Jubilee Under The Dome: Belarusian State Circus Celebrates 60th Anniversary

The history of the Minsk circus, spanning over 60 years, contains a lot of interesting facts. For example, the first circus troupe in Minsk was brought in 1853 by the German prince Karl Ginne. Thirty years later, a stationary circus appeared in the city. At various times famous artists performed on its stage: Anatoly Durov, the founder of the famous Russian circus dynasty, Zaporozhian athlete Ivan Poddubny, Italian tamer Scipione Ciniselli, and the Truzzi brothers, owners of one of the biggest traveling circuses in Russia.

Today, just like in the old days, the Belarusian State Circus welcomes foreign artists. There are great conditions for this. After the reconstruction, which was completed in 2010, new structures were added and a six-storied rehearsal arena was erected.

Artists from different countries take part in the holiday program, which marks the anniversary this year. The Magnificent House performance piece introduces the past and the present of the circus. The most popular circus genres are represented in it.

Artists from Uzbekistan are among the participants, which make up the sixth generation of rope-walkers. Bekzat Tashkenbaev and his brother are bronze prizewinners of festivals in China, Italy, as well as participants of the international festival in Korea. The artists did a complicated trick at the Minsk arena, for the first time in 30 years – the rope pyramid.

As Bekzat said, it’s not the first time in Minsk for the troupe, and it’s always a pleasure for them to come here. On the other hand, it is difficult to perform on this stage. “The Belarusian circus is a place where notorious artists and masters have worked, so this is a big responsibility,” emphasized the artist. Bekzat and his troupe perform partially without safety wire. “The principal thing,” says Bekzat, “is to focus on the process, to pay close attention. 23 years of training give confidence for that.” 

Belarusian artists are also reaching out for experience of their foreign colleagues. “Our artists have just returned from Baku. Belarusians also perform in Ukraine and Russia,” says Director of the Belarusian State Circus, Vladimir Shaban. “Circus art is international. Five thousand people at the Monte-Carlo Arena see the same thing that spectators see at the Minsk Circus. For now we are mostly known abroad for the circus ballet troupe, but I think that in two years, at the next festival, we will introduce the pieces. ”

Last autumn, the first International Festival of Circus Art was held in the Belarusian capital. Minsk welcomed artists from 16 countries. The event turned out to be quite successful: the jury and the participants, as well as the audience were satisfied with its level, says Vytautas Grigaliunas, creative director of the circus, recalling the prestige of the Minsk scene. “We are planning to hold the II Festival of Circus Arts next autumn. We will begin accepting applications for participation on March 1, 2019. As for the summer program, it will be tied to the II European Games.”

 
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