The Circus was a serendipitous encounter and came about recently when the Harlekin Circus, based in the German speaking part of Switzerland, visited my village, Champagne in Canto Vaud. I wanted to see the real effort that goes into making the production - the hard work, the backstage energy and hustle - but mostly to meet the people.
During this Sunday afternoon shoot, before and during the matinee performance, I was allowed to wander freely with the artists who came from many countries throughout Eastern and Western Europe and North Africa. I didn't feel like a stranger, instead I met hard working, approachable people, most of whom had two or more roles to play during the performance. There was also a mix of newcomers and veterans. Some who were now two and three generations in the business, their children growing up on the road, sometimes becoming performers alongside family members. A great example was the father and son clowns, the father having spent his life performing and was now clowning alongside his son, a young twenty-something.
Shot during a single session, I hope the images give an insight into what most of us never see before the curtains are raised. Some of the energy that goes into making a performance a great spectacle for young and old. I thoroughly enjoyed the shoot and the people I met and maybe some day I will have the opportunity to travel with them and become even more immersed in what is certainly an interesting occupation; one that requires a great deal of hard work and sacrifice. I will certainly think a little differently the next time I visit the Circus.