that his travels have taken him across the globe, entertaining people in countries like Germany, Australia and Dubai before coming to India.

While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, circus life is definitely perfect for Anthony, and he doesn’t balk at admitting this. “Life in the circus is really good. I’ve been working with circus for the last ten years, and I really enjoy it. It’s convenient for people who come from other countries — the pay is also quite good,” he says. However, while his stint with the Gemini Circus has been a satisfactory one, he warns that this isn’t the case with all troupes. “In some circus companies, life isn’t that nice. Sometimes the payment is less, and the performers aren’t treated well,” he explains.

He also mentions that he finds Indian circus inferior to some of the troupes abroad. “There aren’t many interesting ‘numbers’ here,” he says, referring to the different acts. “Here, I think my number is the most interesting. Also, circus in Africa, Russia and other countries have lots of animals like lions, tigers and chimpanzees. But you don’t find such animals in any Indian circus,” he adds.

Anthony has been to Bangalore before, and admits to loving his trips to the City. “This is the second time I’ve come here. I like to visit places like MG Road and Shivaji Nagar. The food — like chicken, mutton and noodles — is also nice,” he concludes.

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