The Spontaneous World of a Roman Street Circus

A legendary Italian juggler and two enigmatic Greeks find their artistic calling, one cobblestone sideshow at a time.

The Spontaneous World of a Roman Street Circus

It was the torrid Greek summer of 2009 when Aldo Scrofani — stage name “Viral Aldo” — a fifty-five-year-old juggler and groundbreaking Italian street artist, recruited two young men from the Greek island of Rhodes to join his fledgling “Bahalo Circus.” Passionate about juggling and seeking to travel the world, the two men, who go by the names Aimilios and Regas, left their homes and their lives to chase the dream of becoming circus performers in Italy. Their journey has taken them to the Circus School of Rome, and together with Aldo, they perform wherever there is an audience.

Bahalo is a Greek expression that, as Aimilios and Regas describe it, means “unruly, loud and crazy.” The trio gathers regularly at clubs, at traffic lights and in city squares. Aldo, Aimilios and Regas chose Rome for this span of life, but the world’s streets will always be their native place.

Friends and fellow countrymen, Aimilios Kladitis and Regas — whose real name is Michalis Tomazos — performed together for many years, in Rhodes and in Athens, before arriving in Italy.
Friends and fellow countrymen, Aimilios Kladitis and Regas — whose real name is Michalis Tomazos — performed together for many years, in Rhodes and in Athens, before arriving in Italy.
Aimilios rehearses his unicycle number before a show.
Aimilios rehearses his unicycle number before a show.
The main income for street artists is the money donated by people at shows. The laws presiding over street art is a sort of no-man’s land: There is no authorized performing and the artist can often be fined.
The main income for street artists is the money donated by people at shows. The laws presiding over street art is a sort of no-man’s land: There is no authorized performing and the artist can often be fined.
“In order to become a juggler you have to go through many phases, which can at times take very long, where nothing happens, but if you believe…if you have the vision in you, then, yes, you become a juggler.” - Aldo Scrofani
“In order to become a juggler you have to go through many phases, which can at times take very long, where nothing happens, but if you believe…if you have the vision in you, then, yes, you become a juggler.” – Aldo Scrofani
The costume is fundamental: a hat, a jacket, a tie, and the man turns into an artist - and the world is a stage.
The costume is fundamental: a hat, a jacket, a tie, and the man turns into an artist – and the world is a stage.
Michalis Tomazos is a Greek man of Swedish origins; he chose the stage name Regas (“small fish” in Greek). In addition to juggling he performs on stilts and plays the drums in the Bahalo Circus.
Michalis Tomazos is a Greek man of Swedish origins; he chose the stage name Regas (“small fish” in Greek). In addition to juggling he performs on stilts and plays the drums in the Bahalo Circus.
Arriving home after a day when a thousand quick glances were exchanged in the center of Rome, when hundreds of hands lightly touched the hat and filled it up nicely.
Arriving home after a day when a thousand quick glances were exchanged in the center of Rome, when hundreds of hands lightly touched the hat and filled it up nicely.
“The artist is an exception: His idleness is work, and his work is repose: He is elegant and negligent by turns; he assumes at his pleasure the laborer’s smock or the trails of the man of fashion.” – Honoré de Balzac, A Treaty on Elegant Life, 1830
“The artist is an exception: His idleness is work, and his work is repose: He is elegant and negligent by turns; he assumes at his pleasure the laborer’s smock or the trails of the man of fashion.” – Honoré de Balzac, A Treaty on Elegant Life, 1830
Warming up for an indoor show, a member of the trio rehearses the script while another looks for the right balance: harmony between body and breath, being “here and now” before getting on stage.
Warming up for an indoor show, a member of the trio rehearses the script while another looks for the right balance: harmony between body and breath, being “here and now” before getting on stage.
“Keep your dreams, you never know when you might need them.”– Carlos Ruiz Zafòn
“Keep your dreams, you never know when you might need them.”– Carlos Ruiz Zafòn

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