Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Just when I was going to swear off going to the circus, I was won over by le Cirque National Alexis Gruss today. After golf, I went there with my kids and two of my sons friends. I had ordered the tickets in November, before my other circus experiences. This circus was 2 1/2 hours long and cost 35 euro for the closest possible seats. The kids could have touched the performers if they wanted to; they were that close.
This was a family show. At the beginning, the patriarch (who you see on the website) sits there with his son and three grandsons. He tells the audience that his grandsons represent the 6th generation of Gruss family circus performers. It really is a family affair and you feel it all through the show. Nine out of the 14 performers were Gruss family members and they did everything... performing, helping other performers, manning concession stands during the intermission.
There were very few animals in this show -- one camel, two elephants -- and the performers didn't rely on the whip as much. There were a lot of different, beautiful horses, but that was about it. Really the show relied on the people performers, not the animals, and the people were great. There was also a band and that added to the feel that this was a real show.
I had a few favorite acts, but the kids and I probably agree that the best skit involved the cowboys. A group of cowboys came out with a guy in a kilt and performed lasso tricks. The kilt guy jumped and performed somersaults over a bunch of horses. Most of the cowboys left the circle stage and the patriarch remained and was given two whips about 10 feet long each. The things that 70 something man can do with a whip! I was nearly biting my finger nails off when he used his whip to cut a cigarette in half from the mouth of his wife!
I really was intrigued why a guy in a kilt was out there with the cowboys. So when I found myself close to the kilt guy during the intermission, I asked him, "pourquoi le jupe?/why the skirt?" He seemed to understand my bad French and responded that cowboys originated in Ireland! So him wearing a kilt fit right in with the cowboy skit. I was shocked. I'd never heard this before.
I've tried desperately to find something that proves that cowboys began in Ireland, but have found nothing. Most articles I found state that cowboys started in Mexico and Americans absorbed the culture and developed their own style. Maybe one of you knows more than this? I must ask my Irish friend tomorrow....
-- said Auntie M in Paris
# posted by Anonymous : 10:12 PM
I had not heard that...and the kilt...wow. That would make for an interesting horse ride. Ouch. Of course I am kidding, don't want to upset anyone. However, I really haven't heard of the first cowboys coming from Ireland...Perhaps he was pulling your lasso? Ha...
>>I was nearly biting my finger nails off when he used his whip to cut a cigarette in half from the mouth of his wife
Now THAT is what I call a circus!
# posted by Carrie : 10:39 PM
# posted by Anonymous : 12:17 AM
I'm the hugest sucker for a kilt.
And he did flips?
# posted by BohemianMama : 3:33 AM
# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 1:02 PM