A clown from a traveling circus stretches backstage in Belgium. Dutch photographer Wiesje Peels has followed several circuses in Europe. The photos in her book "Mimus" capture a glimpse of the performers' "hidden life."
A circus performer holds a board covered with throwing knives.
An elephant sits outside a circus tent in Germany.
Circus performers practice a skit in Belgium.
A giraffe enters a circus ring in Germany.
A circus performer backstage in Belgium.
Cats in costume wait to perform with the Moscow Circus.
A clown takes a break backstage.
Horses line up for a performance in Italy.
A masked performer in Belgium.
A performer prepares his costume.
A performer holds an instrument in Belgium.