Holographic Projections Take Center Ring at Circus Roncalli

holographic projections roncalli

Good things come from watching America’s Super Bowl. And not only for Kansas City fans.

A few years ago in Germany, the founder of Circus Roncalli, Bernhard Paul was watching an NFL Super Bowl half-time show when an idea came in as clear as a 28-yard field goal. The Circus Roncalli founder decided his circus would no longer feature live animals, turning instead to holographic projections.

For 360-degree visibility for spectators seated around the circus ring, it takes 11 laser projectors to amaze an audience with holographic elephants. More than 15 designers and software engineers worked to make the “holophants” that could impress a circus audience, projecting on mesh nets inside the ring.

Encouraged by success, the Roncalli circus expanded its projection tech to include a virtual ring of galloping horses that thunder around the Big Top.

At one point, there are enormous goldfish swimming in the middle of the ring.

AV technology has saved this circus. This decision, taken before the pandemic closed live events, has proved critical to its current operations as it brings the circus back to cities throughout Germany.

Circuses everywhere have been under pressure from animal rights. For example, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) spent years targeting circuses like the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey in USA with campaigns and lawsuits. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey eventually shut down after a 146-year run.

Circus Roncalli made the jump to the future by concentrating on its amazing human skills — with acrobats, clowns and performers. And bringing in shock-and-awe tech for the animal presence.

The circus underlines its switch to technology was also driven by the diminishing ability to transport and feed the bevy of large animals required by a traditional circus.

With multiple forces forcing a paradigm shift on the traditional circus, Circus Roncalli turned to technology, and as AV technology advances even further, it’s sure to stay center-ring.

Here is a video that explains more about it: