Circus Vazquez brings death-defying acts to Plaza Fiesta on Buford Highway
Originating over 50 years ago in Mexico City, Circus Vazquez has presented death-defying acts and mesmerizing entertainment since 1969. Their all-human cast of performers has come together from locations around the globe, including Italy, Africa and even the Ukraine.
Through the end of July, they’ve pitched their tent at Plaza Fiesta on Buford Highway, and “City Lights” senior producer Kim Drobes recently caught up with ringmaster and performer Yan Vazquez and aerialist Valeria Koshova of the Ukrainian Bingo Troupe for a conversation about the Circus and its unmissable theatrics.
Interview highlights follow below.
A family circus, pioneered by Grandma and Grandpa Vasquez:
“[My grandfather] worked in a circus ever since he was a kid. He did not have his own family circus, but he worked in multiple circuses as a performer,” said Vasquez. “Then one day he met my grandmother, and they both decided to start their own business, to start their own circus, and thankfully, because of that, we have today, Circus Vasquez.” He continued, “He was an acrobat, and he had an act of uneven bars where he would swing from one to the other. My grandmother was a tightrope walker, and they were both great performers, but it turns out they were even better circus owners.”
“My act is a ‘Rola-Rola.’ It’s a board on top of a cylinder where I have to balance on, and I work that with my sister. We have a dual ‘Rola-Rola’ act and do very thrilling, dangerous tricks on top of the table. We’ve fallen a couple of times. It doesn’t stop us. We like the energy, and we like the adrenaline,” Vasquez explained. “We’ve been training for the circus ever since we were kids.”
On performing in the Circus while war erupts at home:
“I’m so lucky to be here, but when we fly here, the war in Ukraine didn’t start [yet]. So it was our plan to come here, and then we realized what happened later in Ukraine,” Koshova said. “Now we are one of the unlikely artists from Ukraine who are able to work because every circus artist needs to perform to show their emotions everywhere.”
Introducing her Ukrainian Bingo Troupe, Koshova said, “It’s about around, maybe, 200, 150 people, and we started in Ukraine, and now we are working through the world. It’s circus shows and theater, with different acts like acrobat acts and dancers, and we are performing with a lot of energy. It’s like our own style.”
Other thrills in the Vasquez presentation:
“We have all the traditional things you would expect in a circus, like acrobats, trapeze, jugglers, clowns. Everything with a very modern twist and very high-quality installations,” said Vasquez. “We have also very thrilling and dangerous acts. Like, my personal favorite is the ‘Wheel of Death.’ I know that name is really extreme, but it’s my favorite act in the show; it’s very scary. It’s like a pendulum… this big, spinning wheel. Two Colombian guys are jumping and doing flips and really crazy stuff that they should probably not be doing, but we all love it.”
Circus Vasquez is performing in Atlanta now through July 31 at Plaza Fiesta on Buford Highway. Tickets and more information are available at www.circusvazquez.com/atlanta.