A day @ Circ-Cric

by | Apr 30, 2007 | Clown

St Esteve de Palautordera, some 50 kilmeters north of Barcelona.

The capital of circus in Cataluna?? It is the town where Tortell Poltrona, founder of Clowns Without Borders, great clown and director of Circ Cric lives at the foot of the mountain and national park Montseny. A small town where one can still buy fresh mediteranean fishimg_0807.jpg

Every spring, the circus hosts field trips, some 600 children three days a week come in buses for the day (10-3pm) to experience the circus and enjoy the natural surroundings. Each visiting classroom are greeted where the buses let them off by several of the 20 plus artists and animators. They are given an animal name for the group and paly at learning a few characteristics of the animal. For example the frog group hops and croak.

The kids seem to have good fun with it, and then follow the red clown shoe footprints stenciled on the pavement that lead them to the circus.

The road leads down into a little forest, across a creek and up to the circus.


A good number of the children come from urban environments and have had very little time, if any, in natural environments. I can hear from the circus excitement and squeels of delight as they travel the path.

The pathway leads up to a giant meadow where Tortell and his wife Montse have established the circus’s permanent home, right at the foot of the mountain.
img_0874.jpg There are two big tops mounted, and three other tents.  I watch the kids turn the corner and get their first glimpse of the circus.  One sweet little boy, upon seeing the tents exclaims, oh this is where the clown (pallasou) lives.  Other kids in his group excitedly talk about the clown. Tortell is famous in Cataluna, and I guess that the kids all know that they are coming to see Tortell.

Everything is extremely well organized, there are little tents set up with little animal signs which act as gathering places for the groups.

The program of the day starts with  big circle warm-ups with Claret Clown, who acts as ringmaster for the entire day.

Claret leads a spirited game of Simon Says, only the  game is called “pallasou ” instead of Simon.  Claret continually fools a good portion of the kids and laughter abounds.

The program of the day includes a puppet show about circus, then Claret’s big book show about the history of circus,

followed by a trapeze show under the second big top, which is set up without the walls or seating, the kids sitting on the ground looking up amazed at the performance. Then there is lunch, which they bring, and the there is a little cafe set up where the teachers can go take a break and have a coffee.  Finally the circus show with Tortell under the big top fully set up with lights, sound, seating.   img_0933.jpg

Quite a full day for all !!!


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