Circo Fantastico!: A New Latino Experience

Performing arts seasoned with Latino spice makes for a good evening

By Carlos A. Aguilar-Diaz
Published on LatinoLA: November 23, 2001

Circo Fantastico!: A New Latino Experience

There's a new circus in town and it aims to combine the "thrills scares and laughs of a live circus as well as the musical environment of a Latino fiesta. It's an interesting idea but it's even more interesting that they use no animals.
Circo Fantastico! takes the road less traveled by and focuses on live entertainment that showcases the amazing wonders that a trained professional can do with only his body and a few
accessories. Great feats of physical strength and skills are displayed
and everyone enjoys every minute of it.
With a long list of Latino talent by its side, Circo Fantastico! offers a wonderful entertainment experience for the whole family to enjoy and learn about the diversity inherent in our culture. Celebrating the varying sounds of latin dance, production numbers ranging from tango to salsa and folklorico are presented throughout the evening, leaving you dancing in your seat each time.
One of the most impressive groups under Circo's big top is the Espana family. Each time they come out they leave the audience in awe. It seems that this family likes the sound of nervous claps followed by the loud roars of joyously relieved and entertained audiences.
One of their acts is atop the Skywheel, a double pendulum that spins around while two brothers make their way from the relative safety of the inside to the more perilous outer part of the structure. The crowd stares wide-eyed as they show their great balance and timing.
Not to be outdone, the ladies of the Espana family let us see that they are on par with the men when it comes to daring and mesmerizing feats. Such is the case with the Triple Chiffon. Laces hanging from the ceiling are used by three young women to perform aerial maneuvers replete with twists, spins and tumbles to the floor, thrilling the audience as they stopped just short of it.
Just when you thought your heart couln't beat much faster, in come the Dancing Gauchos with their drumming and mastery of the "Boleadoras," an indigenous Argentinian hunting weapon, resembling mini shot puts. The beating of the drums got louder and faster, reaching a crescendo as two performers spin the weapons inches from their respective heads and faces as they dance, making their long locks fly up in a flurry.
All I could think about when I saw this was the humongous bump on the noggin they'd get if they messed up and how much it'd hurt. Remember Mom rubbing that quarter on your bruised forehead? I do! Fortunately nothing horrible happened.
Changing the tempo and the mood was Gabby the Clown. Using only a whistle and quirky gestures, this unpredictable performer provides the comic relief. Big on audience participation, you can be sure that you will not only get to laugh but may be getting some laughs yourself as you become a reluctant "volunteer" in one of his numbers.
Believe me, yours truly knows firsthand what that feels like. Now my family has something with which to torment me for years to come, as if what they already had wasn't enough!
Topping off the headline performances is Arturo Alegria. His energetic combination of juggling and acrobatics as he twirls clubs, balls and hats, is impressive to say the least. The greatest crowd-pleaser though is when he starts spouting Ping Pong balls into the air and not letting a single one drop.
These are only some of the things you can expect when you visit this circus. Of course there are other performances but you're going to have to go and find out for yourself. Believe me, the trip is worth it. You'll have a fun evening.
Circo Fantastico's creation, production and performance of artistic numbers with a Latino twist are nicely done. The mix of seasoned performers and new talent gracing this big top has the potential of becoming the next great performing arts circus.

About Carlos A. Aguilar-Diaz:
Carlos A. Aguilar-Diaz is Editorial Producer at LatinoLA and can be reached at carlosaguilar@latinola.com.

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