Clownish capers to relive your childhood
The famous smell of popcorn, sawdust and live animals is finally taking over the Danish cities and towns again. That’s right, despite the snow, sleet and freezing temperatures, the circus season has started.
Circus Arena is the biggest circus in the Nordic countries, and traditionally the arrival of its enormous travelling circus tent marks the beginning of spring in Denmark. Upon entering you are met by clumsy clowns, laughing kids, pink candy floss, a rain of popcorn and the sweet smell of hotdogs. There truly is no better way to depict nostalgia.
Once you have all your snacks and have made your way through the multi-coloured ocean of balloons to sit down − stepping on several toes on your journey − you can lean back in the confidence that this circus has the artists, assembled from all over the world, to entertain you over the next two hours. The rush of excitement when you hear the welcoming “Ladies and gentleman” from the owner, Benny Berdino, is palpable.
First off, out comes … a singing clown. Well, not exactly what you’d expect, but rather enlightening. And if you think you’ve seen it all before, think twice, because chances are that you haven’t seen a clown, nor an entire circus, dance Gangnam style. Yes, Arena has joined in on the trend. If the clown from ‘It’ isn’t already haunting your nightmares, then these Korean-lip-syncing ones are sure to do the job. Though disturbing, the introduction does manage to get the audience laughing.
Once the last catchy tunes have left the tent, the real show starts and Arena offers everything you could dream of from a Czech juggler to daring artists from China to exotic dromedaries, zebras and elephants.
You will find yourself desperately chewing on your nails with a racing heart, as the daring men from Ecuador do rope skipping and somersaults on a moving wheel 12 metres in the air, and later balance on a fine string even higher up. Even more nerve-racking are the exploits of six men racing around a spherical cage on motorbikes, seemingly just missing one another, upside down and all around.
If you have a weak heart, Arena may not be the place for you, but if not, it is perfect for all ages as there will be something for everyone. They have clearly thought about everything, and even in the break the entertainment continues with elephant rides for the children and clown antics. I felt like a child again as I giggled at one of them being hit by a water balloon. You just never know what to expect next, but one thing you can count on is leaving the tent with a satisfied smile.
Bellahøj, corner of Hulgårdsvej and Borups Allé, Cph NV; ends April 7, performances Thu (March 28)-Mon 15:00, Tue & Fri (April 5) 18:30, Wed & Thu (April 4); tickets: 160-350kr, 4030 3040; www.arena.dk