The Association

Circus Ethiopia - Addis Abeba

History Gallery Activities


Founded in 1991 with very simple means, Circus Ethiopia is the founder of the circus movement now spreading across the country. The circus was originally established within a community center for   Ethiopian Jews who had left their homes and villages in the hope of a better life in Israel. Hundreds of families came to the compound every day to work, to pray and for their children to get an education until their day could come to leave for the Promised Land. Already on a weekly basis many families were flying out of the country as their application to enter the State of Israel were accepted.

In this unlikely context the first juggling workshops happened. They had been requested after a juggling and balancing performance performance had created quite a stir at the Israel Embassy for a children's celebration.
With the massive interest expressed by the children of the community to learn these simple skills ( having also so few opportunities to play) auditions were held for the 200 children and youths wnating to participate. Three criterias were devised: tell a joke, juggle 3 objects, and demonstrate a physical ability. It took two days to audition until a group of 15 were finally chosen. We started daily practices the same week. For the months of December 1990 to May 1991 the idea was to learn. No other goal was in anybody's mind let alone performing. At one point the diciplines we were working on included juggling, tightrope walking, balancing, pyramid and short skits. Things were slowly emerging in such a way that we had to perform our acts; we were starting to have a small show.

A performance was planned for the end of May to the community. Unfortunatly thewar was getting closer to Addis Ababa. Many foreigners had already been evacuated. Addis was getting more and more disrupted by the approaching war. We kept on with the rehearsals and the day of the show approached.

To be continued...