Print: Offset lithography
Dimensions: 22 x 33.9 in (56 x 86 cm)
Condition: Good condition - folds across the image and a tiny tear in the right side - see pictures.
Dissemination: Quite rare
A great and green poster displaying a program overview for a Russian circus in the 1980s.
The poster says something like this:
Names of People's Artist of the USSR:
For the first time in the city.
The 8th of May
Attractions from Africa.
Trainer Nikoday Skviirsky.
The Russian circus has a very long tradition and is very famous all over the world for its high class performers. Already in 1919 the leader of USSR, Lenin, expressed a wish for the circus to become 'the people's art-form', with facilities and status on the same level as theater, opera and ballet.
The decision was made and the USSR nationalized all Russian circuses. In 1927 the State University of Circus and Variety Arts (also known as the Moscow Circus School), was established; performers were trained using methods developed from the Soviet gymnastics program. When the Moscow State Circus company began international tours in the 1950s, its levels of originality and artistic skill were widely applauded.
During this time, the Russian circus, which was already important became an even more prominent piece of culture, and a point of pride. The Russian Circus traditions include clowning, juggling, acrobatics, contortion, and animal acts and especially bear acts, such as bears who juggle with their feet!
Stylistically, the Soviet circuses were different from their Western counterparts. Their acts were more focused on Eastern European culture, and tended to hold more narrative and be more dance oriented than their bespangled, action-packed contemporaries. This narrative style has recently become more popular with shows worldwide, with shows by companies including Cirque Dreams and Cirque Du Soleil.
With the collapse of the USSR in 1989 some Russian circus was abandoned but a some survived as private circuses like the famous "Moscow State Circus" which still operates today.
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