By Dominique Jando
Born February 22, 1940 in Russia, Liubov Mikhailovna Pisarenkova was one of the greatest aerial hoopA heavy metallic hoop used as a variance of trapeze, usually with contortion moves. (Also called Cerceau.) artists of the former Soviet Union. She had begun her artistic career in an amateur dance company for children and teenagers. In 1961, she enrolled in Moscow’s State College for Circus and Variety Arts. She graduated four years later, in 1965, as an "estrade" (variety) artist, and went on to work with the Moskovsky Music-Hall Troupe, a traveling variety company.
She soon joined SoyuzGosTsirk, the Soviet State Circus organization, and while there, she went “back to school” to create an aerial hoopA heavy metallic hoop used as a variance of trapeze, usually with contortion moves. (Also called Cerceau.) act, which she debuted in 1968. At the same time, she also began working as a dance coach and as a director for various SoyuzGosTsirk circus productions. The balletic quality of her act, its remarkable technique, and her magnetic personality soon made her a star of the Soviet circus. She married the acrobat Viacheslav Borisenko.
In 1980, she defected to the United States. She settled there and worked for a few years in various American circuses before retiring from performing.
- Video: Liubov Pisarenkova, Aerial Hoop, at the Circus of Astrakhan (c.1970)