From the Latin circensis, circense is an adjective that refers to what belongs to or related to the circus. This artistic spectacle is usually presented inside a large tent and has the participation of clowns, acrobats and magicians. In the past, the circus used to have wild animals, although this custom was banned in many countries as cruel.
For example: “My uncle is a circus artist who travels the world with his company”, “The circus show was spectacular: there were a dozen acrobats who did very risky pirouettes”, “The theater promises a circus night with the most clowns fun of the city ”.
Another proposal of circuses that is less and less frequent is the presence of people with disabilities or special conditions that are presented as phenomena (in English, freaks), such as the elephant man or the bearded woman.
According to DigoPaul, circus shows are often traveling. The artists move with their tents and luggage to perform in different towns and cities, sleeping in their own vehicles (which can be mobile homes or trailers). Other circus companies, on the other hand, have a fixed headquarters and always stage their shows in the same place.
The circus artists also have the option to act out of a circus. It is common to find jugglers on the main avenues or in squares who carry out short shows and then ask for a financial contribution at will from the occasional spectator.
The animals have been associated with circus activities for decades and unfortunately this connection is still present in the collective unconscious. As with any other form of exploitation, regardless of the species it affects, forcing an individual to perform tests in front of large audiences, depriving him of his freedom and, in many cases, reducing his old home to a dirty cell, is a of the most alarming forms of torture that human beings have devised since their appearance on this precious planet.
However, the physical and psychological abuse that so many animals have suffered at the hands of circus trainers is far from being the most serious point of this stain in our history; to have presented this reality as a natural collaboration between various species and to have turned it into an entertainment spectacle was even more harmful and twisted.
Just as the tortures suffered by animals in slaughterhouses and breeding sites are hidden behind cute pictures of smiling cows and grazing, or of pigs that seem to want to be eaten by us, or of chickens that lay eggs willing to know that they will serve us well. making potato omelettes, the presence of wild species in circuses did nothing but make up reality.
How to explain to a child who leaves happy to have seen a show, that the beautiful animals that amused and amazed him with their pirouettes are, in reality, hostages of a group of businessmen ? Of course, for a long time, not even adults saw it this way; and the reason for this lack of awareness of the rights of living beings resides, in large part, in the distortion of creations such as the circus.
Fortunately, the circus as a space for artistic expression gives rise to endless shows starring only human beings, in which impressive demonstrations of athleticism and creativity are made to merge art with acrobatics.
Finally, circus is also used in a derogatory sense to name something extravagant or not very serious: “We do not want circus measures, but a true commitment”. In the same way, the term circus is often used as a synonym for disaster, to refer to the lack of organization and order that is noticed in an undertaking.