Slack Wire, Juggler
By Dominique Jando
Ukrainian-born Andrey (also spelled Andrei) Ivakhnenko received his circus training at the State Circus and Variety College of Kiev, then part of the Soviet Union, where he graduated as a juggler on slack wireA Tight Wire, or Low Wire, kept slack, and generally used for juggling or balancing tricks. in 1989. Upon graduation, he was hired by SoyuzGosTsirk, the Soviet central circus agency, and toured with them in the many circuses of the former USSR, and in Eastern Europe.
It was however a time of important changes in Russia, and in 1994, Andrey decided to further his training with the very influential act director Valentin Gneushev at his studio in Circus Nikulin—Moscow’s legendary “Circus on Tvetnoy Boulevard”. In January 1995, Gneushev presented Ivakhnenko’s new act at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris, where it was the sensation of that edition of the Festival. Ivakhnenko’s groundbreaking presentation and remarkable technique won him a Bronze Medal, and this was the beginning of a brilliant international career.
Since 1995, Andrey Ivakhnenko has been featured in some of Europe’s most prestigious "varieté(German, from the French: ''variété'') A German variety show whose acts are mostly circus acts, performed in a cabaret atmosphere. Very popular in Germany before WWII, Varieté shows have experienced a renaissance since the 1980s." theaters and circuses, including TigerPalatz in Frankfurt, WinterGarten in Berlin, GOP Varieté theaters in Germany, Circus Roncalli, and the Cirque d’Hiver-Bouglione in Paris. He works principally in varieté(German, from the French: ''variété'') A German variety show whose acts are mostly circus acts, performed in a cabaret atmosphere. Very popular in Germany before WWII, Varieté shows have experienced a renaissance since the 1980s. theaters in Germany, where he now resides. He is married to the hula-hoop performer and fellow Gneushev's student, Natalia Leontieva.
- Video: Andrey Ivakhnenko, slack wire, at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Deamin in Paris (1995)
- Video: Andrey Ivakhnenko, slack wire, at Paris's Cirque d'Hiver (2004)