Front photo: BonBon and Tiina
Photo by Circus Scandinavia 2007 (C).
Last year Arena delivered a show with lots of water, making the performance different and entertaining. This year is no exception and Circus Arena director Benny Berdino delivers a show different than others here in Scandinavia because for the first time here the show includes 14 Irish river dancers. It is up in time with river dance here in Scandinavia, so why not combine two very popular ways of entertaining and include this dance in circus. Don’t think that the artists are put in between the Irish dancers when there is a little gab in their show- No it is still a traditional circus performance with everything as traditional clowns, elephants and horses.
Lots of clowns in this production and the opening of this 2007 show was done by the reprise clown Mr. Chap. Not the first time here in Scandinavia and not the first time in Arena either. Mr. Chap is very mimic and have one of the best and funny attitudes. He is fast and none of his two entrees was to long. Here in his first entrée he was doing a traditional “warming up the audience”.
The second entrée was the opening, where one of the dancers from The Irish Dance Company played an Irish tune on violin, together with the English circus band. Only a white spotlight on the girl in a complete dark circus made this very visual. It was of cause the warm up before all 14 dancers entered the ring. For this show here in 2007 the piste in Arena is new build and much wider than normal. The reason is of cause that a part of the dance show is done on the piste. In the first out of three entrees by this dance company, they show the audience a very very professional standard. I was very impressed by the skills of those dancers; it sounds just good and looks great.
With the Irish dancers standing on the Piste Susanne Berdino enters the ring together with her 6 wonderful Friser horses. Susanne was as usual dressed very elegant and her style is very come. This entrée with the horses is new and for the first time I saw Friser horses on postament. The horses were working tight together with Suzanne and the entrée was closed with a small pony. Here this small horse was working together with the big Friser horses.
Time for circus Directior Benny Berdino to present Arena 2007.
In this season the juggler Robert or Roby Berousek is employed in the Arena program as ring master but of cause this skill full artist will do a juggling entrée. He was a part of circus Arena in 2002, where he performed his ladder juggling entrée, so now it was time for Roby´s second entrée - the tennis juggling. He is fast, young and elegant without world class standard. Roby is great and his ladder balance act as we saw in 2002 is not used in this production. The reason is of cause last years Arena program, where Jorge Cardinalli presented a ladder juggling balance act. The entrée by Roby is short and very nice.
More than one reprise clown is unusual in circus but anyway it is amusing if the standard is high. That is the case in Arena because first we were presented by Mister Chap and secondly it was the Danish BonBon with his first entrée. A new version of the heavy balloon in suitcase was presented by BonBon and his wife Tiina. BonBon was a part of the international circus festival in Monte Carlo 2007 and there is of cause a reason for he was a part of this festival – he is entertaining. BonBon is not slapstick humour – thank you for that but very well thought out small stories.
The Casselly family has a great part of the performance this year (also in 2006). Last year we saw Merylou casselly in a very nice and visual contorion act and for this new 2007 season she presented a different tissue act. She entered the ring on a white stallion where there were hundreds of small light bulbs. Very visual in blue spotlight she rides the horse under the tissue and climps up under the big top. Normally tissue acts can be boring but with Merylous fantastic talent for contorion combined with a tissue gives a lot of new opportunities never seen before. Nice visual act with a higher standard than normally seen in those kinds of acts.
The Irish dance Company was next and this entrée was there head attraction for their show. Enormous drums were used as postament for some of the dancers and other dancers were placed among the spectators. The sound was fantastic when 14 dancers steps and if you like this kind of entertainment you are very well entertained.
Back in the ring was Mr. Chap with a boxing entrée. I wonder about Mr. Chap and the reprise clown in Merano this year are speaking together because both acts done by mr. Chap here in Arena is done exactly the same way by Don Christian on the current tour in Norway – also the music is the same. Anyway the two clowns are very different in attitude and both of them are great. Mr Chap finds 6 “volunteers” by the audience, four of them are used as ring corners, one as referee and one as the opponent in the boxing match. Everything is there with lots of funny situations including the slow motion part.
From USA and as the clown BonBon a part oft he Monte Carlo circus festival 2007 – The human cannonball – Robin Valencia. Just great that director Benny Berdino still includes those old fashion disciplines. Before we have seen the globe of death in the Arena ring but this year a female cannon ball. As usual for those acts most of the time goes with building up the inflated pillow and put up a special atmosphere. Robin Valencia fly over the spotlights and land secure. Personally I loves those different acts and Robin is just great.
Next was of cause Clown BonBon with his funny human cannon ball act and he dos not fly so far as Robin but all his clothes does. The act by BonBon is seen in Arena in 2004 but fits of cause very nice after Robin Valencia.
Last act before the break was the new act called Arena kids. Four very strong horses bought from the Cossack riders Ignatov is the backbone in this young entrée. Four of Benny Berdinos Grand Childs and René and Alexia Cassellys two kids present a very entertaining horse voiltiege. Many fantastic jumps including summersaults from one horse to another makes this act extremely nice. The kids are very young and make a fantastic impression. The children have rehearsed for almost a year and the reaction fromthe audience was a very long ovation.
The second half of the performance was opened by the Chinese air artists the spiders. The spider’s presents one of the best air acts in the world and the entrée is absolutely not new. A similar act was a part of the 21st. Monte Carlo festival, where the act won a gold medal. It is not the same act but with the same flying stunts. It is very different from a flying trapeze act, because there are four people to catch and two flyers. What those artists are doing is not possible. The artists fly from one catcher to the next with an enormous height and extremely speed. Personally I saw the rehearsal a few days ago and then it is clear, how many thousands of hours it takes to build up an act like this – Just fantastic and the best entree in the performance.
A new act from BonBon was next, where he presented his very musical brother. His brother can play on a single bicycle bell, representing a single note. His brother is of cause a doll placed on a double bicycle. BonBon is playing honk horns and his remote controlled brother plays the bell. Nice and first of all very original, witch is rare these days.
Ingo Steibner is back in Arena after visits in Merano 2004, Maximum 2005 and in the Danish Summerland south 2006. Ingo is a great sea lion trainer and he represents one of the best acts with those animals. Very charming animal handling and a very positive act.
Also back in Arena is the traditional clowns - The Spanish Rivelinos. A new act is developed for this season and it includes a little funny story. Ragel (Wife to Sito Rivelinos) is complaining over her house is painted over with graffiti. No problem because the tapestry guys are just ready to help her painting her house. Lots of funny slapstick and it is in my opinion the best we have seen from the Rivelinos.
Four Men is from Russia and in the best Chippendales style, those muscle men enters the ring. A very strong and modern acrobat/parterre act and the women by the audience was very satisfied in the last part of the entrée, when the guys took of their T-shirts.
Last entrée in the performance was the Casselly family with Hungarian post act done with African elephants. Very nice and different from other elephant acts. There is no doubt that Alexia, MeryLou and René Casselly represents one of the best elephant acts in Europe.
Finale this year was of cause with the Irish dancers in the ring, with a very traditional Irish dance and a presentation of all the artists.
The performance went on for 2 hours and 40 min, including a 20 min break.
Catering: Candy store, Circus Café, three bars and a foot store.
Souvenirs: Caps, posters, pillows, programs, CD´s, DVD and much much more.