Traditional small and medium-sized circuses bravely endure. They compete with other more modern forms of entertainment and have had to readapt the prohibition of the exploitation of animals in the spectacles. People are losing the habit of going to the circus. At the beginning of each night, the number of chairs that will remain cool during the presentation is uncertain. Even so, the passion for itinerant life and tradition speaks louder. The troupe does not lose its charm (at least while the spotlights remain lit).
The Circo Coliseu di Roma, portrayed in this essay, represents the reality of numerous circuses that can survive until today. With relatively few members, the same artists who animate the audience go behind the food stands during the break and switch roles. The more than 10 dogs, which are being adopted by the cities where they pass, sometimes invade the stage during the presentations and also amuse the audience. Children change schools every time they collect the tents and go from one place to another. Every rain is feared, because the starred tent with many patches is fragile. Even so, the magic of colors, clumsies, skills and laughs compose a festive atmosphere that, years ago, rejoices adults and children.
The duality present in this theme is the focus of the essay. Laughs and tears are part of the story of a family in love with what they do. Lives in bad conditions, with all the hopes deposited in the tickets every night, on the sale of cotton candy and peanuts. Heroic resistance. Suffering. But all this is forgotten when the show begins.
The essay is divided in 3 parts:
First part is the beginning of the essay, the “tragic” part, and the artists are living the reality of their lives.
Second part is the middle of the essay, the “comedy” part, during the show, when the artists migrate to the imaginary reality of a world of fantasies where they are always happy and smiling, entertaining the audience.
Third part is the final of the essay, where the artists go back again to their real lives.
I emphasized this duality of realities in the light of the photographies: the essay starts darker, turns brighter during the show and slowly becomes darker again as circus artists return to the real world.