Light fills the scene, illuminating the faces of performers as a clown lifts the canvas of the doorway of the Big Top, stepping into the tension of backstage. Acrobats stretch like ballerinas, their leg high in the air on a rung of a ladder. Jugglers shake their hands repeatedly, warming them up; one nervously pushes her child in a stroller back and forth. The drummer just finishing his cigarette shares a joke with a clown, easing the nerves.
Kimberly Giribaldi-Raluy, 18, enters followed by her younger sister Jillian, 16. As they bend and stretch and prepare their mother Rosa exits from her own performance, they exchange a few words and part.
In Circ Raluy family is scattered throughout the acts. Kimberly and Jillian’s cousin Kelly preforms in an act with her husband while their young children play back stage. Kelly’s father Luís preforms as a clown after Parkinson’s limited his ability as an acrobat. Luís’ brother Carlos hosts the circus, leading the audience through each act.
Those not directly related intervene with their own families in the caravan city of Circ Raluy. Alex and Emilia Rotaru raise their one-year-old daughter while traveling with their troupe “Alexandros,” also comprised of Maria, her husband and her brother.
All the families combine and intersect with each other backstage before the show and around the caravan city. Their lives and emotions intertwining. Coming together to discuss life and shows over laundry or lunch or a cigarette or two.