|The Once and Future Circus|
The Old Indian Circus is Dying, Long Live the New Indian Cirque
Faced with mass media competition and spirited opposition from animal and children's rights activists, the traditional circus has fallen on hard times, and nowhere more so than India where the 50 traveling troupes of the '70s have now been reduced to 8 or 9.
Local reportage of their dire fate is chronicled here: "Circus culture is fast fading in India" , here: "Endshow for Indian Circus" and here: "Theatre of the Absurd" . Or peruse the prescient insights and moving images in "Indian Circus" by Mary Ellen Mark.
While no one mourns the demise of the tawdry hype and abuses that scarred much Indian circus life, we do rue the passing of another live action opportunity to fill children and the public mind with physically inspired artistic respect and awe. Hence our gratitude and admiration for the new groups now attempting to reinvent the circus paradigm so that it continues to expose and extend our wondrous creative potential and ennobles everyone involved.
The Old Circus as Dreamed and Lived
- between the promise and the pathos a long dark shadow falls
India's Cirque Nouveau Arising
- fresh visions of grace, originality and traditions reborn