x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Lords of the ring come to town

Municipality brings spectacle to Khalifa Park for 26 shows.

Acrobats from Germany's Circus Sarrasani perform in Dresden.
Acrobats from Germany's Circus Sarrasani perform in Dresden.

ABU DHABI //A German circus is coming to the capital this week with clowns, entertainers and a white tiger.

The 110-year-old Circus Sarrasani will perform 26 shows in a tent in Khalifa Park that seats more than 800. The circus debuts on Thursday, with the last show on April 6.

The municipality's Community Services Department arranged the visit as part of an effort to organise community events in parks.

It is the first trip to the UAE for the circus and their show has been "tailor made to fit Abu Dhabi", according to the municipality. A massive performance tent will be set up in the park, with special seating for women and children, as well as an additional tent selling food and souvenirs.

The Circus Sarrasani opened in Germany in 1902 and was founded by an animal tamer and clown, Hans Stosch, whose stage name was Giovanni Sarrasani.

During the First World War, performers were drafted into military service and more than 200 circus animals starved, according to its online history. The company effectively collapsed.

In the 1920s and 1930s, the band of performers travelled to South America and the circus began to grow again. The company later settled in Dresden but its 5,000-seat theatre was destroyed when allied aircraft bombed the city in 1945.

The company continued to perform in South America and at one point it was named the Argentinean National Circus. It was re-founded in Germany in 1956.

In 1990, the circus performed again in Dresden for the first time in 45 years.

Tickets for the Abu Dhabi shows cost from Dh95 to Dh495 for children age 3 to 12 and Dh125 to Dh595 for adults. Children under 3 attend free, as long as they do not need their own seat. Details can be found at itp.net/tickets/circus.

vnereim@thenational.ae