In the early morning heat and dust, daily practice at the Rambo Circus is in full swing. A trapeze creaks as two performers perfect their throws. A Colombian daredevil shouts to his colleagues scrambling atop a giant set of spinning wheels called the Ring of Death.
DEATH-DEFYING: An acrobat demonstrates his mastery of balance during a practice session. Despite the dedication of the performers, India’s once thriving circus industry is now on its knees.
Looking on with worry is circus manager John Matthew. For 38 years, he has been in the business of entertaining people throughout southern India. But there's little to smile about these days. The big top set up in a desolate field outside Mumbai seats 3,000 people, but recent shows have attracted fewer than 100 people.