Mexican circus adjusts to life without animal acts

Photo of performers in Mexico's traditional Fuentes Gasca Brothers Circus, which features clowns, jugglers, tightrope walkers and acts like Bulletman and The Death Bubble, as it opens on in the Yucatan capital of Merida on April 20, 2019. EFE-EPA/Cuauhtemoc Moreno

MÉRIDA, MEX.- Clowns, jugglers, tightrope walkers and acts like Bulletman and The Death Bubble, whose apparent death-defying danger has the audience gasping, are some of the acts presented by Mexico’s traditional Fuentes Gasca Brothers Circus, with more than 80 years of history in the Yucatan capital of Merida.

Every night, the enormous rainproof, fireproof Italian tent opens to the public with a wealth of tradition, quality, magic, bravery, strength and good acts, just as it will in other countries of Latin America.

The spokesman, whose voice and presence reflect the magic and quality of the show offered by the artists, bids the public to enjoy the circus that has left its mark in Mexico and other countries of the world.

The elegant, showy costumes of the performers are as spectacular as the light-and-sound production that enriches every act of the show and leaves the audience breathless.

«The king of American circuses shares with the public the 80 years of its history, because the Fuentes Gasca brothers have something more than magic, juggling, illusion and excitement to offer,» circus spokesman Juan Carlos Garnier told EFE.

Proof of that are the acts performed by Rigoberto, «the last» Bulletman in the world, and by the three motorcyclists who take off at high speed inside a mechanical bubble, both so apparently life-threatening that they keep the public on pins and needles, crying out in fear, as also occurs with the acrobats’ high-flying acts.

The clowns Joaquin Jr. and Angelo are so elegant and jokey they make adults act like children and has the kids almost dying of laughter.

The fun grows minute by minute on and off the circus track, above all when the clowns squirt water at the audience and when they play with the children’s dads and give them a piece of candy as a prize.

«If the founders of the then-Union Circus, Don Jesus Fuentes Zabalsa and his wife Maria Luisa de Gasca were still alive, they would really enjoy the acting of our clowns, who have got laughs in 37 countries,» Garnier said.

He recalled that the Fuentes Gasca family has produced some great artists, like the clown Chuyin and the Mexican Tarzan, «as well as others who have acted in movies and television.

Today, 81 years later, the legacy continues under the name of the Fuentes Gasca Brothers Circus, which returns to Yucatan to offer both tots and grownups a world of fun and excitement.

Being in the tent of the so-called «king of American circuses» is «exciting, fun and fantastic – I haven’t had so much fun for a long time,» said one of the youngsters attending the inauguration of the season this week in Merida, where the show will go on until May 5.

«We love this circus – it shows you don’t need animals to enjoy this kind of entertainment,» the father of several children told EFE.

The circus complies with the reforms established in Mexico’s General Wildlife Law which ordered circus owners to do away with the animals.

«The Fuentes Gasca Brothers Circus previously worked with elephants, giraffes, camels, tigers, lions, horses, zebras, monkeys and other species, but stopped doing so out of respect for Mexican law,» Garnier said.

Proud of this new era of the Fuentes Gasca Brothers Circus and the 81 years of its history, he attributed its success in Latin American countries to the quality of the show it offers, «but above all for the way we have evolved both artistically and materially.»

«We always try to be in the forefront with the best artists in the world,» the circus spokesman said.

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