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A friend of mine invited me to go to the “Circo del Mundo” (world circus) yesterday. I have a general policy, modelled after a good friend of mine, which is to be “game” whenever possible. This means that if I am invited to something, and I don’t have a good reason not to go (short of cash, migraine, pending visit, extreme fatigue), I should go. I should put aside my slightly antisocial tendency, and just be available. The worst thing that can happen is that I’m bored, or that I learn that I never want to go to this particular thing again.

I was dubious about the circus, because the last circus I went to in Chile was a transvestite circus, which rather than being jovial and positive and let’s-take-this-bull-by-the-horns, was meager and sad, ill-attended, poorly staffed and just a real downer.

But I have this “game” policy, and so when the text came in the afternoon, even though I was kind of peopled out, I called back and said “sure.”

What I later found out is that Circo del Mundo is an NGO that uses the circus and acrobatics as a form of social intervention for children and adolescents at risk. There are no animals, just acrobatics and humor, and great feats of human strength, and a little bit of juggling. Yesterday’s story was about working in the copper mines (a big part of this country’s reality), and it was pro-love, anti-greed, and anti-alcohol. It was about an hour and half of nonstop spinning whirling throwing trapezing and flinging action. Dadío, the 15-month old next to me, couldn’t keep his eyes off the performers, as he clung tightly to the leg of my jeans. (Case of mistaken leg, I suppose). There was a lot of “acrobático con tela,” which I don’t know the name of in English. It looks like the picture on the left:
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The other picture is of them doing acrobatics on those metal wheels. It was so elegant, and they looked so weightless. I really wanted to try it.

The performance was packed, a few hundred people at least. No smoking, only a smattering of flash photography, and we all paid rapt attention. It was totally beautiful, and I can’t believe I had to call upon my reserves of being “game” to get me to this event. It was in Parque Bustamante and Bilbao, in a big blue tent, and free. It’s playing again today at noon and at 8:30 PM. Here’s the circus’ blog, and you can see the flyer for the events.

I also went to two exhibits at the Centro Cultural La Moneda yesterday. The Violeta Parra one was fabulous. It’s there until February. But those entries will wait for another day. Today I’m off to “pintar un cuadro” (paint a giant canvas) in Parque Forestal. Are you game?