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Nikulin Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard (Moscow)

13 Tsvetnoy Boulevard, Moscow (tel.: +7 495 625-89-70, +7 495 621-12-81), Metro station: "Tsvetnoy Bulvar".

Map

http://www.circusnikulin.ru

The Old Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard (the Circus, for short) is one of the oldest circuses in Russia. Over a hundred years ago, in 1880, a company of merchant Danilov built this building for a circus of Albert Salamonsky. People say that Salamonsky enframed the first rouble gained for tickets and hung it in the box office. On the 20th of October 1880 the Circus was opened with five rows of seats, box seats, a dress circle, wooden unnumbered benches and a standing gallery. Later, the building was rebuilt several times. However, it had always been the Circus.

The most famous artists performed on the Circus arena. Anatoly Durov, Vladimir Durov, Vitaly Lazarenko, and Williams Truzzi with his trained horses. Unrivalled jumpers the Sosins. First-class jockeys Vasily Sobolevsky and Herbert Cook. Graceful dancer Marta Sur. Group of acrobats The Okeanos. Incomparable balance-masters the Kokh sisters. Famous "dodger" Kio who dazzles all boys.

The Circus became popular thanks to its famous directors each of whom was tireless in his search. Boris Shakhet made elephants to be partners of graceful dancers. Much of the Circus's success is owed to its art director Yuri Yursky famous for his show parades, main director Mark Mestechkin, production director Arnold G. Arnold, and managers N. Baikalov and A. Asanov.

The art director of the Circus Art Studio, Izyaslav Nemchinsky, created a true revelation of the century in the Moscow Circus arena — the Bear Circus of Valentin Filatov. One wonderful winter, Mark Mestechkin asked clowns to sing funny songs from the exterior balcony so that all people walking along Tsvetnoy Boulvard could hear them.

The Circus lived and worked up to date. It always searched for something new. It searched for new acts, for new performances, for new names. In 1919, the Circus was nationalized by the decree issued by Vladimir Lenin. The former Salamonsky Circus became the first State Circus.

This home-like Circus opened new names of animal trainers Sarvat Begbudi and Olga Begbudi, balance masters Leonic Kostyuk and Alexey Sarach, juggler Sergey Ignatov, trapeze artists Nadezhda Drozdova, Valery Panteleyenko and Yuri Panteleyenko.

It is possible to say that the Moscow Circus is a production circus. It releases new acts, attractions, performances, large dumb shows, special shows for children. In the late 1990s, water pantomimes were reconstructed there. Three performances appeared one after another: Celebration of Juvenility (1956), Happy Sailing! (1959), The Carnival in Cuba (1962). Performances for children are also staged; usually they are shown during the school holidays.

What a self-respecting circus can go without its own clowns! Immortal fame of Mikhail Rumyantsev, a famous Soviet clown, better known under his stage name Karandash (which means "pencil"), started there. Then, the Pravda newspaper placed advertisements of Moscow theatres. The only line had never been changed: Karandash is in the arena. The "sunny clown" Oleg Popov performed in the Old Circus many times.

In 1946, a studio school of clowns was established. Many of its graduates entered the arena in different years. Yuri Kotov and Boris Romanov. Leonid Kukso, dog doctor Aleksander Popov, dogs' choragus Sergey Bouslayev… A star of Leonid Yengibarov began to shine in the Moscow arena. He said that he was a correspondence-course student of Charlie Chaplin. He was very enthusiastic in his fairy-tale-like pantomime shows. People called him "the clown with autumn in his heart".

However, Yuri Nikulin and Mikhail Shuidin, graduates of the second class, were the most famous clowns of the Moscow Circus. Sometimes people bought tickets to see them only without paying any attention to other artists mentioned in the programme.

During World War II, the Circus was opened and made new acts and programmes. Trick scenes related to the war took a special place. Famous pantomime Three of Ours showed battles of bikers, a fight for a horse, and acrobatic clownery of two German soldiers. In the final episode, a real tank entered the arena and crushed enemy pillboxes. The clown Karandash made fun of fascist soldiers in grotesque-satirical style.

In 1983, Yuri Nikulin, the famous clown and actor, became a manager of the Circus. On 13 August 1985, the last performance in the old building of the Circus took place. It was the grand and unforgettable show for all Moscow citizens. After that, the old building was demolished.

On 19 October 1987, the first foundation stone of a new building was laid down, and a capsule was immured there. In several years, on 29 September 1989, the new building of the Old Moscow Circus was opened with a show programme Hello, My Old Circus! directed by Vladimir Krimko and Natalia Makovskaya.

In July of 1996, Valentin Gneushev, honoured art worker, was appointed to a post of the Main Circus Director. In December of 1996, after Yuri Nikulin celebrated his 75th birth anniversary, the Circus was renamed the Nikulin Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard. In August of 1997, after Yuri Nikulin died, his son, Maksim Nikulin, was elected Director General of the Circus.

The new building of the Circus is equipped now with modern equipment. Its offices, make-up rooms, animal rooms, the whole inside of the Circus, in short, have been newly equipped. The new spectator lobby is very beautiful now. The auditorium was reconstructed. However, it has just a few changes and looks as before. Today, the Old Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard is still ready to welcome over 2,000 visitors.

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Nikulin Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard

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