Under the Big Top

DENPASAR ~ The Oriental Circus Indonesia is still in town. If you missed the Denpasar shows, you can still catch it before November 24 in Klungkung, only 30 minutes or less from Sanur. And I can only guess, being a person who doesn’t like big crowds, that it was actually a much better place to experience it.

I’ve been to the small, family circuses that tour regional Australia, and I thought this would be similar. What I wasn’t counting on was the warmth of the whole company. From Pak Wady, the smaller of the two clowns, to the elephant trainer – during and after the show, everyone was so friendly, interested in talking to us and entertaining our children. I thought it was just in Bali that the Indonesian people were so personable. But here is a group from all parts of Indonesia that spend their year touring all over the archipelago and still manage to avoid the typical showbiz snobbery.

The show itself was truly entertaining. Trained elephants, poodles, and an adorable ape named Cindy had my 6- and 11-year-olds giggling and talking about it for days. (Nice to know before you go that there are no sad, cruelly treated animals; and no scary big cats to ruin the night for your soft-hearted little ones.)

The trapeze artists, balancing acts and incredibly talented children were awe-inspiring. Pak Wady and his friend, as the clowns, brought good, old-fashioned slapstick humor to the ring, and our kids – typically jaded by too much video-gaming and movies – belly-laughed like actual innocents.

It’s not Cirque de Soleil, but the lighting and sound were excellent and the kids knew it was real – just beyond their fingertips. The other advantage over cirque was taking seven people and getting through the whole deal – entry, snacks and merchandise – for less than US$30.

So grab the kids – and as many local kids as you can fit in the car – and head toward Klungkung before November 24. Shows start at 8pm. Just follow the big searchlight in the sky from the bypass.

By Nanci Holiday
Contributor | The Bali Times

Filed under: The Island

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