View walking into the "big top" during the second act.
We approached the main entrance with our tickets in hand. The ticket usher, one of original family members, pointed to the left and said we needed to enter over there. Confused that there was no entrance door, we lifted a tent flap where we saw slit in the tent walls. After walking up three steps, I was transported into the set of a Fellini movie. Twinkling lights circled the round wooden plank stage. A duet played some Nino Rota intermixed with their own music. It was a magical mix of Fellini's final scene in 8½ and his other surreal images.
This past Sunday my children and I went to see the Circo Raluy with several of our friends in Barcelona. If you haven't experienced this circus run by the Raluy family for several generations (check their website for a family tree), you are in luck. The Circo Raluy extended their stay at Port Vell in Barcelona until January 17, 2010.
What the Circo Raluy lacks in gltiz and glam it makes up for in charm and warmth. This is no Cirque du Soleil, nor does it strive to be. You watch Circo Raluy and smile because you are transported to a bygone era. This is what circus is really about. A lady spinning around a board while knifes and sharp stars are flung at her, unicycle routines, juggling, clowns and acrobatic feats of balance and precision. Without any flashy costumes to distract you. So, you really notice when they make a mistake or don't have perfectly toned athletic bodies. It all adds to the charm and makes their amazing performances more unbelievable.
Yes, the Cirque du Soleil is magical for all its theatrical extragravance. Watching the Circo Raluy, you feel as if you stepped back in time. This is the real deal, old world circus. And we loved it. I think my children are more impressed with the Circo Raluy than our Cirque du Soleil DVD. I am still not ready to fork over the hefty ticket price for 4 year old, so they watch the DVD from our show my husband saw last year. Soon they will be able to attend their grandparents annual Cirque du Soliel outing.
And I almost ended this post failing to mention the quaint caravan trailers for which Circo Raluy is famous. Circo Raluy restores old trailers, dating from 1908. You can eve buy miniature replicas of their trailers! Wouldn't it be wonderful to see these trailers caravanning down the road? In case can't see the Circo Raluy traveling the roads, you can re-create the scene with your own miniature replicas.
:: More Information ::
- Circo Raluy Main Site
- Buy Tickets
- Fellini's 8½ film DVD from the Criterion Collection
- Federico Fellini & Nino Rota Music Collection
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