When a circus worker passes away, they watch in the circus. When an artist couple falls in love, they get married in the circus. So it is with birthdays and momentous events. The circus is not only property or work, it is home.
Within the circus you study and hopefully you even find love. Among tents, stages, armchairs and a lot of art there are dozens of nomadic people who settle for months in a country where they take their art, their show .
The circus is a parallel world in which you live inside drawers that are set up like houses inside, that is the case of the permanent members. Those who have specific employment contracts stay in hotels or villas, that is the case of the 25 skaters of the Great Russian Ice Circus. They come to their workplace to rehearse during the day, the difference is that they do not sleep in the place, because when they leave their countries and families, in the circus they find family warmth and acquire a sense of belonging.
We took advantage of the circus’s stay in San José (it stayed until January 15, moved to Cartago on January 19) and visited that home, which to those of us who lead a traditional life (from home to study or work), may seem like a surreal world. We were in the morning, afternoon and evening, we saw the proposal in which the artists combine professional skating with aerial acrobatics, a lot of gymnastics and a lot of humor, all on the ice. The idea was to know how all those who make the circus act a reality live: artists, electricians, the owners, sellers of tickets and sweets, and even those who keep the ice rink frozen.
Mr. Emilio is the great boss of the circus. He always dresses formal and his way of speaking is impeccable and authoritative. If anyone knows about circus, it is he who, although he does not perform any act, makes everything work: he is an empirical business administrator. He coordinates things as basic as the children who are in the circus studying. This time there is only one student: Chiquinquirá Fuentes, 15, who is the daughter of Herlinda Fuentes, one of the owners of the circus.
Emilio Moreno has more than 40 years of working in the circus. It treasures anecdotes such as that of the making of tents many years ago, when they were created using cotton fabrics on which melted paraffin was sprayed, they were filled with dust and swept over them to make them waterproof; those of today have a cost of more than $ 170,000 and a useful life of more than 30 years, those of before at most lasted eight months.
Other valuable memories are protected by technology. Inside his reel he found a video from a while ago. His interest was to show me so that I would have the notion of what it means to be part of a circus, not this specific one, but anyone: in about three minutes you can see how the track, which is always flooded by acrobatics and smiling artists, was filled with many people surrounding a coffin. All the members of that circus lined up to hug the body and say goodbye to one of their own.