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Jakarta Post

Oriental Circus Indonesia still going strong

Wed, January 9, 2019   /   03:46 pm
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    Hear me roar: A girl, Lembayung Langit Senja, growls like a tiger as she waits for the opening of The Great 50 Show by the Oriental Circus Indonesia. JP/Dhoni Setiawan

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    Come and see: Spectators enter the Oriental Circus Indonesia’s The Great 50 Show gate to watch Indonesia’s oldest circus group in action. JP/Dhoni Setiawan

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    Get ready: Oriental Circus Indonesia performers put on make up and face paint before their performance. JP/Dhoni Setiawan

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    Laughing matter: Two clowns entertain the audience during The Great 50 Show performance by Oriental Circus Indonesia. JP/Dhoni Setiawan

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    Modernizing performance: An Oriental Circus Indonesia performer showcases a Sumatran tiger plush toy. The circus has decided to stop using live animals as part of its 50-year anniversary celebration. JP/Dhoni Setiawan

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    Breathtaking: Two acrobats keep the audience on the edge of their seat. JP/Dhoni Setiawan

Dhoni Setiawan

The Oriental Circus Indonesia’s (OCI) recent performance shows that it is not only keeping its 50-year legacy alive but also adapting to new market demands. Around 1,000 spectators filled the OCI circus tent at the Gelora Bung Karno sports complex in Senayan, Central Jakarta, in December. The OCI performers took the audience on an emotional rollercoaster and made them clap, sit on the edge of their seats, laugh and even cry.

The OCI was celebrating its long journey, which has spanned more than 50 years, in the entertainment business.

Since 1967, the circus group has been performing numerous kinds of live performances such as acrobatic, clown and animal shows. The OCI has also earned global recognition, such as winning the Extraordinary Cup during an international acrobatic competition in Wuhan, China, back in 1996.

Throughout the OCI’s journey, it has performed in tens of cities across Indonesia. Some of these performances were in collaboration with international circus groups from the United States, United Kingdom, China, Italy and India.

The latest OCI performance marked a significant shift in its policy. The group decided to stop using real animals to entertain the audience. This is a somewhat progressive breakthrough because for years, the circus industry has been criticized by animal welfare activists and groups for its policy of training real animals only for the sake of entertainment.

The OCI also decided to introduce a live band to bring more engagement and dynamism to their shows. More engaging facilities are also provided by the OCI outside their tent and one of the most popular ones is a mini acrobatic studio and trampolines that can be used by children before the show starts.

The circus group will continue its 50-year celebratory performances until Jan. 27 in Jakarta and it will also go on the road to perform in various cities across Java and Bali over the next seven months.