Circus the first ever circus troupe of Bangladesh, the Lion Circus, was
founded in 1905. The name of this troupe was changed in 1970 to Sadhana
Lion Circus, which still operates.
the period from 1947 to 1970, several circus companies used to perform
regular shows. Among these, leading parties were the Baby Circus of
Radhika Mohan Modak, the Azad Circus of Juran Karamakar, satkhira. the Royal
Pakistan Circus formed in 1947 by Laxman Das of barisal, the RN Doll and Dance Circus of
Radanath Sarkar, narayanganj,
Laxminarayan Circus of Kartik Sarkar, naWabganj, the East Pakistan
Circus of Banomali Modak, the Lion Circus of Sadhu Das, the Seven Star
Circus and the New Star Circus formed in 1965 by MA Samad of brahmanbaria and the
Rowshan Circus organised by Ali Akbar of rangpur
in 1968. The most leading circus troupes formed during the post
liberation era were the Bulbul Circus of Abdus Sattar (Mahasthangar-bogra), the Royal
Bengal Circus of Biren Chandra Das of barisal,
the Sabuj Bangla Circus of Sunil Chandra Paul (Feni), the Sundarban Circus of Satkhira, the Kavchan
Circus owned by Mukul of Narayanganj, the Kohinoor Circus of Anwar Khan, chittagong, the
Rowshan Circus of Akbar Sheikh, sAIdpur, the New Star Circus of
MA Samad Brahmanbaria, the National Circus of Abdul Bashir, the Lion
Circus of Niranjan Sarkar, Nababganj-dhaka, the Laxminarayan Circus and the Rajmahal Circus
owned by Ratan Sarkar and New Sabuj Bangla Circus of Shoilen Babu, Bardhanpara-Dhaka and the Sonar Bangla Circus of Basanta Kumar
present, the regular performance of circus show has declined
significantly. There are only ten to twelve large circus troupes in the
country now. Each of these troupes has trained animals including Royal
Bengal Tiger, elephants, horse, dog, goat, monkey, porcupine. Besides
there exist some small Circus troupes in Bangladesh. But most of those do
not have any valuable trained animals like elephant, tiger and bear.
Rather trained goats and horses are used by those parties to entertain
the large and the medium level circus troupes, there are some
professional circus-showmen who independently perform in the rural market
places. No pandel, ticket counter or valuable and heavy equipment are
used for their shows. Each team comprises of 3 to 5 persons and they
entertain pedestrians with a few events of circus and jugglery. In return,
they take voluntary donations from the crowd.
from these, there are some very small circus troupes, who perform only
one event-in fairs and exhibitions throughout Bangladesh. The show known
as ‘Death-well’ is very popular because of its thrilling, and risky
performance. A highly skilled motorcyclist runs his vehicle tracking the
inner-wall of the well.
in Bangladesh there was no participation of female performers in
circus-shows. Then the male performers had to present themselves in female
get-up. Later many female performers were seen to have come in circus
shows. According to a survey, 80 percent members of the Royal Bengal
Circus team are women and they perform 90 percent of the events they
perform. The percentage of women artistes and performers in the New Star
Circus troupe is 75 and 85 percent events of the show are performed by
them. The figures are 70 percent and 75 percent respectively in the
many child artistes are engaged in the country’s circus teams and they
are assigned in perform mostly risky and dangerous games. The circus
proprietors generally recruit helpless and abandoned orphan boys and
girls in their teams and they stay voluntarily with their respective team
only for food and secured shelter!
circus troupe has at least a male dwarf and he plays the key role of
joker to entertain audience by his circustic play and amusing acting.
They are also given support by the management like other helpless
children and women.
of circus proprietors named as Bangladesh Circus Owners Association was
formed in 1993 with a view to promoting the show of circus in the
country. A total of twelve circus troupes have got its registration.
Bangladesh, circus being a performing art till now is enjoyed by common
audience together irrespective of sex and age. But it is a matter of
regret that this number of audience of circus shows has been declining
with the gradual expansion of very attractive media like television and
film. [Saymon Zakaria]