IIZUKA, Fukuoka — Blissful Dream Circus, now being held at a former fish market web site on this southwest Japan metropolis, will stay there till the top of February 2021 as performances have been postponed and occasions have repeatedly been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic since they arrange their tents there in April.
A circus normally performs for 2 to a few months in a single place, visiting round 4 places per yr, so an 11-month keep in a single location is out of the extraordinary. The Mainichi Shimbun requested the circus, by which 80% of the performers and staffers are foreigners, about their life in Japan amid the pandemic.
Roosevelt Valencia Santander, a 30-year-old Colombian who’s an expert clown within the circus, has been holding Spanish language classes each Friday night at a world change middle in entrance of the previous residence of Edo interval industrialist Ito Denemon within the metropolis of Iizuka, Fukuoka Prefecture. He makes use of easy Japanese and repeats Spanish sentences like “Que hora es?” (What time is it?) to show the language.
The change middle was established in September 2019 by Hisashi Muta, a resident of Iizuka who was transferred to Spain when he was nonetheless working as an workplace worker. He aimed to ask international college students so folks might find out about their cultures. The 73-year-old occurred to return throughout Santander in Might throughout a stroll and spoke to him in Spanish.
“I heard he did not have work due to the coronavirus, so I urged that if he had time, he might come over and train Spanish,” Muta recalled. The Muta household acquired near the Santander household, and so they now choose weeds on the middle collectively. The households additionally dine collectively.
Blissful Dream Circus is operated by Osaka-based Dream Circus, established in 2001 by 60-year-old chairman Koichi Maeda, who carried out in a Chinese language acrobatic workforce for 10 years. The troupe’s roughly 40 members embody about 25 performers — hailing from Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Ukraine and 5 different international locations. They got here to Iizuka for the occasion within the Chikuho space. The circus was initially as a consequence of stage performances from April 18 to July 6, however they had been postponed and held from July 10 to Sept. 22. The variety of spectators at every efficiency was restricted to half, or about 370 folks, and as outcome, the circus was dealt a major monetary blow because it attracted solely round 9,000 folks in whole, or a mere 20% of its goal quantity.
Santander’s 28-year-old spouse Katherine Delgado performs on a trapeze and their 8-year-old son Junior, who’s within the third-grade at a neighborhood elementary faculty, additionally performs as a clown. It’s common abroad for all relations to participate in a circus, and there are two different households with a complete of six members identical to the Santander household. Although meals and utility bills are coated by the corporate, staffers don’t receives a commission until they carry out on stage.
As staffers register as residents wherever they go, members have acquired subsidies together with the 100,000-yen particular money cost and financial compensation for enterprise closures, however performances that had been deliberate to observe the Chikuho occasion, resembling one within the southwestern Japan metropolis of Miyazaki, had been canceled one after the other, and staffers had been left with nowhere to go.
Santander has been concerned in circus performances since when he was simply 14. He got here to Japan 4 years in the past after performing in lots of international locations. “It is my first time to be in a single place for such a very long time. Everybody practices correctly even once we’re not performing, in order that we do not get injured throughout the precise efficiency,” he defined. Santander, nevertheless, added, “We will not concentrate on follow if we haven’t any alternatives to carry out in entrance of an viewers. I and a number of other others requested the corporate to permit us to carry out even totally free.”
The troupe initially deliberate to remain within the metropolis with out holding further performances, however because the Iizuka Municipal Authorities determined to proceed leasing the land totally free, members might be holding two exhibits per day on each Saturday, Sunday and public vacation till Feb. 23, 2021. The variety of applications is not going to be lowered, however the value might be lowered to about half the conventional value, to 1,700 yen ($16.29) even for a field seat proper in entrance of the stage.
Dream Circus Chairman Maeda defined, “That is an act to repay town. It is a full loss, however is like an funding for the circus to develop right into a higher group. With the ability to know the members’ willpower was the most effective factor we have out of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Santander described Japan as “being safer than different international locations, with decrease fee of infections,” including that it “is blessed with subsidies just like the money handouts.” He stated he even needs to quiet down right here sooner or later. His son advised the Mainichi, “I’ve made round 10 pals. I am excited in regards to the area journey we’re having in November. I hope I haven’t got to alter colleges.”
The skilled clown smiled and stated, “I wish to put a flyer for the Chikuho occasion in a body and suppose again on this when occasions are exhausting, as motivation to recover from them.” For extra inquiries, please name the executive workplace at: 0948-43-8622.
(Japanese authentic by Toshio Araki, Chikuho Bureau)