German circus replaces live animals with breathtaking holograms and we're all applauding

The shows keep the audience on the edge of their seats as a 3D hologram of the animals performing in the arena.

Cover Image Source: YouTube / Optoma EMEA

The performances of Circus Roncalli in Germany amaze the audience with the most beautiful holograms of wild animals. The horrible practice of using animals as a form of entertainment in circuses has been dwindling all over the world with a better awareness of animal cruelty. This circus in Germany is making waves for its innovative use of 'animals' as part of their circus. The shows keep the audience on the edge of their seats while a 3-D hologram of an elephant flaps its ears and hoists its hind legs. This cruelty-free circus captures the essence of historic circuses while assuring that no harm comes to any animals. As the German newspaper the Rheinische Post reports, Circus Roncalli was founded in 1976 and discontinued animal performances in the 1990s. As per BBC, this idea was unearthed by Bernhard Paul, the founder of Circus Roncalli, during the NFL Super Bowl half-time show in 2018.




Paul was watching a performance of Justin Timberlake, where he was singing alongside a hologram of the music legend Prince, who had passed away in 2016. After this show, Paul was determined to take this idea and make it work at his circus performances. They employ 11 projectors to create the 3D holograms in their performances and it takes a team of 15 designers and software engineers to pull it together. Fishes, horses and elephants appear in the ring out of nowhere and disappear soon enough after stampeding around the circus ring, entertaining the crowd. According to Smithsonian Magazine, holographic performances are recreations of traditional circus fare, like the elephant and an ethereal ring of horses galloping around the big top. 


COLOGNE, GERMANY - APRIL 12: Bernhard Paul attends the premiere of the Circus Roncalli show 'Storyteller' on April 12, 2018 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Ralf Juergens/Getty Images)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - APRIL 12: Bernhard Paul attends the premiere of the Circus Roncalli show 'Storyteller' on April 12, 2018, in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Ralf Juergens/Getty Images)


However, there has been a significant decline in the circus industry. Other forms of entertainment, such as movies and video games, have contributed to this drop. They have also increased the cost of transporting performers and animals by train to the circus. In 2016, when Circus Roncalli still used some animals for their performances, a single trip could cost them almost $90,000. Cases of animal cruelty have also tarnished the reputation of circuses. In the US, activist groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) targeted the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey circus with lawsuits. In 2015, Ringling phased out its elephants, mentioning a “mood shift” among consumers leading to a decrease in ticket sales.




Furthermore, seven American states and 149 cities, towns and counties have restricted the use of wild animals in circuses. In 2018, New Jersey and Hawaii passed statewide bans on animal circus acts and more than 40 countries have banned animal performances. The move to not include animals in circuses has been supported widely by animal activists. In the past, animals were also mistreated by the instructors and the audience. Circus Roncalli said their prime focus should be the clowns, acrobats and other poetic acts. In 2019, the UK government passed a rule that bans circuses from using wild animals in their performances.




Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced that "traveling circuses are no place for wild animals in the 21st Century and I am pleased that this legislation will put an end to this practice for good." Animal welfare organizations are making sure that animals receive the highest standards of welfare. According to BBC, David Bowles from the Royal Society for the Protection and Care of Animals seconded the motion and said: "We've campaigned against having wild animals in circuses for many years. They have complex needs that cannot be properly met in a circus environment. It's high time keeping wild animals in circuses is consigned to the history books and we look forward to the day that it is banned for good in England."

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