Voices from Russia

Sunday, 4 October 2015

“Circus of the Future” Festival Opened in Lugansk

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Circus of the Future-2015, the thirteenth International Festival of Youth Circus Troupes, Schools, and Performers, opened today in Lugansk with a parade through the main streets of the city. The opening ceremony and the first day of the contest were at the Lugansk Academic Military Music and Drama Theatre, since junta shelling badly damaged the building of the Lugansk Circus in summer 2014. Aleksei Karyakin, Chairman of the LNR Peoples Soviet, said to welcome the festival and its guests:

During the most difficult times, the circus is able to distance from us those things that, unfortunately, add to our grief, and give positive moments that prolong our lives. We can feel it… from our very first visit to the circus as a child until the very last moments of our life. I think that the number “13” will be lucky for the festival. 23 years ago, [Lugansk] was the 13th oblast of the Ukraine, but everything turned out all right. So, don’t pay attention to such a piffle. I wish good luck to the contestants and impartiality from the judges.

LNR Minister of Culture Oksana Kokotkina spoke at the opening and greeted all present:

The circus is a special thing… a special way of life that attracts and fascinates. I wish the festival long life and hope that the next festival will be in the restored building of our wounded circus.

Archpriest Alexander Ponomaryov of the Lugansk parish of the Icon of the Mother of God “of Tenderness” blessed the affair:

Let us rejoice today and be glad, because we have peace on earth now. The circus is a world of peace*. May the Lord bless our land and these great circus acts.

  • This is a play on words in Russian, as мир can mean either “peace” or “world”… the fullness of the wordplay is only evident in the original Russian

The festival proper began with a presentation by the youngest participants and by the founder of the Circus of the Future festival, Dmitri Kasyanov, Director of the Lugansk State Circus. After that, the competition began. Circus of the Future-2015, on 2-3 October, will bring together 80 contestants from different countries. The festival will conduct master classes and hold a roundtable “The role of the contemporary circus arts in promoting peace and friendship among peoples”, with all levels of festival participants taking part.

The first festival was in 2002, at the Lugansk State Circus and had oblast status. In 2005, the event became all-Ukrainian, and in 2007 the festival gained international status. Since 2005, it was the only Ukrainian Youth Circus Festival held with the support of the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture, and since 2007, part of the care for the logistical support of the festival was in the hands of the Department of Culture, Nationalities, and Religions of the then-Lugansk Oblast State Administration. The festival wants to strengthen international creative communications between youth circus troupes and performers, to promote mutual understanding and mutual enrichment in arts and culture, increase the creative reputation of the Lugansk Circus in the international arena, and to promote circus arts through a search for creative and talented youth.

2 October 2015

LITs Lugansk Information Centre



Friday, 27 February 2015

Sputnik International Presents… What’s Shakin’ in Vladivostok? Newborn Asian Black Bear Cub Abandoned at Circus Doorstep

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Workers found a newborn Asian Black Bear cub in a cardboard box at the entrance to the Vladivostok Circus during the night of 24 February.


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Vets say that he’s about two-weeks-old.


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The official circus vet reported that the little guy is spry and spunky.


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Circus staffers believe that poachers who killed his mother dumped the cub at their door.


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They feed the cub every three hours.


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Other names for the Asian Black Bear are the Moon Bear and White-Chested Bear.


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The International Union for Conservation of Nature classified the Asian Black Bear as “vulnerable”.


27 February 2015

Sputnik International


Sunday, 21 July 2013

21 July 2013. You Can’t Make Up Shit Like This… Fired Circus Assistant Flees with Fox in Siberia

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So far, a former circus worker who stole a vixen from his former employer has outfoxed police in eastern Siberia and led them on a wild-goose chase. On Friday, the Zabaikalsky Krai Prokuratura said on its official website that they suspect Gennady Pyatibratov, 24, of stealing the fox, called Eva, in revenge after his bosses fired him from his job as a travelling circus assistant for neglecting his duties. Initially, the circus management put the fox’s disappearance in late June down to an unlocked cage. However, a young local woman in Chita, where the circus was performing, said that she met Pyatibratov with a fox on a leash. The report said that the man stopped for a chat; he said that he was going west to Irkutsk. Pyatibratov and Eva remain at large, but police in both Zabaikalsky Krai and Irkutsk Oblast are on the lookout for the man and the vixen. The runaway circus assistant could face theft charges, punishable with up to two years in prison. His motives for taking the animal remain unclear.

19 July 2013




Wednesday, 26 June 2013

26 June 2013. Some of My Favourite Things… Two Scenes from the Classic Sov Film “Tsirk” (“Circus”)

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The Lullaby scene


How Wide is My Motherland (Широка страна моя родная: Shiroka strana moya rodina)


Recently, I posted something about the Soviet-era poet James Lloydovich Patterson, whose mother was Russian and his father was American. One of my friends at the Centre says that the Rodina wants him back. I heartily concur. As a small child, James Lloydovich took part in one of the most classic films of Soviet cinema,  Цирк (Tsirk: Circus). The storyline concerned an American circus performer who went to the USSR because Americans treated her badly because she had bore a mixed-race child out-of-wedlock. The two scenes above are the most famous. Clearly, this is one of the masterpieces of world cinema; it remains popular and well-known in Russia to this day.


If you’d like to see the whole movie, click here


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