Circus members warm up in the south


Running away with the circus is something most people only dream of, but for some members of the Great Moscow Circus it is a reality.

The International Circus opened its Dunedin show last night at The Oval where it will take place for the next three weeks.

Tour director Marie Weber said she was “just a girl from South Auckland” when she met her future husband Harry Weber, a sixth generation circus performer, when she visited the Whangarei Circus.

She never became a performer, but has lived and traveled with a circus ever since.

It was a very family-oriented lifestyle, Ms. Weber said.

She had eight children, who grew up surrounded by the circus lifestyle.

“When you grow up in the circus, that’s all you want to do,” she says.

The daughter of the couple Kiarnna (22) performs as an acrobat in the circus.

Kiarnna said it was “amazing” to perform in the circus. Her favorite part was hearing the crowd screaming and clapping as they entered the tent.

“It’s what gives you the life to go on stage.”

She was trained in a few different acts, but her main performance was the silks, where she climbed silks from the bottom of the tent to the top and performed tricks on it as she went.

Marie said the crew were happy to be back on the road after their 2020 tour was postponed due to Covid-19.

The troupe, which were normally based in Australia, had been touring New Zealand for a few months when the lockdown went into effect.

It was supposed to be the first New Zealand tour in 20 years.

Instead, they passed lockdown in Cambridge, she said.

Despite being an international circus, with members from South Africa, Russia and the United States, the crew did not hesitate to stay in New Zealand.

“I don’t mean we were stuck here, because in what place it is to be stuck,” Marie said.

Once the lock-out was completed, the crew began to turn again. They had also started to explore other ways to present their show to people. A reality show The Circus, filmed in Auckland, which went behind the scenes of their troupe, began airing last week.

Filming was completed on a second season, which was shot in Queenstown.

The crew were excited to bring the show south, she said.

“The people who live in the South Island still go out in the winter … so they’re coming.”

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