Living Ind


by Dege Legg

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey returns to the Cajundome with an intense circus performance. Who hasn’t thought about running off and joining the circus? Tigers. Trapeze artists. Clowns. Now you can get one step closer to that reality when Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey rolls into the Cajundome with Boom A Ring, an action-filled extravaganza where the circus-goers get to experience white tigers, Asian elephants, and spangle-suited acrobats from seats just six feet away. The intimate seating arrangement makes for an up-close and personal experience that most people have never seen.

The high-energy festivities include an extreme-archery demonstration with a crossbow exhibition by Martti Peltonen, as well as some gravity-defying madness on the whirling Wheel of Steel by the daredevil high wire troupe, Los Scolas.

Boom A Ring also features one of the world’s youngest tiger trainers, 22-year-old Vicenta Pages. The fifth-generation performer grew up in a circus dynasty that originated in Cuba and has been in the ring since she was 8. “My parents always encouraged me to seek my own path,” she says. “I once considered going to school to become a veterinarian but ended up gravitating toward the circus life.”

Pages demonstrates a stunning display of acrobatic jumps and balancing tricks with her rare white-striped Bengal tigers. Like many individuals with strong connections to their animals, Pages can divine their moods and vice versa. “I go into the ring with a positive attitude,” she says. “If you’re upset or anxious, the animals can sense it and react accordingly. And it goes both ways. I can read their temperaments for the day if they are irritated.”

And for those that might have ethical disagreements with a circus of trained animals, Pages stresses that the animals of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey are some of the best-treated, most indulged animals on the planet. “They have the best care anywhere and the best food,” she says. “We have four veterinarians on call at all times. They get better treatment than some of the crew.”

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’s Boon A Ring, will feature five performances from July 31 - Aug. 3 at the Cajundome. Tickets are $12.00 and $20.00 with a limited number of VIP floor seats. There’s also a free all-access pre-show. For more information, visit