There’s no circus like the Moscow State Circus. The mystical centre of Moscow's cultural and artistic quarter Park Gorkogo (Gorky Park) is the backdrop for their new European tour. The show is an intriguing mix of the traditional and the contemporary. Rather than incorporating a consistent theme, the production relies on quintessentially Russian elements to showcase some of the world’s most talented circus performers. The audience is taken on a high-flying, backflipping, juggling and rollerskating journey of a lifetime.
The audience is taken on a high-flying, backflipping, juggling and rollerskating journey of a lifetime.
I do love the circus. The intoxicating smells of popcorn, candy floss and horse dung. Although one was missing this year as there were no animals in the performance. Other than that, it was amazing, incredible, sensational and all the usual superlatives. But that’s to be expected from the Moscow State Circus; I was also very impressed by the warmth and humanity in the show. Yes some juggling pins fell, whip tricks didn’t work out and acrobats missed mid-air connections, but that’s ok. That’s human. The Moscow State Circus reached out to the audience in a way they haven’t always been able to do. To me, that was the real icing on the cake.
The Las Vegas based superstar clown Valeriy Serebryakov holds the show together and works his magic during set changes. Valeriy Serebryakov is just as funny as you’d expect. His Buster Keaton style comedy never misses. I’d hate to be his insurance adjustor though. The show kicks off with a hand balancing act from Vlad Khvostik and swiftly moves on to the unique vertical pole-juggling by the Yakovlevs and an inspired aerial sail act by Tatiana Ozhiganova. It picks up speed with the Veslovskiys’, who first excel as Kozak whip cracks and later on rollerskates. The first half is ends gracefully with three Bathing Beauties high up on the revolving ariel ring.
The second half had the audience holding its breath for the awe-inspiring flying trapeze of White Birds. Another favourite was Zhora Oganisyan, a footballer balancing on a giant football whilst juggling not three, not four, but five footballs in the air. The night ended with the revolving Russian swing catapulting troupes high into the apex of the chapiteau at breakneck speed. And after the grand finale, it was all over in just under two hours with one interval. Consulting the experts – the children – I was told that the boys’ firm favourite was the footballer while the girls admired the all-female aerial act. All people big and small agreed that the highlight was ‘’the silly man who fell face first into the water bucket’’. No change there then.