Voices from Russia

Saturday, 10 January 2009

New Year’s Hit: Circus Show “Camelot”


The Zapashnykh brothers with one of their trained tigers

250,000 people, a number equal to a fairly-large European city, attended the New Year Circus Show Camelot in Moscow. It shall run from 27 December to 11 January. This show was the inspiration of the brothers Edgard and Askold Zapashnykh, two young performers who are the scions of a famous circus dynasty. As they are expert wild-animal trainers, their names are inscribed in the Guinness Book of World Records. Their signature feat is leaping onto the back of a lion. Energetic, talented, and driven, the Zapashnykh brothers are always looking for something new and unique. By all standards, their fantasy play Camelot is a one-of-a-kind spectacle!

“We went beyond the scope of the usual 13-metre (42-foot) ring, the traditional scope of the circus was too confining for us”, Askold stated, explaining why they had to stage this presentation in an enormous sport arena. “We can say, with great pride, that there is no analogue to Camelot in all of Russia. The circus, like all other kinds of show business, has to evolve, first of all, due to developments in other art-forms. We used the latest techniques to make a theatrical-circus spectacle with video-screens, pyrotechnics, laser effects, historical costumes, and even a water-tank with many-coloured fountains”.

100 performers and 70 trained animals perform stories from medieval epics. The Zapashnykh brothers, as in real life, play the roles of brothers, one of them symbolises the Bright Forces, whilst the other portrays the Dark Forces. The struggle of Good and Evil is treated seriously, and the tricks performed by the brothers seem beyond the reach of human possibility. For example, the brothers perform in a cage with 14 lions and tigers… why, no one in their right mind would dare to remain in close proximity to so many predators! Where else is it possible to meet polyglot parrots? The bright and handsome “parrots” (performers in costume) speak so many languages, from French to Chinese. In the battle scenes, the world-famous horse ménage directed by Mukhtarbek Kantemirov perform wonders. Well, in the water-tank, there are girls doing synchronised swimming garbed as “goldfish”. By the way, amongst them are some of our Olympic champions in synchronised swimming! Is it any wonder that the circus show Camelot became a real New Year’s hit in Moscow?

9 January 2009

Voice of Russia World Service



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