Animal Trainer, Circus Producer
Giya Eradze was born in 1979 in Tbilisi, Georgia, at a time when Georgia was still part of the Soviet Union. His father was a company manager, and his mother, a teacher. Giya fell in love with the circus as a kid, and enrolled in a local Youth Circus when he was eleven. He aspired to become a circus performer, but this was not to his parents' liking. Instead, they sent him to dental School. Giya graduated as a dentist, a profession he never practiced.
In 1990, he went to work as an assistant trainer at SoyuzGosTsirk, the Soviet Union's old central circus organization. However, it was a time of considerable changes: The Soviet Union had been dissolved the previous year, and SoyuzGosTsirk was in the process of reinventing itself (it became RosGosTsirk, the Russian state circus company). Giya eventually created his own animal act, which evolved into a full-fledged show that he toured under canvas.
Yet, traveling with a collection of 130 animals, whose upkeep is indeed very expensive, became increasingly difficult when Russia's economic realities began to settle down after the anarchy of the Yeltsin era and the beginning of a period of economic reconstruction. Giya Eradze and his animals eventually rejoined RosGosTsirk as an autonomous entity, whose over-the-top lavish productions are today among the most successful shows in Russia.
In 2015, Giya Eradze receives the Master award (the Russian equivalent of the "Oscar" for the circus arts) in Sochi for his show, The Royal Circus.
- Video: The Sheik's Visit, Gia Eradze's exotic animals, at the Festival of Circus Arts in Moscow (2011)