Photo: Granma

Summer has begun, and with it a new edition of the International Festival Circuba. Under Havana's Trompoloco Big Top, artists from 16 countries are showing off their abilities in the mystical circus arts, the only art form to combine on a single stage physical skill, technique, fantasy, strength, humor, aesthetics, tradition, adrenaline, and passion.

Dedicated to circus families and the new generation of artists, this 16th edition is taking place June 25 through July 2, to then continue on tour to cities across the island throughout the summer.

The inaugural performance at the Trompoloco cultural complex, site of the competition, featured the Litz Alfonso Dance Cuba company, along with the children's circus Ángeles del futuro, and the Cuban National Circus.

The Kuznetsovs Troupe from Belarus have returned to Cuba after a 30 year absence. Photo: Juventud Rebelde

Considered to be one of the top ten most important events of this kind in the world, Circuba is presenting 34 acts from countries like Argentina, Belarus, Colombia, Chile, Cuba, Spain, the United States, France, Mexico, Peru, Britain, Russia, Italy, Uruguay, and Vietnam. Mexico is the most represented country.

Among noteworthy participants are the Kuznetsovs Troupe from Belarus, with a balancing act, returning to Cuba after a 30 year absence; the Duo Vitalys from Peru; the Circus of Vietnam's State Academy with the specialty of aerial bamboo, and contortion. Attracting attention from Cuba is the duo Sixto and Lucía, with their rapid wardrobe changes, and Dayron from the Havana Company, premiering his aerial act on the island.

Circuba 2017 is one of the top ten events of its kind around the world. Photo: Yander Zamora

In addition to the grand spectacles, the festival is featuring collateral activities, as it does every year. In the wings are the visual arts with expositions at the San Alejandro National Academy of Arts, organized by the artisan Lisandra Landestoy and Spain's Josep Guindo.

The national tour will begin July 2 in Sancti Spíritus, and travel to Santiago de Cuba, Guantánamo, Granma, Holguín, Camagüey, Ciego de Ávila, and Pinar del Río, to culminate with its 100th performance in Matanzas, September 10.