The circus year in review - Denmark 2002

By Ole Simonsen


8 tented circuses toured Denmark from late March/early April to September: 3 large: Circus Arena, Circus Ben­neweis and Circus Dannebrog and 5 dog and pony-shows (what Americans calls high grass circuses): Circus Arli, Circus Baldoni, Circus Charlie, Circus Krone and Circus Mascot.


Further­more there was a number of small shows touring more or less regularly: Circus Panik, Circus Petit, Circus Julius & Co., Circus Bella Donna, Circus Shanghai, Circus Mongo, Circus 3 etc.


Some youth organisation produces "circus"-performances with kids as performers, using names as circus Tvaers, circus Flik-Flak, circus Regnbueborn, circus Gelatti, circus Candi, Circus Fup og Fidus, Circus Kanutski, Circus Kaephoj, Circus O'laiski and Circus Sjowtime

Three foreign circuses visited Copenhagen in 2002: Circus Baobab from Guninea, Belgian clown Circus Okidok and French Compagnie du Hanneton.  Swedish Circus Scott was scheduled to close its season in Copenhagen in November. However this visit was cancelled with short notice probably because there had been a very limited audience to Scott’s performances in Copenhagen in 1999, 2000 and 2001.


For many years most Danish circuses had musicians from Poland. But as in 2001 due to a conflict between the Danish Musicians Union and the circus owners no Poles were granted permission to work in a Danish circus band. Circus Arli, Circus Dannebrog and Circus Mascot used taped music. Circus Arena and Circus Benneweis hired a few English musicians. (According to EU regulations English musicians are entitled to work in Denmark). Circus Krone used taped music backed up by life music performed by members of the owner’s family.


Denmark has 2 fine circus museums. The Circus Museum at Hvidovre, Copenhagen was established in 2001 and includes the Barly collection - more than 100,000 items (mainly photos but also several costumes). Only a part of the collection is on exhibition. The museum is situated in a former military camp called Avedorelejren in Hvidovre (suburb to Copenhagen, approximately 12.5 kilometers/8 miles from downtown Copenhagen). The Circus Museum in Rold (80 kilometer north of Aarhus, Jutland) is open to the public from April to October. This museum was established in 1982 in connection with the riding-school (training barn) builded in 1912 to Circus Miehe. Circus Miehe shut down after season 1958.


Circus Arena:


Circus Arena has its winter quarter near Slagelse 57 miles west of Copenhagen.


Early February Arena presented an indoor circus in some cities in Jutland. Performers in the 2002 indoor circus was be The Jindrich Four (jugglers), Lars Larna (clown with balloons), Faltinnis (wild west act), Mister Chap (comedian), Ingo Stiebner (sea lions), Vary Balazs (BMX bike), Slinky (acrobat in tubes) and a group of trained dromedaries.


The summer season opened on March 26 at the Bellahoj lot in Co­pen­hagen where Arena stayed to April 21. The performance was called GIANT CIRCUS 2002. Arena is today the largest circus in Denmark. As in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 the show was presented in a large oval 8-pool tent with traditional one-ring set up and with a seating capacity of 1,700 people. As previous seasons Arena had chairs at all the seats. Benny Berdino bought a new stable tent for the 2002 season. He had also announced the purchase of a new big top. However this purchase was postponed to 2003. Ticket prices were from DKK 110 - DKK 18. DKK 100 is approximately 14.50 $ or 9.10 £ or 13.40 Euro.


The performance ran for 2 hours 15 minutes and was accompanied by a 4-piece band. Circus owner Benny Berdino acted as ringmater and presented the following performers:


Robert Berousek - ladder balancing

Suzanne Berdino (daughter to circus owner Benny Berdino) - liberty horses

Bonbon - clown

Duo Camadi - high wire

Kasten Berdino (married to Suzanne Berdino and thus son in law to Benny Berdino) - camels

Diorio - globe of death

Argentinean Devils - gaucho dancers

3 Rivelinos - musical clowns

Stephanie, Charmaine and Suzanne Berdino - high school (Stephanie and Charmaine are daughters of Suzanne and Karsten)

Elena Panova - trapeze

Sonny Frankello - African elephants

Black Warrior (also called Rodogials) - African tumblers


Performance was nice but not sensational. My favourite acts were Sonny Frankello’s elephants and the Rodogial tumblers. However most of the audience seems to prefer Duo Camadi’s high wire act and the stunt men from Dioris in their Globe of Death.


Closing day for the 2002 tented performance was September 15 in Soro, close to the shows winter quarter in Slagelse.


Kim and Miller Benneweis who had worked for Circus Arena the last 4-5 seasons was not with Arena in 2002. Only comment from Arena was that the two brothers did not want to tour with Arena in 2002. Kim Benneweis worked in 2002 as Supt. Canvas for Swedish Circus Scott. According to Kim his brother Miller Benneweis has stopped his career with circuses.


As previous years circus owner Benny Berdino had connections with a show in Sweden called Circus Skratt ("Skratt" is the Swedish word for laughter). Owner of the name SKRATT in Sweden is a Swede, Bo Rönnberg, who as previous years rented the circus, tent and all, from Benny Berdino and toured Sweden spring and autumn (but not summer) with a 6-pole 1,400 chair tent. Most of the performances were sponsored.


From 15 June to 11 August Benny Berdino produced a short circus performance in "Bon­Bon-land" - an amusement park 40 miles south-west of Copenhagen. The clown Lars Larna who for several years has worked for Circus Arena was ringmaster. Performers were the clowns Dudda and Alexandra, the comedian Mr. Chap, the trapeze acrobat Aldona (married to Mr. Chap), the Andreyes acrobats and Novak Delbosq presenting dromedaries. Apart from Lars Larna all performers were from circus Skratt.


Circus Arli:


Tiny Circus Arli opened its 32nd season on 6 April in Flong, near Copenhagen. The performance was accompanied by taped music. The performance ran for 1 hour 55 minutes.


Circus owner Soren Arli presented a nice performance called Party in St Petersburg:


Anna & Katharina - hoola hoop

Merlin (alias Martin Arli, son of circus owner Soren Arli) - magician

Mario & Kalin - jugglers

Duo Arli (Martin and Bettina Arli, circus owner Soren Arli's son and daughter in love) - knife throwing

Alexander Arli (son of Martin and Bettina Arli) - melange act (juggling, handstand, acrobatic, tap-dancing)

The Moskova sisters - tight wire

Bettina Arli - trapeze

Martino & Co (Martin and Alexander Arli) - clowns

4 Moskowi -rola rola


Anna & Katharina alias The Moskova sisters are members of the 4 Moskovi. The last two members are Mario & Kalin.


Circus Arli tou­red Zea­land during the en­tire season. Closing day was in September. Ticket prises were from DKK 60 to DKK 95.


Circus Benne­weis:


Benneweis' winter quarter is in Dronningmol­le 30 miles north of Copenhagen. Opening day for the show's 115th season was April 4 in Hillerod 20 miles north of Copenhagen. The tent was from 1996 - 42 meter (137 feet) in diameter with 4 king poles and with chairs on all seats. Ticket prices were from DKK 100 - DKK 170.


From opening day until late September Circus Benneweis toured Zealand, Isle of Funen and Jutland. On 21 august Benneweis was back on Zealand where the season closed with the traditional visit to Copenhagen (Bellahoj) from 29 August to 15 September.


For some years Diana Benneweis has as a number of other circuses used English Laci Endresz as "director". However his efforts with Benneweis in 2002 were not to successfully and Diana had to made a number of changes shortly after the opening in April. The performance ran for 2 hours 20 minu­tes and was accompanied by a 4-piece band.


Welcome by circus owner Diana Benneweis on horseback.

Diana Rhodin - liberty horses

Clown Chico - interval clown

Marina Osinskaya - high wire

Willer Nicolodi - ventriloquist

Yelena Larkina - hoola hoop

Tony Alexis - clowns

Duo Kalade - comical act in vertical rope with a dog as intruder

Diana Rhodin - two African elephants

Biasini's dogshow

Duo Passion - tissue

Seven Priz - comical teaterboard act

Tony Alexis family -clowns

Kris Kremo - juggler


My favourite performers were Kris Kremo (for many years a star performer) and Willer Nicolodi both of them presenting world class acts. Also Yelena Larkina and Duo Kalade presented nice acts. Yelena who is married to Kris Krema had to stop performing before the end of the season due to pregnancy.


As previous years there was no ringmaster.


Tuffi one of Diana Rhodin's African elephants died in 2 July due to a disease of the stomach. Tuffi was 22 years old. Diana Rhodin is daughter of the late Trolle Rhodin who for several years worked as artist agent for Ringling-Barnum. Until 1998 Diana performed at the Swedish Circus Brazil Jack which until then was owned by Diana and her brothers Carlos and Trolle Rhodin Jr. Today Trolle Rhodin Jr. is the sole owner of Circus Brazil Jack. Diana Rhodin has performed with Tuffi and its pal Micky since 1985 where both elephants were babies. For the remaining part of the season Micky was the only elephant performing at Circus Benneweis.


In August 2002 Diana Benneweis published her memoirs called "Alting har sin pris" ("There is a price at everything"). From the book you can see that Diana's life has been no bed of roses. The book almost became a best seller in Denmark and was printed in its third impressions after only 3 weeks.


Copenhagen Circus Building:


Sadly enough this fine building was not used for circus performances in 2002.


The City of Copenhagen owns the building. For a number of years the leaseholder has been Parken Sport & Entertainment (closely connected with the professional soccer team FCK). The lease ran out by the end of 2002. On 30 September 2002 a 10-year lease agreement running from 2003 to 2012 regarding the Copenhagen Circus Building was signed with Swedish Wallman's Nöjen (Wallman's entertainment) as new tenant. Wallman's offered a higher rent than Parken Sport & Entertainment. Wallman's will primary use the building as a variety theatre and dancing restaurant. Apart from a short visit in 1996 by German Circus Roncalli the building has not been used by circuses since 1990. And now it will end up as a variety theatre however with circus artists among the performers.



Circus Charlie


Circus Charlie was established in 1988 by Einar Trie. For the 2002 season Circus Charlie used a 4 pole tent seating 400 people. Amongst the performers in 2002 were Daria with performing cats, artist from Scandi Balti Circus School, the clown Charlie (alias Einar Trie), Pawel & Darija on roller-skates, Tatjana Saiko in an arial act and the jugglers Tania , Steff and ”3 Baltic Girls ”.


Season opened in 18 April in Aalborg and closed on 16 September. Almost the entire season was spent in the northern part of Jutland.


Circus Dannebrog:


In the beginning of the year Isabella Enoch’s husband the clown Eddy Sosman passed away after a short illness leaving Isabella (amongst friends called Bella) alone with her two sons Edward and David. Isabella is the second daughter of Haddy and Solveig Enoch the owners of Circus Dannebrog.


It was Haddy Enoch's 26th season as owner of Circus Dannebrog. Performing artists at this year's performance were:


Bernhard Casselly (Bernhard Kasselowsky) - the elephant Rambo and camels

Isabella Enoch - comical trapeze act

Gavin Stevens - parrots and cats

Katja Enoch  - step dancing

Miss Silva - foot juggling

The Bogatyrov family - dog act

Leonora - contortion

Marianis - clowns

Stefan Kubic & Co - juggling and (under the name Moisseva Troupe) Russian bar

The Haddies jr.jr.- Bike act performed by Dennie, Jimmy, Isabella, Katja, Edward and David Enoch

Haddy Enoch or Rachid Nouri - liberty horses


Haddy Enoch's daughter Agnete Louise Enoch acted as ringmistress.


The 2002-performance was nice. My favourite acts were Isabella Enoch assisted by on of the Mariani clowns in her comical trapeze act, the Mariani Clowns, Gavin Stevens cats and Haddies jr.jr.


The performance took place in the ring and at a stage. Maybe inspired by German Circus Krona.


Opening day was on 21 March in Vojens. Vojens is close to Circus Dannebrog's winter quarters in Toustrup Molle. Dannebrog advertise them as "The national circus of Denmark".


The performance run for 2 hours 20 minutes and was accompanied by taped music. The tent was from 1998 - 32 meter (104 feet) in diameter with 4 king poles and 8 quarter poles and with chairs on all seats.


The season started in Jutland. August and September brought the show to Zealand with a stay in Copenhagen from 30 August to 22 September. Closing day was on 28 September in Vamdrup.


Under the name Circus Kenny Haddy Enoch produced an indoor performance during the school childrens autumn holidays in October 2002 in a shopping mall in Odense. Among the performers were Danish comedy cascadeurs Steckel’s.



Circus Mascot


Jess and Marianne Deleuran own tiny circus Mascot with a seating capacity of 149. It was the shows 9th season. The performance run for 1 hour 50 minutes and was accompanied by taped music.  Opening day was on 4 April. The season closed on 1 October. In July Circus Mascot was free attracting in “Sommerland Sjaelland” an amusement park at Zealand. Performers during the 2002-season were


Miss Odmaa - contortion

Don Carlos - clown

Marianne Deleuran - dog act

Trio Dvorak - ladder balancing

Jess Deleuran - liberty ponies

Daniel Deleuran - rola rola

Miss Alice - foot juggling

Andreas Deluran and Sven O - goat act


Both Miss Alice and Miss Odmaa were members of Trio Dvorak


Ringmaster was circus owner Jess Deleuran


My favourite act from the performance was Trio Dvorak, Miss Alice and Miss Odmaa. And 12-years old Daniel Deleuran presented a nice rola rola act.


In February and October Circus Mascot presented indoor performances in shopping malls.



Circus Krone


Opening day for tiny Circus Krone (no connection with the large German show!) was on 14 April in Haarup, Jutland where Krone has its winter quarter. Circus owner Irene Thierry's husband Jan Allan presented horses and acted as a clown under the name Alando. Lott & Leslie presented their comedy cascadeur act and the female partner performed with her limbo act under the name Yvonne Miree. Irene Theirry performed with doves, Diana and Eva with an arial ballet and Diana and Misi at tight wire and as plate jugglers. The entire Thierry family presented a clown act.


Season closed on 20 September.


Circus Krone used their own 2-pole tent during a visit in Copenhagen from 8 to 13 December. They presented in total 8 performances all sponsored by a local furniture dealer. After Copenhagen Circus Krone visited Korsor and Kolding sponsored by a supermarket chain.



Circus Baldoni


René Marvin Moenster used the name the Circus-theatre from 1998 to 2001. In 2002 he changed the name to Circus Baldoni. As for the 2001 season Rene Moenster used a rather old 4-pole tent, 24 meter (79 feet) in diameter, with a seating capacity of 500. The performance ran for 1½ hour.


Opening day was on 23 April and the season closed at 29 September.


Performers in 2002 were magician and ventriloquist René Marvin, the clown Emma Swenninger, the circus princess Anne Gerd Sindballe, The Baltic jugglers, 6 years old hula hop acrobat Ernita from Latvia, The skipping Waiters, the acrobat Katharina (also called Katja) from Russia and the comical cascadeurs The 4 Beach Boys. Anne Gerd Sindballe left the show after a couple of months.


Other shows in Denmark:


A number of small shows performed at shopping malls or toured Denmark during the holiday season.


As previous years Benny Schumann (grandson of the late clown Charlie Rivel) presented several one-man-shows.


Benny Schumann has since 1996 been artistic director of The International Clown Festival - now a tradition, held every year in August at Dyrehavsbakken (Denmark's oldest amusement park, 10 miles north of Copenhagen). The 2002 festival was held 5 - 18 August. Benny Schumann awarded The World Artist and Clown Award to 78 years old Alfredo Rastelli and the Golden Nose to Cube Triu.


Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen presented as always some fine acts as free attractions. During the season we saw The Seguras (Spain) (Partner equlibristic), Roger & André (Sweden) (Unicycling/Cycling), Mr. KAI (Switzerland) (Ceiling Walker), Monastyrsky (Russia) (Magical transformation), Claudius (Tempo-juggler), Curatola Bros. (Italy) (Hand voltige), Les Sandros (Rola Rola Balance) and Les Rados (Tempo jugglers).


In memoriam:


In May 2002 the late circus owner Regnar Thierry's widow Ebba Thierry passed away 86 years of age. She was trained as sandwich maker but shifted to the artist business when she met Regnar. Assisted by Ebba and her brother Ejner Holmberg Regnar Thierry established the small Danish Circus Krone (no connection with the large German show) in 1939. In 1983 ownership passed on to Regnar's and Ebba's daughter Irene Thierry. Irene is still in charge of Circus Krone assisted by her husband Jan Allan, her sons Frank and Mark and her brother Richard.


Also in May 2002 Kjeld Jorgensen who for a number of years were press agent for several Danish circuses passed away 77 year of age. Kjeld worked for Circus Royal 1951-55, Circus Belli 1956-57, Circus Arena 1959-66 and Circus Arli 1973-75.


And also in May the composer Ole Hoyer who for a number of years was musical director with Circus Schumann in the Copenhagen Circus Building passed away 74 years old. Benny Schumann tells that Ole Hoyer was a gifted arranger of music for the Schumann family's speciality: horses. Ole Hoyer furthermore composed the music used by Benny when he under the artist name Rec Benny for some years toured as a juggler.


On 8 October Danish magician Jorgen Samson passed away. Jorgen Samson was born on 30 October 1926. He was well known for conjuring up an enormous number of flowers during his act, which was presented in a most charming way.


Jens Preben Tersgov also known as the magician Tergovas died on 29 December 2002. Jens Preben Tersgov was born in Hoeng in 1930. As a young man he won the first price at a competition arranged by the Danish Magicians. Many Danes will remember him from the years 1974 to 1984 when he under the name Tergovas & co. presented magician acts in Circus Arena assisted by circus owner Benny Berdino’s wife Hanne Berdino and daughter Suzanne Berdino. From 1963 to 1966 Jens Preben worked with German Circus Barum which in these days was owned by Eli Benneweis. From 1968 he worked as manager with Circus Benneweis. Later he moved to circus Arena where he as mentioned besides being manager presented his magician act. In 1985 he returned to Circus Benneweis however not as a performer. 5 year later he retired. Besides being a performer Jens Preben Tersgov was a collector – his collections contains more than 4,000 posters.



Circus in Denmark

Together with my youngest son Lars I established in August 2000 a homepage called "Circus in Denmark". The what's on section and the news section of the page are updated weekly. The address is Since the opening we have had more than 28,000 hits.


The circus year in review - Denmark 2002 was published 17 March 2003


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