The circus was in town

Cover image: Lily Paul Roncalli performing a stunning dance number on top of a pool table.

It has been a long while, since before Covid-19 struck, since I have been to the circus. I like very little better than photography of stage performances, and the circus is especially magical, with its great lights and colours. But especially the lights!

It is because of the wonderful contrasts between light and shadows that I chose to process this particular photo series in black and white. Colours, though wonderfully bright, would perhaps distract from the special circus light effect. At least this time, I wanted to try something different. Perhaps for the next circus show I will try colour again.

DANIL LYSENKO performs a modern juggling act

This show was quite special, because in the last couple of years, Roncalli had to postpone their tour twice, with 120 artists, musicians, other staff and of course Viennese circus lovers having to wait. Now, after a two-year Corona break, Circus Roncalli was finally able to return to its prime spot at Vienna´s Rathausplatz with its new 2022 program. The programme is called ‘All for ART for All’ and includes several references to the fine arts and also a 300-degree-Hologram that is projected in the beginning.

One thing I really appreciate about Circus Roncalli is that their acts do not involve any animals. In too many circuses animal acts are still the norm. This is a hangover from the past, when animal welfare was not of concern to many people, but in my opinion it is an unnecessary relic that has no place in a modern circus. I find the dexterity and athletic skills of human artists much more interesting to watch in any case.

HERMANOS ACERO, brothers in a performance full of strength and grace
A most impressive S-curve by DUO LUNA
GENSI Clowning around – with audience participation

About Circus Roncalli:

Bernhard Paul founded Circus Roncalli in 1975, and since then the circus has travelled through the world and been part of many international festivals. Paul himself is also an actor, who has received many awards. He and his family continue to do their circus magic, and I am so glad I managed to go this year.

The current tour has left Vienna and is now showing in Frankfurt, Germany. When they return to Vienna, hopefully next year, I´ll be back.

Jump’n’Roll performing sensastional jumps

All photos © Karin Svadlenak-Gomez

P.S. I have to say it – “free advertising”, I am not getting paid by anybody to write this.

5 thoughts on “The circus was in town

  1. Black-and-white works well for these photos, Karin. It’s been ages since I have attended a circus and I have to say this is not like the circuses I remember from my childhood. But I guess circuses aren’t immune to change.


    1. Thank you, Tanja. You know, it is also a far cry from the circuses I remember, and thank goodness for that! I much prefer the focus on artistry there is now, rather than the “tame” wild animals they used to show way back then. Sadly, this is still happening in a lot of countries. But not in Austria.

      Liked by 1 person

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