It was the fifth night of the Circuba Festival 2017, and day six of spending upwards of eight hours in or around the tent, the Carpa Trompoloco, named so after famous clown, radio, TV and cinema actor, Erdwin Fernandez. I was in Cuba because Bre Lawson, a performing rope artist and one of the coaches with whom I study in Chicago, was accepted to compete in this festival. She invited me along to help translate. I thought I was just going along to help a colleague and see a new place. But it ended up being much more. Despite having watched each act multiple times over the past four days, I found something informative each time. Circus in Cuba is a viable way to lift oneself out of the cycle of crushing poverty, earning a working performer a relatively very good living and the opportunity to travel elsewhere. The most ...
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