You are here:
I knew Cali was Colombia’s 'Capital of Salsa', but I didn’t realise the city's salsa circus – called Delirio – would showcase its talents quite so spectacularly. This amazing show does exactly what it promises, combining salsa and a genuine circus in a flash of smiles, sequins and daring trapeze stunts. You’ll laugh at the clowns and marvel at the dancing devils but, above all, you’ll be bowled over by the children.
Delirio is more than just a monthly show that takes place in a tent in Parque del Amor, near the city’s Menga district. Every peso spent there is also doing the city of Cali some good. The circus is a non-profit organisation, which ensures the proceeds are directed straight back into the city’s poorest districts.
Delirio’s producers are always busy, scouting the most talented dancers from across Cali’s salsa schools. Many come from difficult backgrounds and the chance to perform in the circus is an opportunity that can keep them on track. But it’s not an act of charity. This is Cali and these are deeply talented children. Salsa is in their blood and when they whip their feet into a brilliantly choreographed blur, their talent is undeniable.
If you’re looking for a great night out on a balmy evening, you’ll love Delirio. The show – on the last Friday of every month – draws up to 1,000 excited onlookers who enjoy the costumes, the tricks and the impossibly perfect routines.
Delirio is also the ideal place to begin a weekend of dancing in Cali – a city which will inspire even the most reluctant onto the dance floor to give it a whirl.
Nearby Menga has dozens of bars where you can watch the city’s famously flawless footwork. But it seems a shame not to join in the fun. The boy should be brave and ask for a dance, the girls should be brave and accept. This is Cali. It’s time to salsa.
I chose Café Mi Tierra, because I could hear the quick and heady switches between salsa, merengue, bachata and reggaeton, from the street where I stood. At first this lively bar, with its outdoor terrace and blur of bodies, was a little intimidating. But once the rum starts flowing anyone can find themselves on the floor. By 4am I couldn’t dance another step but the party was still raging. You have been warned.
Tickets to Delirio cost $120,000. Visit www.delirio.com.
© Vicki Kellaway