Circus Roncalli adopts holographic tech amid concerns over animal cruelty.
The international circus industry has been struggling as of late. In 2017, the famous Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus permanently closed its tent flaps to the public; meanwhile, new regulations have heavily impacted circus providers throughout numerous European countries.
However, the biggest change to the industry comes in the form of increased restrictions on the use of live animals for entertainment purposes. In November, for example, Italy joined Belgium, Greece, and Malta in the permanent ban of circus animals, much to the chagrin of circus performers and enthusiasts alike.
Established in 1976, Germany’s Circus Roncalli began phasing out its use of live animals in 1990. In 2018, the show replaced its live animals with a 360-degree holographic showcase featuring all the majestic wildlife circus-goers have come to expect, minus the animal cruelty.
According to the BBC, Circus Roncalli founder Bernhard Paul was inspired to integrate holographic technology into his show after watching the 2018 Super Bowl half-time show, during which Justin Timberlake performed alongside a hologram of Prince live on-stage. Working alongside 15 designers and software engineers, the team eventually settled on a 360-degree display that uses 11 ZU850 Optoma projectors and 11 BX-CTA03 lenses to deliver 3D holographic renditions of various wildlife that are visible to every attendee simultaneously.
These 3D digital projections include everything from gargantuan holographic elephants tall enough to reach the roof of the tent, to stampeding bands of wild forces galavanting throughout the ring. There’s also a massive, colorful goldfish that makes it look as though you’re sitting in an enormous fishbowl.
According to Circus Roncalli, the organization has been primarily focused on clowns, acrobats, and other human performers as opposed to living animals, which means their transition to an animal-free show was not as daunting when compared to other entertainment providers. As animal-rights activists and modern media continue to threaten the industry, shared-immersive experiences could be just what circus providers need to stay afloat.
Featured Image Credit: Circus Roncalli