Astronomers, dancers, carpenters, jugglers: everyone wants to be healthy. There are vitamins, supplements, diets, and countless forms of exercise and of physical therapists to choose from. Many believe that a circus career is a physically damaging one that comes with an expiry date before it has even begun. A deep dive into circus anatomy with an artist-turned-osteopath shows that, when it comes to the circus, it ain’t all bumps and bruises. One’s mental health is tightly linked to their physical.
Standing in the wings and finishing pulling her wheel apart, Jenni looks at all the circles and curves that she drew on that Swedish theater’s stage this past month. She’s leaving traces of her stay behind. In his dressing room in Ticino, Gerardo plays with his messy hair to cover a scar before the show call. A surgery following the spotlight that fell on his head left its trace on the clown. As the cast gathers for their opening night picture, Mayka plants a huge kiss on the show’s poster, leaving her trace on the colorful artwork. Every artist wants to be remembered and leave a trace, but few are those who think of the ones that their practice leaves within. Some coaches maintain that the circus artist who wakes up without feeling any pain is probably dead. That’s just the reality of doing what the human body isn’t naturally designed for. If bruises and aches are as common as mats and makeup for the twisting and tumbling crowd, if one can easily spot...
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