Flying Act, Russian Barre
By Dominique Jando
Born in Moscow, Russia, on July 5, 1950, Vladimir Egorov developed an interest in acrobatics early in life. Along with his brother Yury (b. February 9, 1964), he joined an Amateur Circus troupe, where he learned a wide range of circus disciplines. (Amateur Circus troupes are the Russian equivalents of Youth Circuses—albeit at a much higher level of training and skills.)
Vladimir made his professional debut as an acrobat in 1970 with a hand-to-handAn acrobatic act in which one or more acrobats do hand-balancing in the hands of an under-stander. act, in which he was accompanied by Nikolai Malenkin. Later, he performed a similar act with Yury Osipov. In 1974, he joined the legendary high-wire act of Vladimir Volzhansky, with whom he performed for twelve years, both in Russia and abroad with the Moscow Circus.
In 1987, under the guidance of the great aerial-act creator, Piotr Maenstrenko, at the Circus Studio in Moscow, Vladimir began developing his own act. It was originally a combination of Russian Barre and flying actAny aerial act in which an acrobat is propelled in the air from one point to another., which used intricate equipment. Although the act would later be brought to fruition by the Borsovi, Vladimir chose not to pursue it, preferring instead to develop two separate acts out of one: a Russian Barre act and a flying actAny aerial act in which an acrobat is propelled in the air from one point to another., which used catchers on upright cradles.
The Egorov troupe, with Vladimir and his brother Yury as the main catchers, and Maksim Dobrovitsky and Regina Dobrovitskaya as the principal flyers, debuted at Moscow’s Bolshoi Circus in July 1988. Both of the troupe's acts were technically and artistically outstanding, and they soon embarked on a prosperous international career, touring with various units of the Moscow Circus. They also appeared in Sweden with Cirkus Scott and in Germany with Franzi Althoff. The flying actAny aerial act in which an acrobat is propelled in the air from one point to another. evolved over the years; at its height (so to speak), it incorporated three catchers and four flyers.
The Egorovs’ flying actAny aerial act in which an acrobat is propelled in the air from one point to another. made its American debut at the Big Apple Circus in 1992; it would remain with the circus until 1996. In 1995, they performed a simplified version of their Russian Barre act, featuring Regina Dobrovitskaya. The troupe dissolved the following season. Regina Dobrovitskaya and Vladimir Egorov remained with the Big Apple Circus, Regina as a member of its resident company, Vladimir as coach and Assistant Performance Director.
The Egorov troupe participated in the International Circus Festival of Monte Carlo in 1999 with their original Russian Barre act, during which Maksim Dobrovitsky became the first acrobat ever to complete a quadruple somersault on the Barre. The troupe was awarded the Journalist Association award and the TV Monte-Carlo award.
In 1995, Vladimir Egorov was made National Artist of the Russian Federation. He retired from the ring in 2003, settling in the United States. His wife, Nadezhda Petrovna (born Voronina on October 25, 1954) was a competition gymnast before working with the Volzhanski troupe and in the aerial act of Nadezhda Belenko. Nadezhda and Vladimir have two daughters, Elena and Svetlana, who have left the circus. Elena Egorova performed, for a time, a hula-hoop act.
Yury Egorov returned to Russia in 1996. There, he trained his stepson, Sergey Akimov, who performed a remarkable aerial-straps act that won a Silver Medal at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris in 2005.