Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey’s Built to Amaze is showing in SLC this weekend, and it doesn’t disappoint. In fact, if you can only stay for the first half, it’s worth the admission.
No motorcycle daredevils crisscrossing in a sphere, but you will see basketball players on unicycles, elephants dancing to Gangam Style and a female human cannonball shoot across the arena.
We chatted with co-producer of the show, Alana Feld, earlier. And now, after seeing the show, we have the lyrics “Build this circus, build it together” stuck in our heads. Here, we’re listing some of the don’t-miss acts at the show:
The show has tigers responding to sixth-generation performer’s commands, elephants doing Gangam Style (that wasn’t a joke), and poodles dancing, but the horses shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s one of the first acts you’ll see. Tiger presenter Taba Maluenda’s wife Lucenir Viera de Souza, Robert Stipka and Ashley Vargas interact with Arabian, Friesian, Paint and Norwegian Fjord equines, which entertain with a synchronized dance performance.
It’s everything you could ever want it to be. Ringling’s elephants strut around the arena to songs you’ll recognize (or at least sound kind of like songs you'll recognize). They dance on their own, together and use one another for support. At such a massive size, you’ll be pretty amazed by their agility.
Anything with Alex and Irina Emelin
This comedic duo might as well be co-hosts, along with ringmaster Andre McClain. You’ll see them throughout the show getting laughs. They also end up starting the Ringling Girls! Barnum Boys! part of the show, where the men and women try to show up one another with increasingly daring acts. Alex and Irina show they’re more than just funny, when they work with rabbits, a snake, a donkey, and unleash poodles of all sizes for a synchronized performance that starts simple and gets complex.
King Charles Troupe
The original King Charles Troupe was featured in 1969 by Ringling Bros., but the current unicyclists/basketball players' act still feels fresh. It’s a five-on-five game and some of the unicycles reach 10 feet in height (which, of course, makes it easier to dunk the ball). Whatever you do, don’t leave before seeing them. You can tell the Troupe is having fun the whole time, and it’s a lot of fun for the audience, too.
Taba and his Tigers
More than a dozen tigers come out to follow the commands of Tabayara Malueda. He gets the tigers to dance in synchronicity, roll over, growl and even shows he can kiss them without losing his face.
Duo Fusion & Duo Solys
During the Women vs. Men part of the show, you’ll get to see just how strong the ladies are. These hand balancers show strength and flexibility as they anchor one another in lifting stunts that seem to defy gravity and human ability. Oh, and it’s the women lifting the men—wearing 3-inch heels, no less.
Look up and watch this troupe take to the high-wire on feet, bikes, shoulders and a chair on top of a bridge connecting two bikes together. At one point, the troupe’s leader Mustafa makes a leap over his four partners and lands softly back on the wire.
The show is at SLC’s EnergySolutions Arena through Sept. 30. Tickets run $20–$90. Click here to get yours.