I recall going to the travelling circus as a child in our local arena. The animals, the clowns and trapeze artists were all integral to the show. Years have past--lets not talk of how many :) and as an adult I couldn't see myself going to those shows that use animals like that anymore.
The new era of performance is the Cirque du Soleil. My family and I had a great time today at the local arena watching an extravaganza of sight and sound. The show Alegria (according to our friends at Wikipedia) is about the misuse of power, but also a story of hope and perseverance. I have pasted on a couple of images to give you a feel of the show. If you get to a major centre that has a Cirque show, or if the travelling show comes to your city, take advantage and go see it...you won't regret it!