I am just back from attending the show at Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium (near Stadium Stand). The circus arena seemed like one that had fallen on hard times.
The one time I had been to a circus was when I was in primary school. We got a free ticket each to the Jumbo Circus. It was a neat marketing trick by the circus management because we also brought our parents who had to buy their tickets. Jumbo had a fabulous production. There were elevated wooden stands for us to sit. They had wild animals like tigers, lions, bears and elephants. The Indian government stupidly banned circus animals several years later. (Zoos continue to imprison animals.) Since then, circus troupes have fallen on tough times.
My initial impression at Grand Circus was not great. It seemed like a failure. But boy was I surprised!
The publicity handouts said something about African and Manipuri performers along with Indians. What a show they put on! It was not a totally flawless performance but they had everything you expect from a circus. Trapeze acrobatics, various gymnastic performers, a strongman (a lady), dog tricks, motorcycle cage, bicycle stunts (no brakes, just two wheels and a frame) and the children’s favorite clown show. The Manipuri boys & girls did many of the gymnastic stunts along with some feats using iron rods and sharp knives. The Africans did mostly non-African stunts – the famous Brazilian leg acrobatic thing and the Caribbean fireplay thing.
Indian crowds are hard to please. They are extremely reticent when it comes to applauding. But by the end the crowd was clearly won over.
My favorite stunts were the gymnastic stunts and the woman who balanced herself above three wooden boards with glass tumblers in between and a plastic cylinder below everything.
Shows are at 1 pm, 4 pm, & 7 pm.