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Alternative Magic

Updated on October 5, 2015
"Greece became the first European country to ban any animal from performing in any circus in its territory in February 2012, following a campaign by Animal Defenders International and the Greek Animal Welfare Fund (GAWF)."
"Greece became the first European country to ban any animal from performing in any circus in its territory in February 2012, following a campaign by Animal Defenders International and the Greek Animal Welfare Fund (GAWF)." | Source

A Child's Dream

Every child I know loves things like the zoo or the circus. But as an adult I now know that either can have good and bad parts!

Like the folks at the North Carolina Zoo that make it a great place for a animal in captivity to be, I am sure there are circuses out there that have and deserve a good reputation.

But one of humanity's worst trades is greed!

Greed and its big brother Capitalism turn anything into a bad thing! Yes, Capitalism may have its good moments, but with some of the weak characters that are sadly considered 'humans', it has a lot of bad moments!

I read a lot of things about some of the small circuses and remember them begging with their animals on Frankfurt's Hauptwache and other places. Reading up on some of the horror stories about some circuses... it makes me sick!

Stories about inadequate housing, withholding of food and torture with various tools to 'train' them and one of the saddest stories I can imagine: 'Captured in the Wild'!

Elephants were often captured in the wild! A baby elephant, heavily depending on his FAMILY (herd), is ripped away from it and often cruelly treated to 'tame' it! I am a firm believer in breeding programs in such cases and that one should at least consider a little about the emotional damage a animal captured in the wild suffers!

Yes! They do FEEL things too!

So when I thought about all the beautiful memories a naive child has and how to produce those for my children without helping cause some of the cruelty and neglect out there, I found a AWESOME solution!

A new kind of circus and so full of magic!
A new kind of circus and so full of magic! | Source

The Magic of Many - Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Solei for me is the Magic of my childhood Circus memories, the Wonders of Las Vegas and all the Siegfried & Roy's, the movie Avatar, Just for Laughs, and Lord of the Rings together.... ON STEROIDS!

The Canadian entertainment company describes themselves as "dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment." Like the famous comedy festival 'Just for Laughs' they are based in Montreal, Canada; also the birth place (Canada that is) of such great TV shows as 'The Border' and ' Flashpoint'. They came into existence in 1984 and were the creative masterpieces of two former street performers named Daniel Gauthier and Guy Laliberte.

They started out as 'Les Echassiers' as a performing troupe and survived many challenges. Eventually, and with the help of Guy Caron of the National Circus School, they became what we stare at with open mouth and eyes: The total complete explosion of Magic!

Cirque du Soleil can't be explained with words! No TV camera can successfully capture the 'high' no single or combination of illegal drugs can recreate; a feeling of drowning happily in a deep 'Loch' of Magic and Fantasy and Fun and Art and Skills and...!

I have had friends laugh about my lacking descriptions of what I saw even on a big screen TV.

NOT EVEN CLOSE, they said!

They are so successfully delivering the Dreams we thought would never come true that they went from one show to 19 shows in 271 cities and on every continent except Antarctica! Over 40 countries are represented by 4,000 people and their estimated annual revenue is over $810.000.000!

That is 810 -M-I-L-L-I-O-N-!

Over 9,000 people saw a Cirque du Soleil show in one single night in Las Vegas! That's 5% of the city's visitors! 90 MILLION VISITORS WORLD-WIDE!

Some of the most distinctive awards presented to Cirque du Soleil are the Bambi in 1997, the Rose d'Or in 1989, Drama Desk in 1991/1998, THREE Gemini, FOUR Primetime Emmy and a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!


Clean Fun and Game

We all love watching animals; or most of us. But let it be a clean fun for both sides. A bear beaten into dancing for bystanders has nothing to do with my type of fun!
There are alternatives for many of the things that put too many animals into neglective and abusive situations. Our fun does not need to be at the cost of them!

And on a positive side: The amount of magic and beauty and art you can see in one of their shows just can't be described in words! Their creativity has no limits, the skills, motivation and dedication of their artists is the dream of any employer. This is modern art in a way that about anybody can enjoy. And for the kids its like bringing the fantasy world of Avatar to them; about as real as it can get!

My children will get to see the circus; they will get to see Cirque du Soleil and those like them. And when day when they are older I hope they appreciate it and look back to a beautiful and clean childhood memory!


Marco and Paulo from Cirque du Soleil - Laureus Awards 2010

Cirque du Soleil - Varekai - Triple Trapeze (HQ)

Alegria Hula Hoops, Cirque du Soleil

Cirque Du Soleil Show Kooza Wheel of Death

Cirque Du Soleil - German Wheel (Midnight Sun)

Erik Karol - Cirque du Soleil Dralion - Stella Errans

Cirque du Soleil - Diabolos (HQ)

Behind the scenes at Cirque du Soleil


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    • Cat R profile image

      Cat R 5 years ago from North Carolina, U.S.

      If they are held as 'artgerecht' (German word for... I guess as natural for that species as possible) as possible, I can accept holding animal in captivity. But the elephant in Frankfurt was a good (or bad) example on the total opposite; bordering on animal cruelty! She was naturally a animal living in a herd and in wide open spaces; not a animal favoring a tiny cage by herself!

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK

      I agree about keeping animals in captivity though I visited San Diego Wild Animal Park and it was like being on safari. I suppose I think it's ok if the animals are being kept to save their species etc. As you say, though, why keep animals for entertainment when a company like Cirque Du Soleil provide something so amazing with humans as entertainment! Great photos and videos.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      One of the newest hotel casinos The Aria has a brand new cirque du Soleil show starting ( can't remember the name). I think that makes 6-7 of them here.

      Also Barnum and Baily Circus is in town. They have been reprimanded for mistreating the elephants in the past.

      Vote up awesome and interesting, Joyce

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Fantastic hub, Cat R...and I'm in total agreement with you. AND...yes, I've been to Cirque du Soleil performances in San Francisco, Ca. I was astounded, amazed, awed and in total disbelief that the human body could be contorted "that way," and light as a feather and agile beyond comprehension. Such an incredibly beautiful display of human achievement....WITHOUT abusing, harming, incarcerating or capturing animals....Yea! Two Thumbs way up and hip hip hurrah!!!! Awesome, Useful, Beautiful, Unique, Interesting and wonderful...