Premiere for the huge Danish circus Arena on Bellahoej in Copenhagen here this evening. The last years is has been very large productions. In 2006 Arena were travelling around with a lot of liquid presenting a circus under water. In the 2007 season the show was back with ground under their feat presenting 14 Irish dancers. In a brand new cap the Berdino family invited the usual range of politician, actors and friends to a circus combination of entertainment and later dinner. Arena is in this season back in the traditional circus style where we find a lot of fantastic artists, more than one of them has gained prices in the Monte Carlo circus festival or other main circus festivals.
The show was opened with the artists entered the ring dressed like monks. A huge globe is hired up under the big top representing the many countries who managed to work together without any problems and how people get together and forget everything for a few hours, when they enter the circus.
First in the ring was Robby Berousek – Robby is working as the ringmaster in circus Arena but he is still working as an artist. That is nice because Robby Berusek is just a great juggler. In 2007 he had both feet on the ground and here in 2008 he was using a ladder as the surface. There is a very nice tempo on Robby and it is the second time he presents this act in Arena because he were a part of Arena back in 2002 and in 2003 he was a part of the Norwegian circus Agora
Marrylu Casselly has a lot to do in Arena. Normally we see this skilful artist several times in the ring. No exception in 2008 where Merrylu has gained a little extra work with Arenas horses. Merrylou fits just great as the circus princess and she moves smoothly around with the big white stallions. Eight of them to be exact, does an excellent job. It is not many weeks since Merrylu was asked to present the horses and hard work has since been done in the Arena Winter quarter. The very nice result was showed of this evening. The horses are a new group of animals trained through the winter by Tim Delbosq. The 16 years old Merrylu do an excellent job she looks good and she is very smiling – hard to see she hasn’t been in the ring presenting horses for several years – nice job Merrylu.
The Danish reprise and entré clown BonBon and his wife Tiina, has been with Arena for many years. The duo is in my opinion very amusing and absolute original. Lots of clowns through Europe are doing the same entrée year after year and often not with their own material. That is not the case with BonBon and Tiina for mostly there is new developed material included. This year all three acts are new and that is very nice. There is a story in the acts and especially the last entrée where Tiina is the princess there had to be rescued by the proud knight (BonBon) from the dangerous dragon. Lots of funny situations in this fight where a small dog is dressed as the dangerous dragon.
The Italian Jimmy Folco is the second clown in Arena this season. Lots of tempo from this funny guy. Not the first time Jimmy is included in circus Arena and he has been with Arena on Greenland as well. We see Jimmy in the ring several times with his shark attack act, the conductor and as the baker.
Brazilian brothers are two guys in the wheel of death. Very dangerous act and if that isn’t enough one are the guys are also included in Diorio´s Dangerous motorbike act. It is a well known act in circus and fulfil so absolutely the need for a scary act in all performances. Brazilian boys do the job in a nice tempo and it includes all the dangerous parts expected in an act like this.
Ingo Steibner was a part of Arena in 2007 and several seasons in the past. It was expected to see a new act with his sea lions but not much difference from the entrée seen in 2007. No problem because Ingo is one of the best sea lion trainers that I know of. It is charming and it has a great atmosphere, where the sea lions seems to have there own ideas to how things are done.
Merrylu Casselly seems to develop a new independent act every new season. In the 2006 season we saw her in a fantastic contorion act. Here she was performing in dark light and dressed as a mermaid. In 2007 she was in the ring presenting a elegant tissue act. Here in 2008 Merrylu has developed a very special acrobatic entrée. In side a special build iron globe, she does her acrobatic act. The globe can open, which gives extra dimensions to the act. The act is very nice and the light and music gives the right atmosphere.
Dittmar and Agnes are just great fun. Ditmar is looking for a wife in his life. First he is looking by the audience without the great success. Then Dittmar find a beautiful lady in a house trying to get his attention. She is calling out after him through a window and Dittmar falls immediately in love. Ditmarr have a height on 165 cm. and when his coming wife steps out of the door he finds out the lady is 217 cm. Lots of funny situations when they dance and Agnes absolutely is in charge of the new couple.
Diorio´s are back in Arena with their fantastic Globe of death act. The act is similar to the Entré they had back in 2005, where they were a part of circus Arena as well. Five dare devils on motor bikes enters the globe one by one and drive in all directions in the globe. The high light in this act is where the Globe are split in two and three riders drives in the upper part and two in the lower. It is an extremely dangerous act and accidents happens sometimes – so be ready to this breathtaking act from Brazil.
Jinan - from China presents one of the most beautiful hand balance acts I ever seen. Jinan are Kong Haitao (18 years) and Fang Lilli (22 years). They have been working on this chair balance act for six years now and won a gold medal in the international circus festival Monte Carlo for juniors. It was also here they had their debut on the act and showing this fantastic combined acrobat and chair balance entré for the first time. Nice, quit and with elegance they build up the chairs to stunning highs and for every layer of chairs they give us more and more completed tricks. Up high under the big top they got a standing ovation for their last and impossible combination. Jinan are very young and I’m sure they will be seen in all great circuses through the world in the future.
Picasso are from Spain – he is a juggler and he is fantastic. With a rarely tempo he takes the audience by storm. Dressed in clear yellow, combined with furious Spanish music and a very different juggling act, he is absolutely one of the highlights in this 2008 circus Arena tour. Fist juggling with a lot of table tennis balls. Then he juggles with table tennis balls but with his mouth only. Everything is very fast but I think I counted up to seven balls at one time. The entrée ends with plates used as Frisbees. First the audience get the chance to try how difficult it is juggling those plates. Then Picasso starts and he uses the whole circus – He is here there and everywhere catching his many plates flying over the audiences heads – Just great.
Shaolin monks from the far east shows the audience how this very old Kung fu sport and way of living shall be done. 10 monks and one girl makes a very different appearance. Huge tempo, censed smoke and bas drums gives the right atmosphere and puts the audience back many hundreds years. Everything included, fights, fights with knifes and swords, jumps and a lot of other Kung fu skills. Very impressed where one of the monks break a thick wooden stick over the shoulder on his friends back. Jumps through rings with fire and of cause there is placed shape knifes in the rings is just one of the high lights in with those fantastic artist.
Arena kids ends the show and this season it is not a horse voltiege act because the horses are exchanged with elephants. Debut in the ring for Benny Berdino Grand child Anastasia. She seems to just love to stand here in the spotlight for the first time and if you didn’t know you would think she has been an active artist for years. Lots of tricks from the animals and of cause for the kids, Patric Berdino, Anastasia Berdino, Merrylu Casselly and René Casselly Jr. There was summersaults from one animal to the other, a skipping routine including the elephants holding the rope and a lot of other fine elements. Great and young act.
The show was ended by the beautiful song “welcome to the circus” performed by the Danish singer Kirsten Sigsgaard and the Italian Dario Campeotto.
Lots of well known actors and politicians was seated around the ring and a lot of well known artists was seen sutch as – The Swedish circus Brazil Jack director Carmen Rhodin, Bicycle artist Jimmy Enoch and his father Dennie Enoch, Katja Enoch, Isabella Enoch, Alexander Arli, Soren Arli, Lotte Arli, Martin Arli and Bettina Arli. The German circus Flic Flac was represented and a lot of other people from the circus world.
Circus Arena 2008 is a very very strong performance with artists from the absolute right end of the quality scale. Very classic but still with a elements from the modern part of circus. The music is playing a lot more than traditional old fashion circus music and that is just right to do so. Benny Berdino has again hired a British band in consideration to get a little more modern sound. Not so many girls in the performance and that would have been nice with a few more female entreés. Highlights are so absolutely Jinan, Picasso and the Shaolin monks. Great performance just to be recommended as the place to spend an evening with your family.
Performance took 2hours and 40 min including a 20 min break.
As usual the surroundings here in Arena are just many levels over any other Scandinavian circus. Beautiful trucks and circus material gives the opportunity to spend at least an hour before show time. Visit the stables – it is free in Arena and there is a lot to look at. If you get hungry you find a lot of different suggestions to fill your stomach. If you get thirsty there is more than one bar. Cofffe and small cakes can be bought in the antic circus wagon, where you can relax sitting around small tables. Souvenirs in own department where you fin almost everything possible.
Arena will tour around in Denmark until the middle of September. Arena stays in Copenhagen for nearly one months and continues in Aarhus.