Monday, August 22, 2011

I was excited to be able to take Anna this year to the Ringling Brothers circus. I have very fond memories of traditional circus of my own childhood. I grew up in a large city, and we had a stationary, specially built circus. Our family relative was a director of this circus, and we went very often, especially when visiting troups were in town. I saw amazing performers and amazing animal acts, so my expectations were set high too. Russian circus is well known worldwide, and it was interesting to see that Ringling Brothers have several Russian performers. 
Before our visit we read an excellent book Peter Spier’s CircusCircus, and expectations were set very high. However, the show didn’t disappoint. The tightrope walkers and jugglers were amazing, and there were many unique acts as well. I was glad I didn’t take Anna last year since even with intermission it was a lot of new things to take in, and in the end I had a very exhausted child on my hands despite the fact that we went for a matinee. She was not  a big fan of human cannonball and was somewhat confused by clowns, but enjoyed all the rest, Aug20_Circus2especially the animal acts. While I am aware of the controversy surrounding traditional circus (in fact protesters were right there in front of the circus confusing the hell out of my daughter who can read), I happen to believe that being able to watch real animals actually doing something and not just sleeping in zoo cages engages children to learn more about them and learn how to protect and care for them in their own environment.


Susan @ learning ALL the time!! said...

Circuses can be lots of fun, but they are a bit overstimulating!
My girls do not like clowns much either.

Debbie said...

This reminded me of when my mom and brother took our daughter to the circus. She didn't like the clowns, then to top it all off my brother tripped and poured pop over the top of her head. My children always loved the circus after they were older.

Christy said...

I love the way you addressed the controversy. I have to admit that I am torn about this aspect of the circus.

I'm glad Anna had fun!

Joyful Learner said...

I was torn about taking K also especially since she's so sensitive towards animals which made me become observant of even how the animals are treated at the zoos! We're reading Dr.Dolittle right now where the character doesn't even believe in zoos that cage animals in! So, I don't think we'll be visiting anytime soon.

MaryAnne said...

I'm always torn about circus animals. I think they CAN be well-cared-for, they just aren't all the time. Traditional dairy cows have some of the most miserable lives, in my opinion - on some farms they are not even given the option of exercise.

Story Land had a small circus act (complete with a talented Russian acrobat). Johnny and Lily both loved it, but Emma was very overwhelmed, both by what was going on and the fact that the tent was quite warm!

Kelly said...

It's wonderful that you were able to share something with Anna that was special to you as a child. I'm sure it will be a nice memory for both of you.
Little Wonders' Days

Our Homeschool Fun said...

We are actually planning a circus trip with Jack and Joe as we row a book from FIAR this year. Neither of them has ever been. I hadn't even thought of the issue of Joe reading all of the protestors' signs. I, personally, enjoy the circus. While I am aware of the controversy over it, there are much bigger concerns, in MY opionion, that we could choose to focus our energy on.

I am glad, overall, both of you enjoyed your trip :-)!!