Clown­ing around in town

The Tribune (NZ) - - CONVERSATIONS - GE­OR­GIA FOR­RESTER

Jug­glers, ac­ro­bats, dancers, con­tor­tion­ists and clowns have been en­ter­tain­ing the crowds un­der the big top on the Rail­way Land.

Zirka Cir­cus will light up the Pitt St site un­til Sun­day.

Per­former Vic­tor Li said the show of­ten re­ceived ‘‘oohs and ahhs’’ from the au­di­ence, as its 18 per­form­ers com­pleted amaz­ing feats of bal­ance, and pulled off grav­ity-defying acts.

A cir­cus per­former for about 10 years, Li said he was a play­ful child, so his fa­ther sent him for train­ing at a cir­cus school in China.

There, he learned all the tricks of the cir­cus trade, in­clud­ing jug­gling and clown­ing.

In the Zirka Cirus Send in the Clowns show, Li per­forms a twoclown act, that in­volves a lot of mim­ing and fall­ing over. Al­though there were many tal­ented per­form­ers and acts, he said clown­ing was his favourite.

He hoped the au­di­ence would en­joy the acts, but re­minded chil­dren not to try them at home.

One eye catch­ing act is by Li Zhi­long. The 17-year-old com­pletes hand­stands and does the splits while bal­anc­ing on six stacked chairs.

Zhi­long said he was not ner­vous while bal­anc­ing on his hands, de­spite be­ing me­tres up in the air.

He had loved per­form­ing in front of a crowd since he was 12 years old, when he went to cir­cus school.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

Zirka Cir­cus per­former Li Zhi­long re­hearses his bal­anc­ing chair act.

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