Julio Revolledo Cardenas, widely considered to be the number one historian of Mexican circus, passed away last night in the city of Cuernava, Morelos. His legacy consists of his efforts to rescue the history of the circus in Mexico, and his work in creating the Bachelor’s degree program in Performing Arts and Contemporary Circus at La Universidad Mesoamericana in Puebla, Mexico. This was the first program of its kind in Latin America, and he served as the program’s director.
The Bachelor of Performing Arts and Contemporary Circus program opened its doors at La Universidad Mesoamericana ten years ago, and injected new blood into this traditional art form which has been a staple of Mexican culture for over 200 years.
Thanks to this, the role of circus in theatrical discussion has been renewed. Allowing new artists trained through the program to take risks and discover new possibilities on stage has prevented the death of the circus arts in Mexico — a fate that was not escaped in many other Latin American nations some ten years ago.
Young graduates have traveled the world, winning prizes in international festivals, and putting Mexico on proverbial “map” of world-class training grounds for circus artists.
Revolledo wrote the book “La Fabulosa Historia del Circo en Mexico” (“The Fabulous History of Circus in Mexico”) in 2004, where he recorded the stories of circus families such as the Suarez, Atayde, Fuetes Gasca, Esqueda, Bells, hermanos Vasquez, Orrin, Padilla, and many others. In this book, he analyzes the development of the circus industry in Mexico, culminating in a wonderful description of this intangible cultural heritage — of both Mexico and of humankind.
He went on to publish “El Siglo de oro del Circo en Mexico” (“The Golden Century of Circus in Mexico”) in 2010, where he describes how the circus took on a more elegant equestrian aesthetic thanks to the work of the Orrin family.
Revolledo participated in a large number of international forums and circus competitions, giving workshops to youngsters and serving on juries and panels. In his youth, Revolledo completed a degree in International Relations later finishing his education with both a Masters’ degree and a Doctorate in Art History. He was the grandson of Carlos Revolledo, the Peruvian circus artist and director; and was also the nephew of master juggler Rudy Cardenas. He is survived by his brothers Carlos and Marco Antonio, as well as by his nephews.
Dr. Revolledo’s most recent efforts were political. As an ardent supporter of Mexico’s circus traditions, he worked with the Mexican Congress to officially recognize the Circus Arts as an official aspect of the country’s cultural heritage.
Julio Revolledo’s body is presently at Funerales Gayosso, Domingo Diez #805, in the capital of Morelos.
To read the obituary in Spanish, click here.
Translated with permission by Thom Wall. Originally published in Spanish by Sabersinfin