Vazquez Hermanos Circus

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Circo Hermanos Vazquez Poster

Circo Hermanos Vazquez is a big-top American-style travelling circus with three performance rings, one of the big five out of more than four hundred Mexican circuses.

It was officially founded in 1969 by brothers Jose Guillermo and Rafael L. Vazquez as Circo Americano de los Hermanos Vazquez. According to the official circus website it was a final institutionalization of a long tradition:

In the lifetime of the circus, Circo Hermanos Vazquez has accomplished to broadcast national television programs from international production houses such Univision, bring and record newscast from inside the tent, as well as radio programs. In addition to this, Circo Hermanos Vazquez was given the opportunity by MTV3 to have its own reality show “Familia de Circo”(family of circus), a show that was a hit among the Hispanic reality television programs.

[1] Several prior generations shared their passion. It started around year 1900 as a rodeo on a ranch in rural Mexico helping sustain the family during hard times. In the ensuing years the act evolved, inspired with the developments in American and European circuses.


Over the years the acts included the tightrope walker, the juggling artist, the "Human Volcano" act, a hippo trainer, a monster-truck act called "Giant Texas Armadillo" and others. While some of the acts are presented in three rings simultaneously, others go on in one ring with the other two empty. The circus has various animals, including a Bengal tiger, an elephant, 2 hippos, a camel and several llamas, a Clydesdale horse and a monkey. The circus is put up in six and dismantled in two hours for which purpose between 20 and 24 extras are hired on location. The circus travels on 8 tractor trailers. All performers and regular workers travel with it including a full-time cook and a teacher for the employees' children.[2]

The Circus travels around Mexico in a two-year circuit. Permits for each locality are required in advance. For very populated areas such as Guadalajara, Morelia, Monterrey, and Mexico City, the permits must be applied for as much as three months in advance as there is a limited number of permits.[2] It also frequently tours the United States where it is popular with Spanish but also English-speaking audiences.[3]

As of 2009 the circus has two units: Circo Hermanos Vazquez Mexico and Circo Hermanos Vazquez USA.

History[edit]

In December 1969, brothers Jose Guillermo and Rafael Vazquez founded the Circo Hermanos Vazquez in Xaloztoc, Mexico starting with a blue and white main event tent and the entrance tent made by the hands of Don Jesus, Aurora, Rafael and Jose Guillermo Vazquez. The performers of the first show were: Los Bautista (Polly y Coy - Porky the Clown), Rafael Marquez and Sons, Luis and Yolanda Campa, Rafael and Jose G. Vazquez; Hermanos Vazquez on the high bars, Aurora on the bouncing rope and ballet, Rafael as a circus representative, truck driver and a clown ”Pitibirrin”; and Jose Guillermo as either an artist or a tent assembler, as the situation would require.

In 1970, while performing in Mexico City and its surrounding areas, Jose Guillermo and Rafael purchased their first elephant “Berry”. The next year they separated and Rafael kept the elephant while Jose Guillermo was left with the tent and a truck. In 1975, Jose Guillermo Vazquez presented his circus at Buenavista, where the circus was housed in a large, new six-pole tent. The announcement read: “Circo Hermanos Vazquez presents for the first time in Buenavista, El Circo Americano”. The show presented for several weeks and the main attraction was Johnny Lam and his Baby gorilla. Following year Circo Hermanos Vazquez presented "The Planet of the Apes", that included acrobats and movie stunt men. In 1977 Circo Hermanos Vazquez tored Mexico with their new show ”Star Wars”,.

During the 80’s, Circo Hermanos Vazquez grew as a company and as a family adding Guillermo, Gina, Jose, Jesus, Ramon, Aurora and Aldo Vazquez. In 1982 a new act titled "Dracula" was presented in which an acrobat flies through the circus. It was followed in 1985 by the act "Tarzan", where a performer is wrestling a crocodile in a crystal pool. In 1987 Circo Hermanos Vazquez returned to Mexico City with a three ring stage. The same year the circus signed a contract with Televisa, the Mexican television conglomerate that would last for over a decade. In 1988 Circo Hermanos Vazquez presented Kalitron, billed as the only "Autotransformer" in Mexico.

In the 90's, Circo Hermanos Vazquez continued its growth as one of the best circuses in Mexico while in adding in 1992 a second circus company that successfully toured Central America, making stops in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama. In 1993, Circo Hermanos Vazquez first arrived to the United States for a short tour of Texas. In 1995, they returned for a second time and extended their tour to three months which was further extended to eight months the following year.

In 1998 and 2002, the circus presented their show in Zocalo, Constitution Square in Mexico City and became the only circus to be performed at that location.

In the 2000's, Circo Hermanos Vazquez extended their U.S. tour to the western United States holding performances in New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California. In 2005 the tour included the eastern United States with a performance at the Big Apple Circus, Manhattan, New York. In 2008 the Circus performed in Miami, FL and had a live television appearance.

As of 2009, the circus has two units: Circo Hermanos Vazquez Mexico that holds its performances in Mexico and Latin America while Circo Hermanos Vazquez USA is the only full Hispanic Circus exclusively performing in the United States.

References[edit]

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