Death-defying acts from The Great Moscow Circus

Oscar Espinola and Samir Brasil are motorcyclist performers in the Globe of Death in The Great Moscow Circus.

 

The Great Moscow Circus, a jaw-dropping production, has returned to Johannesburg for the first time in 10 years and is performing at Montecasino until 29 January.

This two-hour programme is held within the famous air-conditioned Great Moscow Circus Big Top tent which seats 1 700 people.

The show encapsulates death-defying acts by 65 circus superstars to give audiences the best experience.

Oscar Espinola, who officially entered the industry at 18 years of age, comes from a four-generation circus family in Brazil, a long line of performers which stretches back more than 120 years.

Oscar Espinola and Samir Brasil stand in the Globe of Death before a performance in Johannesburg in The Great Moscow Circus.

Oscar Espinola and Samir Brasil stand in the Globe of Death before a performance in Johannesburg in The Great Moscow Circus.

Along with his colleague, Samir Brasil and three other motorcyclists, these men risk their lives in the Globe of Death, in which the five performers zoom around each other, defying gravity in the large-looking, yet small metal globe.

Read Dancer fuses street styles with circus arts

“It is dangerous and a few years back in the Czech Republic in Prague we had an accident inside the globe during a performance and I went to hospital,” Espinola said. “I had never thought about the risks before but after that day, it sat in my mind and I was a bit afraid to get back in there, but I love it. I get nervous watching my fellow performers do stunts because when I do it myself, I’m in control so it’s fine.”

Brasil, from Porto Alegre in the south of Brazil, entered the circus world by chance.

The Globe of Death holds a total of five motorcyclists in the show.

The Globe of Death holds a total of five motorcyclists in the show.

“The circus came to my hometown and they invited me to watch the show. And I started performing with them. I’ve been performing with The Great Moscow Circus for around 14 years now,” Brasil said.

He was with Espinola in the globe during the Prague accident. “For us, it was difficult because he went to hospital and we didn’t know anything about it. But he was fine and you carry on.”

The Great Wheel performers leave audiences in awe as they risk their lives standing, dancing, running and jumping on the spinning contraption without safety nets in The Great Moscow Circus.

The Great Wheel performers leave audiences in awe as they risk their lives standing, dancing, running and jumping on the spinning contraption without safety nets in The Great Moscow Circus.

These performers, who understand the risks these dangerous stunts brings, have fallen in love with what they do.

“I was born in the circus. My first show was when I was six years old with trampoline performers. I could do back flips at that age, believe it or not. So this is like home to me,” Espinola said.

Aside from doing what they love, Espinola and Brasil get to enjoy the perks of travelling with the famous circus to different countries every year, and they get the experience of a lifetime.

“For me, it’s meeting people all over the world. We go to many countries, you know, so it’s amazing what the circus can give to you. “You’re working, but you get to travel and meet new people, see new things and learn languages,” Brasil said.

The Great Wheel leaves audiences thrilled and on the edge of their seats.

The Great Wheel leaves audiences thrilled and on the edge of their seats.

Lizzie Coles, the executive producer of The Great Moscow Circus South Africa Tour, admires the performers for their courage to pursue their passion, regardless of the risks.

“The things they do really are death-defying and our performers always continue to push themselves to get to the next level,” said Coles.

The Great Moscow Circus offers an array of different acts from the nerve-wracking Giant Wheel, to the jaw-dropping Quick Change Transformation, the amazing Globe of Death, and much more.

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