German Circus Uses Holograms Instead of Live Animals for a Cruelty-Free Magical Experience

The humans have always been exploiting animals in every sense of the word, but in the last century and continuing in the millennium the awareness of the abuse of animals has reached its peak. Many species have become endangered and people are trying their best to preserve the wildlife. Every animal counts and the ones in the circus performing all sorts of stunts for our personal amusement.

Fortunately, the owners of circuses have become aware of this maltreatment, the Circus Roncalli has made a revolutionary movement in this respect by replacing lions, elephants, and horses with holograms. The founder, and director of the circus, Bernhard Paul, had the idea and this new concept of his circus. It was a time for a change.

This circus has been entertaining the crowds since 1976, but being aware of the misuse of animals they have decided on this new invention. The crowds will be still entertained, but now with the amazing 3D holographic imagery. The projectors cover the arena measuring 32 meters (105 feet) wide and 5 meters (16 feet) deep with a view of 360°, and in that way every person will see the performance.

The 11 ZU850 laser projectors with 2,000,000:1 contrast were installed by the TAG/TRAUM, Roncalli’s agency together with Bluebox who has partnered with Optoma. Birger Wunderlich at Bluebox has been working with Optoma projectors for 6 years and each time they used them the results were magnificent.

Every visitor liked the performance as it offered a surreal experience with the giant holographic horses, elephants, and fish, which moved around the stage. Moreover, this performance was appreciated as every visitor knew what the circus is doing for the animals.

Bernhard Paul tried something different even before the introduction of the holographic technique. Namely, instead of showing real animals in 2016 he used puppets and costumes with the help of „La Fiesta Escenica“from Spain. But, after he saw the performance of Justin Timberlake with Prince that used the holographic technique he realized that would be the thing for his circus.

For that purpose, he hired Markus Strobl as a new CDO and CCO, and in March 2018, the first show with holographic technique was released named as „Storyteller“, played in Cologne in Germany. The show was a great hit and in one year had over 600.000 visitors.

This circus was never focused on animals and for over 30 years, it used only horses for the shows. Thanks to this new technology now the circus can be located in central places like the   large cities in Germany and Europe. People liked the show and the idea a lot and they have been sending thousands of E-mails and letters saluting the idea.

Roncalli informed their visitors about the expectations of their shows; on their programme they listed the performances of clowns, acrobats, live music, poetic acts, nostalgic and historic circus wagons, and horses. The programme of their shows is still based on the use of fiery circles, tails, tusks, and acrobats, but without real animals.

Nonetheless, this bald owner went even further offering the popcorns only in paper bags and completely excluded the use of plastic bags protecting the environment. In their menu there is also vegan and vegetarian food.

Yet, although the idea of Paul is revolutionary the other circuses did not accept it with great appeal.

The awareness of keeping animals in captivity has become very high and the activists against it accused multiple circuses of severe cruelty, including starving, beating, and keeping the animals in poor conditions making them dwell in highly unsanitary places.

In the past, circus animals had been confined in cages for most of their lives, being forced to perform tricks that are not in their nature. In order for the “training” to be effective, baby animals were taken away from their mothers, and by using violent methods like whipping and even electrical shocks the circus acts were taught.

As mentioned before, people have become aware of these aggressive methods and because of that they do not visit circuses and other traveling animal shows anymore.

The governments of The Netherlands, Ireland, and Mexico have banned the use of wild animals in circuses. The United Kingdom is the next to follow, namely its government has been presented with legislation that would ban all traveling circuses that use wild animals from the year 2020.