Premiere number 51 for circus Arena in a very cold evening in Copenhagen. 2000 invited guests saw this very spectacular performance and maybe the best ever for Benny Berdino and his circus Arena. This year’s performance is called circus under water, not the first water performance for Arena but the second. The first circus under water show was presented in Arena for the first time many years ago but this time it is a complete new set up. The first water equipment was sold to the German circus Fligenpilz and they have been touring with this show since. Everything is new here in Arena and the complete set up has been developed in the winter quarter through the winter. The first part of the performance is a normal circus performance with horses, elephants and a few other acts. In the break the whole pool is build up in 15 minutes and then field with thousands litters of water from 4 water trucks. The rest of the performance is build up over the water theme –in the water or performed on a stage.
Also outside every thing is build up over the theme –water. A restored old fashion water organ is placed near the entrance, playing with lot of water formations and lights – very nice. Just when you entered the circus place there was giving away towels – of cause with the circus Arena logo printed on it – just in case you get wet.
As usual Benny Berdino invited everybody for dinner after the show and of cause with a free bar. After the dinner there was served fruit and cookies and everything was just top class.
The performance started with a few minutes delay with a very nice and new high school acts. Susanne Berdino and her twins Stephanie and Charmaine, Alexia Caselly and her daughter MaryLou. White stallions and high School in a high level and a highlight was the skipping horse – doing caprioles, with Alexia Caselly in the saddle. In the same entrance we saw Oliver and Patric Berdino driving around in old fashion Roman cars. Everything was build up over the theme water and including the dresses, there was taken from the world of Neptune.
Then Susanne Berdino took over end presented their new 6 stallions in white and brown colours. The horses are bought from Yasmine Smarts in England and are very well trained. Lots of hard formations for those animals made a very nice impression. Susanne was not sure witch horse group she should use for this years performance. Last year is was the very young 12 brown and white stallions and in 2004 it was a group of 6 Friser horses. Now those horses will perform in circus Skratt in Sweden and the other group in Summerland south in Denmark.
Les Sandros was a part of circus Merano (Norway) in 2004 and now it is the Danes witch have a great chance to see one of the greatest Rola Rola artists in the world. Les Sandros is really a skill full Rola Rola artist doing the most impossible things on his board. Most artists of his kind are using different kind of rollers but Les Sandros includes balls as well. The height is also higher than normal and he is building up the layers of balls and rollers up to the almost impossible. The whole thing is in the end done as a handstand, just confirming he is better then most.
The clown BonBon has been in Arena in several years now and besides his job as the reprise clown, he is in charge for the music in Arena. This year he was performing without his wife Tiina, which we saw last year in the Badminton routine. Bon Bon is funny and he becomes better and better for every year and he always presenting us for new and funny situations. Also a few old ones were presented, as the entrée with lots of Bonbon’s and the playable turtle. BonBon is great fun and his childish humour is a great value for the performance.
Not any real old fashion entrée clowns in this production but instead there is engaged the Russian reprise clown duo – Duet blues. Extremely funny guys – (in one of their entrees there is a girl included. They are just original and the expression is just fantastic. I have never seen any of the tricks they do before and that is rare.
The Kuskovs covers over a human antipode act on motor bikes. Very rough in style and a lot of noise from the bikes. Two kids two guys and a woman in a very masculine entrée. Mainly it was the two kids there was flying around on the guy’s feet’s. High level and very visual. The music to this act was very well adapted and was hard rock music.
Peter Valence is a German illusionist and new in circus business. He has done a lot of variety shows before and a single experience in circus Roncalli – (Special performance “Roncalli rocks Hohner a few years ago). Peter Valence does 2 very different entrees and the first is an out breaker entrée. Chained and bound he is locked up in a secured aquarium and he had to unlock himself in a few minutes. Peter did not drown this evening and he is ready to entertain the Danes in the future. Very entertaining and a little thrilling as well.
Alexia and René Caselly was next with a combined African elephants and horse act. 4 white stallions together with 4 elephants and a high tempo dose a very good act.
The second half of the show was circus under water and was started up with the clowns trying to fill up the pool using cups and small basins. Running and running and not coming anyway, they find out another solution. They will of cause use a tap in over size.
When duet blues does a very funny juggling act on the “island” the huge pool is filled with water.
MaryLou – daughter of Alexia and René Caselly – enter the ring sailing on a board. Nice smooth and easy she climbs up on the island and performs a fantastic contorion act. She has been training on this act for years and I was presented for the entrée the first time in circus Skratt in 2004. Dressed as a mermaid and in black light she dose a contorion act in a very high class. I have seen acts there was better than this one but MaryLou is only 14 years old and there is no doubt that her future is very bright. What she does in an almost dark environment here in Arena is just fantastic.
Jorge Cardinali Ladder balance. Jorge is the son of duo Cardinali and this young act is very good. He is building up the act and putting on extra steps on the ladder until it seems very dangerous. Jorge has won prices for his act and the last was for juniors in Monte Carlo.
Duo Cardinali and their sea lions. Not much to say- duo Cardinali is world class on their field. Very trimmed with a nice tempo and never boring. The sea lions were of cause doing a part of the entrée in the pool.
The starlight’s – roller-skates artist. Nice act, lots of tricks and nice costumes. The best part was the “spectator” getting a volunteer spinning trip with the artists and getting so dizzy that he, of cause ended in the pool.
Back on the stage was Peter Valence with his second entrée and this time with a illusion act. The act started with a lot of fire and ended up with a nice illusion act. An iron box placed on four poles was penetrated from all angels by torches and of cause one of the beautiful assistants was placed inside. When the sides of the box were removed the assistant was vanished. Very visual act with a scary atmosphere – nice.
The artist high light this evening was in my opinion no doubt the handstand artist Encho. I have never before seen an act like this performed so strong and elegant. Done with so fantastic personality and so skill full, that he got the longest and most intense applause – and he really deserved it. Alone on the stage he made an extremely entrée and I’m sure that most of the woman’s hearts by the audience was completely sold.
The final in Arena was the most elegant and most visual I ever have seen in any circus. Water in cascades suddenly was turned on. From the ring, on the stage and from the sealing came water from thousands of small valves. A water carpet came from the top of the tent and a fantastic lazar show was tuned on. If you are not sure what very expensive lazers, combined with smoke, water and other lights can do, please visit circus Arena because this final was outstanding.
In my opinion the best show ever from Arena and I´m wondering what Benny Berdino and his family will try in the 2007 performance because if the show most be better year after year there is a lot to plane through the next winter. Circus Arena was 20 years ago a small but nice circus and now they produce one of the best circus Shows in Europe.
The show was ended with a very long standing ovation from the audience and there is no doubt at all - Arena is international top class.
Circus Arena will stay in Copenhagen until April 17th. and there is already lots of sold out dates. Then Arena will go on tour around in Denmark and next stop will be in Aarhus. In the Autum you can find Arena on a 2 months tour in Holland
The performance went on for almost 3 hours including a 20 min break.
Lots of souvenirs from the huge souvenir store. – Programs, book about Arena, the full 2005 performance on DVD, many different CD with lots of circus music, scarfs, key holders, leather jacket with Arena logo, posters, those irritating blinking and turning things that it seems to be necessary to sell in all circuses and a lot more.
Catering: One bar with bears and soft drink. One Café with coffee. Two stores with different foot and two stores with candy, soft drinks and more.
The music in Arena is absolutely perfect. The English band controls all kind of music, classic, traditional circus music and modern rock music. Maybe they should turn the gain control up a little, because in my opinion it was a little to low.