You may have dreamed of running away to join the circus as a kid, but we can guarantee that there isn’t a wild animal alive who wants to be plucked from their natural habitat, forced to live in a tiny cage, ordered to learn tricks, and then instructed to perform on command in front of a strange audience by jumping through hoops of fire. This summer, as circuses start touring the globe, think twice about which acts really are “the greatest shows on earth,” and instead support circuses that don’t enslave animals, but rely on talented and willing human participants to amaze and awe an audience.
Below is a sampling of several animal free circuses that may be enjoyed all over the world.
The award winning and stunning Cirque du Soleil shows should be experienced by everyone with a craving for circus inspired hoopla. The performance group started with 20 street performers in 1984 and has grown to include over 4,000 employees from over 40 different countries. To get a taste of the phenomenal physical prowess and acrobatics of these performers and to see the unique, jaw-dropping choreography, check out this video montage of glimpses into the engaging variety of Cirque du Soleil shows being produced, and currently touring all over the world.
Cirque Ã‰loize has traveled around the globe 17 times, inspiring audiences by “combin[ing] circus arts with music, dance and theater in a path-breaking and original manner.” Currently, three different shows are on tour, set to visit several countries across the world. Read about the amazing Cyr Wheel, which is at the heart of many acrobatic performances, enabling audiences to have their breath taken away by human strength and agility as opposed to animal acts.
Just around the corner, May 7 – May 23, The Great All American Youth Circus will be performing their show “Circus Dreams” in Redlands, California. This circus was founded in 1929 by former Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey performer and YMCA Director Roy Coble. The oldest community circus in the world, these spectacles showcase the talents of children who have learned circus skills in YMCA classes throughout the year. Endorsed by several animal rights groups, The Great Y Circus boasts, “the only animals you’ll find here are the kids we dress up in costumes to look like them!”
Set to kick off in Melbourne, Australia June 16 – July 10, Circus Oz sounds like a total blast. Touring for the last three decades with performances in twenty-six countries, this show “is a rock-n-roll, animal free circus that adults and children can enjoy together. Expect two hours of breathtaking agility, death-defying stunts, awe-inspiring acrobatic performances, irreverent comedy and a spectacular live band.” Circus Oz has also raised nearly $250,000 to support refugees and asylum seekers and regularly engages in social justice causes.
Click here to view The Humane Society’s extensive list of animal free circuses being offered all over the planet, and be the ringleader for touting animal free circus acts in your inner circle!
Image: Nathan King