The German circus Barum is at the moment on tour in the northern part of Germany and gave circus enthusiasts the opportunity to see one of the greatest circuses in all times in this part of the world. The 76 years old circus director Gerd Siemoneit is known world wide for his skills as an animal teacher mostly with gage animals. In 1953 Gerd performed with a lion group from the Danish circus Benneweis in circus Aeros and in 1957 he was in charge of a new Benneweis gage animal act including 3 lions, 3 tigers, 3 leopards, 2 Pumas and a black panther. . In 1970 he started his own circus under the name Barum Safari but one year later the name was changed to Barum – Gerd Siemoneit.
Barum is one of the big circuses in Germany and lots of world artists have been through this circus. Gerd Siemoneit is absolutely the alt meister in Barum but not seen in the ring anymore. It his daughter Rebecca Siemoniet and his son Maximilliam there are seen changing the performance together. Barum has a red and white 40 m. tent and on the gradin we find chairs only. The band is a huge well playing orchestra with an 11 man set up, witch is rare these days. All material seems very nice and the animal handling is very positive with lots of room for all spices. The animal star in Barum is with no doubt the huge male Rhino – “Tsavo” born in 1974. The performance was a little disappointing, not bad artists at all but compared to the size and reputation Barum do not reach the high standard as they are known of.
The performance was opened by the French reprise clown Alain Andre also called Petit Gougou. Circus people visiting Monte Carlo circus festival can remember him as the Sprechstallmeister - Monsieur Loyal. Petit Gougou has a lot of original and borrowed ideas but overall he is very nice. Some of the borrowed ideas were the little fight with the spotlight, witch moves every time he tries to catch it. He is a nice clown with a great attitude and his tempo and feeling is very good. He was very much in the ring but some times in the wrong moments. The breaks between the acts was in time to time very long but here there was no reprises and when it wasn’t necessary he was there. Seems very negative but it wasn’t mend to be, just a detail, because overall he was very amusing.
First in the ring was Ignat Ignatov with a couple of Lamas and 11 Arab horses was taken over (6 white and 5 brown horses). The horses have a huge tempo and lot of nice combinations. Lots of well known people have been in charge for the animals here in Barum. Gerd Siemoneit for the gage animals of cause but for the other animals there has been artists as Sarah Houcke (Now performing horses in circus Roncalli) and Charles Knie (former director for his own circus), just to mention a few.
Next was Pierre Bauer from the well known high wire and swaying pole family in Switzerland. Pierre is married to Rebecca Siemoniet and he performs a very nice but short swinging pole act. There is a little story build in the act. The light in circus went out and Pierre arrives in a car as an electrician. On the car he secures the pole and climbs up and starts the act. A great solution for securing the pole, witch can be a problem. Here it is done in seconds and it works. A nice act with a lot of scary moments, when the pole sways from side to side.
Les Saits is a comic, Charleston inspired, illusion act performed by Maximillian, son of Gerd Siemoneit, David Pascheke – son of tour manager in Barum and Rosita Berossini. The act is a new act developed for this season. David Pascheke has just a great face full of expression and attitude. When you see this mans face it is exactly as looking at Oliver – from the old slapstick stars Oliver and Hardy. The comic illusion they made was traditional acts seen many times before but it was great fun.
Hair hanger acts are rare these days especially here in Scandinavia. Therefore it was nice so see an old fashion hair hanger act. As usual in those kinds of acts, it was combined with a little juggling. Personally I just love those unusual acts but I have no idea about how difficult or pain full it is? Anyway the act is different and very surprising and Andrea Ayala seems to have a very strong hair.
Ignat Ignatov was in the ring for the second time this afternoon and this time with different Exotic animals. Twelve Camels, lamas and a liberty entrée with four zebras. The high light in this act was of cause the huge male Rhino “Tsavo” It seems as this huge animal just love to perform and there was nothing wrong from petting him when he rested his huge head on the piste. Tsavo lives a luxury life in Barum with own wagon, a huge paddock and children visiting him behind the scenes, can pet him.
The thrilling part in Barum was done by the Polish guys Mirko and Krzysztof, with their wheel of death act. Those kinds of acts are very dangerous to perform but still, there is a lot of ít´s kind chooses from. This act hits the middle in quality, not bad at all. Lots of jumps scaring the most by the audience and the tempo was nice as well.
In the break, extremely bad weather makes the ring to a swimming pool. Tons of water seems to be flooding in the wrong direction and changes the ring to a circus performance under water. Anyway Daniel Raffos tigers seem to enjoy the conditions in the ring and works themselves smooth through the performance. Very nice and well treated animals seem to be the standard here in Barum.
The absolutely star in this BArum 2007 prodution is the Russian Fakir – Anatoli Zhukov. Anatoli is seen in Scandinavia a few years back, where he performed in the Norwegian circus Arnardo and the year after in the Swedish circus Brazil Jack. Anatoli stomach seems to contain up to at least 5 litters of liquid of different kind. He starts spitting up water in transparent containers and it seems as he can continue and continue. Then he is ready to be thrown knifes at and at last the absolute head light. He swallows litters and litters of aeroplane fuel and then he is ready to “warm up” the audience. The weathe was very hot that day but I can ensure you it was hotter when we left. Anatoli Zhukov is an old fashion market place entertainer and he just transfers this special atmosphere into circus. Many were chocked by his performance and that makes him great. Thank you because it is still possible to meet those kinds of artists in circus.
The performance was ended by the singing Rebecca Sieomoinet
Some of the acts in the second half were taken out because of the extreme bad weather.
The performance was good and very entertaining but still not on the level I would have expected from a well known circus as Barum. Absolutely great artists with fantastic highlights but some of the reprises was far too long, especially when it wasn’t needed. The animal handling in Barum is very very positive and there was a lot of room for all animals. All animals looks very well treated.
The ringmaster Rebeccaa Siemoniet has a lot of positive attitude and she did a very good job.
You are charged money for a toilet visit in Barum. They were very nice and clean with soap and drying machines but it should of cause be free of charge.
Circus Scandinavia can absolutely recommend Scandinavians to visit Barum just across the Danish border.