Ujjain: The audience remained spellbound and awestruck at the breath-taking feats and risky stunts performed by the artistes and acrobats at the African Raj Mahal Circus, which began at the exhibition ground at Najarali Mill compound here on Monday.Touted to be the parent organisation of the famed Uttar Pradesh State Empire Circus, the Raj Mahal Circus has given performances abroad and also in Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa and Kerala, before arriving in Ujjain.
The 100 performers, who are a mixed bag of acrobats and artistes from Indian, African and Russian origin, enthralled the audience with events like Russian ring dance, German doll dance, fire dance, trapeze ring dance, Chinese acrobatics, African group acrobatics/dance, foot juggling and stunts on horseback.
Three motorcyclists drove their bikes at 120 km ph speed inside a huge globe, all at a time, providing edge-of-the-seat entertainment to the audience, literally. The organisers, however, are sore over the increasing costs and the decreasing patronage from the public, who prefer to remain glued to the television sets or computers instead of moving out for entertainment.
“The ban clamped on the use of wild animals to entertain the audience came as a deathblow, as circus goes beyond animals and has more about our feats,” an artiste lamented, adding that the trend could lead to the extinction of the very concept of circus shows. “Naturally, the element of risk has to be increased to keep the audience involved,” observed another artiste.
Speaking to Free Press circus manager Akbar said that the shows will be held at 1 pm, 4 pm and 7 pm on Sunday while two shows will be held on regular days.