Monday, July 27, 2009

Circus fun

When thinking of Samoa, something that does not at all come to mind it circus. I had heard rumors of such a thing, but never thought of it as actually being true. I figured it was just like the rumor of a bowling alley. I heard about it, said “that’s awesome, where?” and was then informed it was no longer in operation. Now why did you get me all excited only to crush me with disappointment? However, on Friday night I was present at just that very thing. Not only was it a circus, but it was the Magic Circus of Samoa.

There were jugglers, trapeze artists, a contortionist, a human fountain, clowns, Batman & Robin, motorcycles in a globe, Spiderman, and more. It was a cute little circus and actually felt more like a circus than others due to the fact that it was outside and under a true big top rather than in a convention center or arena. Felt more like the traveling circuses of old. This circus has a training center here in Samoa, and I must say they really are quite good. They travel all around the South Pacific; American Samoa, New Zealand, Tonga, Tahiti, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, etc. No animals, except for a small dog, but transporting elephants, horses, etc would be quite the feat here in the South Pacific as everything is in the middle of nowhere.

The evening started out with three Chinese boys spinning in round hoops. Now this looked more like fun than anything else. Next came the 12 year old contortionist who sat on her head. That just seems painful. There were unicycles of all sizes and shapes. I thought unicycles were of single shape, only variation was height. Well, someone somewhere created a zig-zag unicycle. In the shape of a Z and boy did it take some balance to ride. One unicycle was 3 meters tall and person jumped roped over a unicycle (not the 3 meter high unicycle, that would have been super impressive). There was a magician, not the greatest, but good effort. Batman and Robin made an appearance as well. There was an apparatus with two cylindrical, open cages which rotated on an axis. Batman and Robin rotated the apparatus; kind of like a hamster wheel only the cages were fixed and moved around the axis. Again, looked like fun to me. Batman took some risks though and started running on the outside of the cage, a little dangerous, but not as dangerous than when he jumped rope on the outside of the cage. That was impressive. Nothing in Samoa is complete without Siva Samoa, and sure enough there was Samoan dancing. Trapeze artists flew through the air and I was impressed by the double switch where one guy was holding on to another guy while a third guy flew from a trapeze and switched places mid-air with the second guy being held by the first guy. If you can follow that I’m impressed because that is not explained well. One of the Chinese guys balanced six chairs and did handstands on them. Spiderman walked the tight rope. A guy threw knives (impressive, but needed to land closer to the girl for it to be really impressive) and another did a headstand on a trapeze.

Now the other act I haven’t mentioned yet was the human fountain. A lady from India figured out that if you chug a bunch of water your body doesn’t actually like that and you will regurgitate it back up. Not really all that impressive, in fact a little gross. The really gross part was swallowing four live goldfish and having them come out of the fountain. The circus had to end with a bang, and that meant putting five motorcycles in a globe and having them go really fast. This is extremely dangerous and was cool, but Ringling has them beat (if I remember correctly Ringling had six and went much faster with all six in). However, for a small time, traveling circus I was impressed.

It was a fun night and I was impressed by the talent from all around the world. There were some Samoans, as well as people from India, China, Hong Kong, Kiribati, etc. The circus was an unusual treat for a night in Apia.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Erica
    My name is Jared, I couldn't find any contact details on your blog, but would like to get in touch with you as we are talking to Water Charity about funding your Appropriate Project. You can contact me through my blogger profile I have just set up (don't want to leave email address on a comment!).