Teen contortionist enjoys life under big top at Cirque Italia

Fifteen-year-old contortionist Juliet Caballo, of Peru, comes from a long line of circus performers. She will perform with Cirque Italia, an Italian water circus outside the Dover Mall, this weekend. (Submitted photo)

Fifteen-year-old contortionist Juliet Carballo, of Peru, comes from a long line of circus performers. She will perform with Cirque Italia, an Italian water circus outside the Dover Mall, this weekend. (Submitted photo)

DOVER –– Spending an evening in the spotlight may be a dream come true for most 15-year-olds but it’s just a regular night for Juliet Carballo –– a contortionist for Cirque Italia, the Italian water circus at the Dover Mall this weekend.

“I just love seeing the expressions on people’s faces when I perform,” she said. “It’s great to see people so interested and amazed watching me do what I do best.”

She will perform six shows this weekend with 14 other artists under the big top outside the mall.

“It’s my first time doing a whole season but it’s been great,” Juliet said. “I go places I’ve never been and this year we have a few new performers and we all do different things. So it’s cool to see their talents.”

The schedule is demanding with show stops almost every weekend from January through mid-December across the East Coast and as far west as Chicago and south into Texas.

Due to the intense schedule, Juliet is home schooled and gets a lot of her work done in the mornings, traveling by RV to the next stop.

“It is busy because I have the performances every weekend and I try to practice every free afternoon I have,” she said.

Although she was mainly self-taught at contortion, Juliet comes from a long line of circus performers –– she is the

Juliet Caballo has traveled throughout much of the country with Cirque Italia.

Juliet Carballo has traveled throughout much of the country with Cirque Italia.

sixth generation on both sides of her family tree –– so her family has helped her along the way.

“My grandfather started the first circus in Peru and my dad is now a clown but used to be a hand balancer so he is able to help me with balancing,” she said.

Now her older brother performs in Peru and both her parents travel with Cirque Italia, with her father performing as a clown and her mother working ticketing and concessions.

Juliet was discovered by Cirque Italia through a video her parents posted on YouTube.

“They saw my video and contacted us, asking me to audition and of course I was really nervous because I’d never auditioned before,” she said.

She earned a full-time spot with her audition and now performs alongside people from all over the world.

The show also includes an Italian singer who balances chairs. a clown who plunges off the diving board during his acrobatic trampoline excursion, a jet ski act, aerial divas, Laserman, a large dinosaur, twin jugglers and more.

The Italian Water Circus is held under a tent with 35,000 gallons of water, which drop from the sky and shoots up from the ground.

“It’s like we’re performing inside a giant fountain,” Juliet said. “It looks really beautiful.”

“It’s the first traveling water circus in the country and it’s a really high-quality show, like a Las Vegas show but in your hometown,” said Chris Morrell, a spokesman for Cirque Italia.

He said moving such a grand show across the country isn’t an easy task and the tent alone takes 25 people to raise and even the performers pitch in to get the tent and set in perfect shape before the show.

“Everyone on the road with us is always working,” Mr. Morrell said. “No matter what their job, everyone pitches in wherever help is needed.”

Cirque Italia will host shows at the Dover Mall all weekend beginning tonight at 7:30 Saturday’s shows are at 2:30, 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Sunday’s shows are at 2:30 and 5:30 p.m.

Tickets are sold according to section. Tickets for the Gold section (rows 1-3) are $50 for adults and $45 for children. Tickets for the Blue Section (rows 4-11) are $30 for adults and $15 for children and the Red Section (rows 12-13) are $20 for adults and $10 for children.

Tickets are available online at cirqueitalia.com/dover-de-august-12-14-2016.

If you need special accommodations for the show, please call 941-704-8572 to reserve your tickets.

Reach staff writer Ashton Brown at abrown@newszap.com. Follow @AshtonReports on Twitter.

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