Thursday, February 22, 2018

Big fun under the Big Top


With the greatest of ease: An aerialist thrills during her performance. —Photos: Ayanna Kinsale

Mark Fraser

Circus Jam International put smiles on the faces of  hundreds of children on July 7 during a free circus show hosted exclusively for various children’s homes throughout the country. 

Twenty-two children’s homes came out at the Queens Park Savannah, Port of Spain, to experience various intriguing circus acts from countries including Argentina, United States, Colombia and Mexico. Tiki, and his partner clown Julio had the large turnout of children roaring with laughter.  The two-hour long animal-free circus thrilled and inspired with aerialists, clowns, jugglers, graceful acrobatics and other dramatic events like the Wheel of Destiny. Franklyn Boodram said he made the decision three months ago during the final planning stages to give back to the less fortunate. He said while there are children whose parents can afford to take them to fun places during the July/August vacation there are children who will never get the opportunity to enjoy various recreations.  He said the free show is more than just an opportunity to give back but to see children smile and enjoy themselves in a safe, fun, entertaining and friendly environment.  

“Some of these children might never get an opportunity to enjoy a circus. I believed from very early that it was the right thing to do to give them an opportunity to enjoy it so I made the decision early that no matter what I will incorporate a free show for the less fortunate children. This is a very powerful action packed show with 16 of the best acts from around the world and they are getting the opportunity to experience it,” Boodram said. 

Boodram said the animal-free circus proves that circuses don’t need to use animals to entice crowds or make money. He noted that animal-free shows are now trending throughout the world. 

“I didn’t bring animals because I looked at what was happening throughout the world. And also when we looked at the logistics to bring the animals it was very difficult. We have had hundreds of people call to ask us about animals but not all circuses feature animals. You can still have a good experience without the animals. A lot of people around the world are complaining about various issues with having animals in circuses because a lot of these animals endure physical abuse,” Boodram said. 

 Boodram said although there was little help from various sponsors, he was pleased with the turnout of the show. “We had little support to do this. Many people didn’t respond to us but we got help from SM Jaleel, KC Confectionery and AMCO, which we appreciate very much,” Boodram said.