1993, 28 min
Run Clip

Pinky practicing
Great Royal Circus, Gujarat, 1993
Pratap Singh Ratna Mane
Sumi Singh Radha Tikandas
Hansa Mane Pinky Tikandas
Lakshmi Chowdhry Deepa Swami
Pratap watching his troupe practice
Great Royal Circus, Gujarat, 1993
Produced by
Martin Bell & Mary Ellen Mark

Associate Producer
Dayanita Singh

Directed by
Martin Bell

Nancy Baker

Photographed by
Martin Bell

Assistant Camera
Jo Hidderley & Doug Pellegrino

Location Sound
Gary Rich

Production Manager
Brendan O'Malley

Still Photography
Mary Ellen Mark

Still Photography Assistants
Brian Velenchenko & Harsh Man Rei

Assistant Editor
Melissa Niedick & Sofia Dillof

Sound Editor
Jeff Stern

Re Recording Mixer
Lee Dichter

Video Colorist
Joe Bond

Title Design
Roger Gorman: Reiner Design Consultants Inc


Dayanita Singh

Billy Hopkins & Suzanne Smith

Pratap Singh - Harsh Nayyar
Pinky's Mother - Yolande Bavan
Pinky - Dhenesia Gopaul

The Jumbo Circus Band

Band Leader & Saxophone - S. Ramazan
Guitar - Saheed Anwar
Bass Guitar - Winston Rodrigues
Keyboard - S. Mehboob
Drums - S. Vazid

Circus Music Re Recording
Music Arranger & Drums - Ranjit Barot
Saxaphone - Carl Clements

Music Supervisor Bombay
Farrokh Chothia
Wedding Band Music
The Bombay Native Band

Additional Music
Produced by Faith Norwick
Composed by Keith Foley & Shelly Woodworth
Performed by Shelly Woodworth

Special thanks to
Pratap Singh

Pratap Singh's Troupe
Sumi Singh
Hansa Mane
Lakshmi Chowdhry
Ratna Mane
Radha Tikandas
Pinky Tikandas
Deepa Swami
The New Grand Circus
The late Mr. M.D. Haneef

The Jumbo Circus
M.V. Shankaran
Ajay Shankaran
Ashok Shankaran
Madhu Kannan
Velayudhan - Clown
Anjum Khan - Poster Artist

The Great Royal Circus
Pratap Walavalkar

Government of India Ministry of Tourism
The Honorable Madhav Rao Scindia
Mr B K Goswami
Mr R N Bohidar
Mr M K Lakhanpal

Government of India Tourist Office Bombay
Mr C. Srinivas

Government of India Ministry of Home Affairs
J S Saharia

Government of India Ministry of External Affairs

Government of India Ministry of Information & Broadcasting
H C Jayal

Air India
Mr Yogi Deveshvar
Michael Mascarenhas
Neela Talcherkar

Indian Airlines

The Taj Hotel Group
The President Hotel

Cox & Kings
Naomi Menezes
Nathaniel Waring
staff Bombay & Delhi offices

Sunil Dutt

Produced by Falkland Road Inc for National Geographic Television
In 1989, Mary Ellen Mark worked for eight months photographing 14 circuses across India. The photographs were published in 1993 in the book Indian Circus. Ten of these photographes appeared in a February 1991 Life Magazine article The Greatest Show in India. National Geographic contacted Mark soon after Life published the photographs, asking to use the story for the basis of a film. In October 1993, Mark joined Martin Bell for the three week shoot in the Great Royal Circus.

Circus of Dreams follows the life of 11-year-old Pinky as she practices under the supervision of her trainer, Pratap Singh.

I've always loved the circus, right from the beginning. In every drop of my blood, the circus is there. Both my parents were in the circus. When my mother came down from the trapeze act, her labor pains started. When I was born there were rope marks all over my body because my mother had slid down the trapeze.

Only when I came to the circus, that's the life I remember. Before that, I don't remember. Even when I'm old I'll be in the circus.
The thing I like the most in this whole circus life is going from one world to the other world. Different places. Travelling all over... Madras, Changanacherry, Junagard, Banares, Ahmnabad and Goa. When people clap, I feel happy, very happy.
Video: 3 minutes segment from the opening of Circus of Dreams.