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Girls on the elephant dance

How light is a flying elephant ?

The circus is very exciting! I went there the first time when I was ten years old and I enjoyed a lot! I remember the festive atmosphere, the colours, the music and a lot of lights! There were some clowns and animals (such as elephants and lions) which I had only seen in books until that time. They earned my best applauses! And you, dear Readers, have you ever been to a circus?

Girls on an elephant dance (80x90 cm) is a colorful picture painted in 2006 by the Ukrainian artist Svyatoslav Ryabkin. It represents an incredible show in which three acrobats dance and sing happily over an elephant, so the author has explained.

The elephant, symbol of the circus shows, is stylized and it flies over the amazed audience. The lightness is all over the picture, despite an African savannah elephant can weigh 6,000 kg and other elephant races 3,000 kg! It is a paradox!

The elephant and the acrobats move in circle. Their movement is under the typical circus tent, which is circular too. In fact, the word "circus" is a Latin word and the first circuses were built in this shape.

Looking at the picture, you can see a lot of colorful triangles that decorate the entrance gate of the big tent (at the top right). The point of view is curious: we can feel both viewers inside and see the big tent from the outside at the same time!

The typical religious building with the Christian cross and the fish (in the bottom righ) are both symbols of the artist's deep Christian faith. These elements are present in a lot of paintings of him. At the exit you can see the church, so bright and static. It seems the time has stopped. The movement of the dance contrasts with the stability of the Christian faith. Have you noticed the little white sail on the right which seems to indicate the right direction in life? In my opinion it is the way of thoughtlessness and reflection.

The circus art was born in Russia in the 11th century. The introduction of animals in circuses took place later with Sinti and Gypsy communities' performances with exotic animals. There were different shows according to the potentialities of animals: giraffes and rhinos were performing in laps of the track whereas horses were involved in more complex exercises of skill and balance and finally, elephants were interacted with more artists in addition to their tamer. Ryabkin represented this special moment with his picture "Girls on an elephant dance"!

The elephant is in midair above the enraptured crowd. The show is exciting. You will hold your breath! This feeling reminded me of unexpected events in the circuses, for example an elephant fell down in Belarus. The performance was immediately interrupted and in this video you can see that other elephants tried to help it. So sensitive! Tell us what do you think about these great shows even if they are against nature.

Have you ever see this amazing video <> ? There is a fervent debate about that: this behavior has been generated by an hard training or by their own intelligence ?

However someone people has heard this cry for help! In fact, from 2018 the Usa circuses are going to block the use of elephants, due to too much abuses. But other animals, such as tigers, lions, dogs, horses and camels will continue to entertain the audience. We hope soon other animals' rights will be protected.

Meanwhile, in Italy Moira Orfei Circus shows continue to enjoy great success. Mrs Orfei (1931-2015) was a woman with a unique charisma who began her career as a circus rider, trapeze artist and finally acrobat. She is famous and loved by the audience for her numerous roles in film and tv. He starred in about 40 movies!

And in 2017 the show Velvet will come to Europe! It is an Australian musical with circus acrobatics and colourful performances on the most popular hits of '70s. Not to be missed!

Dear readers, read the fairy tale Dumbo (by Disney) to remember that felling like children is good for you everytime you want! And write us if this Ryabkin's picture do you like!</https:>

By Elena Sechet

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