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Herriman Journal

Cirque Ma’Ceo gallops into Salt Lake County for a unique performance

Apr 21, 2023 02:36PM ● By Peri Kinder

The Cirque Ma’Ceo equestrian show runs April 28-30 and May 5-7 at the Bastian Agricultural Center (2100 W. 11400 South) in South Jordan. It features dazzling aerial feats and beautiful horses performing under an Italian Big Top tent. (Photos courtesy of Cirque Ma’Ceo)

If you’re lucky enough to witness the beauty and spectacle of Cirque Ma’Ceo, you’ll appreciate the rare opportunity to see a performance that blends the strength and grace of horses with the flexibility and bravery of riders and aerialists. 

The equestrian-focused show features mesmerizing aerial feats, exotic horses and heart-pumping acts that leave audiences enthralled. 

“This show is a blend of traditional circus and contemporary circus. It’s a very up-close-and-personal show where the audience can feel the rhythm of the horse hooves pounding the ground,” said Rachel Gauthier, aerialist and trick rider. “The audience is sitting so close it becomes really intimate. I like the possibility of being connected with the audience and the audience has the same feeling. They feel like they can be part of the story with us.”

Staged under a custom-designed Italian Big Top tent, the theater caters to a smaller crowd in order to provide a more personal experience. 

Several horse breeds perform during the show, including a Friesian, an Andalusian, quarter horses, mustangs, a Suffolk Punch and a miniature horse stallion, which is a crowd favorite. The heart-pounding Cossack act brings a rush of adrenaline to the audience while watching riders doing tricks upside-down with the horses.

Cirque Ma’Ceo was created by Olissio Zoppe, one of the most experienced and well-rounded equestrians to perform on stage. Zoppe has mastered the dangerous art of bareback riding and has performed since he was 4 years old with shows like Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey, Cheval Theatre and Circus Flora.

“There is a bareback act that comes from Olissio’s family,” Gauthier said. “He’s an eighth and ninth generation of a traditional circus family that came from Italy. His family were equestrians and bareback riders. Olissio has learned from his grandparents and generation after generation. His act is one of the core acts of the show.”

Along with the incredible horse shows, Cirque Ma’Ceo features aerial acts with chandeliers and silks, a tightwire performance, gaucho dancers and more. To learn about the show, or to purchase tickets, visit Cirquemaceo.com.

The 90-minute show runs May 5-7 at the Bastian Agricultural Center (2100 W. 11400 South) in South Jordan. Tickets are available for Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 4 and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 and 4 p.m.

“It’s a small circus, but there’s a lot happening,” Gauthier said. “It’s like a family. In these types of circuses, everyone gets involved. Everyone works together to make this happen.”


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