The flavor of Popcorn is blowing through the historic circus wagons – probably every other text about the visit to a circus starts with these words. I am smiling, but it is the first thing that I am sensing, too.
Right now it is still quiet in the circus village and a few of the performers and artists meet up in the manege for the daily training and a chat.
I sit in the empty tier, breathe in the circus flair and Roncalli’s poetic nostalgia banishes all thoughts about my hectic everyday life.
The smell of sawdust seems to affectionately embrace me. I will think about this lovely hug fairly often, because I will find little pieces of sawdust in my shoes and around my apartment the next couple of days. And every time I’ll pick up one of these souvenirs, I will be happily reminded at the feeling I had, when I took off my shoes for the first time to stroll the carpet that is rolled out in the manege.
I am invited to walk through the iconic red velvet curtain and step into the unique world behind it.
Even though the expression ‚for young and old‘ seems to be overrated – it somehow touches me.
When I was a little child, my mother always took me to Circus Roncalli. Back then, Pic the Clown enchanted me with his famous bubble show and I marveled at the artists that were flying around under the tent in unthinkable speed.
Today, about 30 years later, Roncalli has not lost its magic and wonders to me.
At last I sit in the audience once more, watching the show and feeling the ease of childhood again. I forget the world outside of the tent for a while, where tragic pictures and news define the daily life.
I step into the world of wonders, dreams and amazement. I think about what Bernhard Paul said once: that time is the most precious gift you can give.
I hear myself laughing out loud as the clowns perform and holding my breath in excitement along with the audience as the artists show their daredevil actions.
In all of the artists I can see something that I miss in many people nowadays. To be able to blindly trust someone to have your back and to catch you in every situation.
I am fascinated by the tremendous force of the artists to focus and the willpower to accomplish the unthinkable together. To overcome boundaries of heritage and language and create something that delights and amazes people.
On my quest for the recipe of happiness I even traveled to Vanuatu, a small country in the South Pacific that was voted the happiest country in the world twice. Now I realize that an ingredient to this recipe is just in front of me.
At the Circus Roncalli I am following the advice of so called Sprechstallmeister, Patrick Philadelphia, when he opens the ceremony. I leave my worries and sorrows behind me, step inside, become a child, become a clown.
All of these people have touched my soul. And they gave me the most precious gift: time.
Follow the link here to get to Part I of my Circus Roncalli – Behind the Curtain Series or follow this link here to my archive page with an extended selection of the reportage.