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==In The Spotlight==
 
==In The Spotlight==
  
===THE CIRCUSES OF MOSCOW===
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[[File:Cirque_d'Hiver_-_Front_View_(2013).jpg|right|400px]]
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===LE CIRQUE D'HIVER DE PARIS===
  
Although the name Moscow Circus is familiar to the public all over the world, there has never been one specific "Moscow Circus" whose troupe toured internationally. The name was a generic term for the circus shows from the USSR traveling abroad during the Soviet Era. It has, over time, become synonymous with "Russian circus." Yet, there are today (2020) two resident circuses in Moscow, Circus Nikulin on Tsvetnoy Boulevard, and the Bolshoi Circus (''bolshoi'' means big, in Russian) on Vernadsky Avenue—and there have been indeed several others before them.
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Located in the heart of Paris, between the Place de la République and the Place de la Bastille, at the edge of the historical Marais, the Cirque d’Hiver is the world’s oldest extant circus building. It is also the world’s oldest circus still in activity: It opened its doors in 1852. Its address, at 110 rue Amelot, may seem inconspicuous, but at that precise point, the rue Amelot opens onto the Boulevard du Temple through the small Place Pasdeloup: The Cirque d’Hiver is therefore quite noticeable, practically "on the Boulevards."
[[File:Bolshoi_Circus_by_night.jpeg|right|400px]]
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The first circus built in Russia was established by the French equestrian Jacques Tourniaire, who settled in 1827 in what was then the Russian capital, St. Petersburg. The building, designed by the architect Smaragd Shustov and named Cirque Olympique, was located near the Fontanka canal, practically where St. Petersburg’s Circus Ciniselli stands today. Tourniaire’s circus had only a short existence: it was bought back by the government of St. Petersburg in 1828 to be transformed into a theater. Still, the event didn’t fail to catch the attention of the Muscovites, who always took exception to the influence of Peter The Great’s Baltic capital.
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The previous year, Tourniaire had exhibited his equestrian prowess in Moscow, in the manège of the Pashkov mansion (today the Russian State Library), on Mokhovaya Street. Another famous trick rider, Jacob Bates, had long preceded him in the former Russian capital, where he performed in 1864, and since then, Moscow had welcomed several equestrian companies—among which that of Pierre Mayheu, the famous Spanish rider, in 1790—but contrary to most European major cities, the great Russian metropolis didn’t have a permanent circus of its own.
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The Cirque d’Hiver (literally, the ''winter circus'') was built for circus entrepreneur Louis Dejean (1797-1879) to serve as his circus company’s winter home. Dejean already managed the Cirque des Champs-Elysées in the fashionable ''Jardins des Champs-Elysées'', which he kept open from May through October. Up to 1846, his main establishment had been the Cirque Olympique, located some five hundred yards from his new circus, on the portion of the Boulevard du Temple that disappeared in 1862 to give room to the present Place de la République, during the renovation of Paris by the Baron Haussmann.  
  
In 1830, Mikhail Zagoskin, a popular novelist who was Moscow’s Director of the Theaters, supported the creation of a summer circus in the Neskuchny Garden, on the banks of the Moskva River, southwest of central Moscow. The circus, which was probably a light wooden construction, lasted only three seasons. For the ensuing twenty years, Russian circus history was written exclusively in St. Petersburg: Although Moscow was still the commercial hub of Tsarist Russia, the giant city didn’t have yet the rich cosmopolitan atmosphere of the Russian capital, or its cultural diversity.
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Dejean had sold his old Cirque Olympique in 1847; although it had been built only twenty years earlier (in 1827), it had already lost its appeal and was not practical anymore. Like many circus buildings of its generation, it had been designed with both a circus ring and a full theater stage, and consequently, it was easy for its new owners to transform it into a legitimate theater, the ''Théâtre du Cirque Olympique''. With no permanent home in the winter, Dejean had taken to sending his troupe abroad, to London or Berlin. Although these forays into foreign lands had proved successful enough, having a new winter base in Paris still made more sense.
  
German, Italian and, mostly, French influences were quite noticeable in St. Petersburg, a city wide open on Western Europe, as its builder, Peter The Great, had wanted it. By reaction, Moscow took pride in its being the true heart of eternal Russia, conservative, religious and nationalistic. Even though its wealth attracted traveling entertainers as much as entrepreneurs and merchants, the city was particularly slow in attuning itself to the rest of Europe.... ([[The Circuses Of Moscow|more...]])
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Thus, Dejean asked Jacques-Ignace Hittorff (1792-1867), the City of Paris’s Chief Architect, to design the plans for a new circus. Hittorf had already built the Cirque des Champs-Elysées for Dejean, as well as its twin counterpart, the Panorama (today Théâtre du Rond-Point), which were part of the master plan for the renovation of the Chanps-Elysées gardens in the 1840s. Hittorff had also supervised the redesign of the Place de la Concorde (notably with the addition of his own monumental fountain, ''La Fontaine des Mers'') and he would later build Paris’s Gare du Nord, the twelve ''hôtels particuliers'' (townhouses) that surround the Arc de Triomphe on the Place de l'Étoile, and many other "classic revival" pieces of work—a style of which he was one of the most influential proponents.... ([[Cirque d'Hiver|more...]])
  
 
==New Biographies==
 
==New Biographies==
  
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* [[Tamerlan Nugzarov]], Cossack Rider
 +
* [[Circus Krone]], History
 
* [[Nell Gifford]], Circus Owner
 
* [[Nell Gifford]], Circus Owner
 
* [[William Vos]], Animal Trainer
 
* [[William Vos]], Animal Trainer
 
* [[Jürg Jenny]], Animal Trainer
 
* [[Jürg Jenny]], Animal Trainer
* [[Kio]], Magician
 
* [[Dimitri]], Clown
 
  
 
==New Videos==
 
==New Videos==
  
* [[Dias_Video_(2019)|César Dias]], Clown (2019)
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* [[Kotsuba_Video_(1989)|The Kotsubas]], Hand-to-Hand Balancing (1989)
* [[Royal_Video_(2011)|The Royal Brothers]], Hand-to-Hand Balancing (2011)
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* [[Ayala_Video_2020|Ayala Troupe]], High Wire (2020)
* [[Seaworld_Video_(2004)|Seaworld]], Hand-to-Hand Balancing (2004)
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* [[Flying_Navas_Video_(1989)|The Flying Navas]], Flying Trapeze (1989)
* [[Marco_Video_(1962)|Marco]], Sword Balancing (1962)
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* [[Mariya_Sarach_Video_2020|Mariya Sarach]], Hand-Balancer (2020)
* [[Begbudi_Elephants_Video_(1981)|Elya & Sarvat Begbudi]], Elephant Act (1981)
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* [[Melinkov_Video_(1951)|Duo Melinkov]], Hand-to-Hand Balancing (1951)
  
 
==New Oral Histories==
 
==New Oral Histories==

Latest revision as of 23:10, 12 July 2020

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Circopedia was originally created with the support of the Big Apple Circus
and inspired and funded by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.

In The Spotlight

Cirque d'Hiver - Front View (2013).jpg

LE CIRQUE D'HIVER DE PARIS

Located in the heart of Paris, between the Place de la République and the Place de la Bastille, at the edge of the historical Marais, the Cirque d’Hiver is the world’s oldest extant circus building. It is also the world’s oldest circus still in activity: It opened its doors in 1852. Its address, at 110 rue Amelot, may seem inconspicuous, but at that precise point, the rue Amelot opens onto the Boulevard du Temple through the small Place Pasdeloup: The Cirque d’Hiver is therefore quite noticeable, practically "on the Boulevards."

The Cirque d’Hiver (literally, the winter circus) was built for circus entrepreneur Louis Dejean (1797-1879) to serve as his circus company’s winter home. Dejean already managed the Cirque des Champs-Elysées in the fashionable Jardins des Champs-Elysées, which he kept open from May through October. Up to 1846, his main establishment had been the Cirque Olympique, located some five hundred yards from his new circus, on the portion of the Boulevard du Temple that disappeared in 1862 to give room to the present Place de la République, during the renovation of Paris by the Baron Haussmann.

Dejean had sold his old Cirque Olympique in 1847; although it had been built only twenty years earlier (in 1827), it had already lost its appeal and was not practical anymore. Like many circus buildings of its generation, it had been designed with both a circus ring and a full theater stage, and consequently, it was easy for its new owners to transform it into a legitimate theater, the Théâtre du Cirque Olympique. With no permanent home in the winter, Dejean had taken to sending his troupe abroad, to London or Berlin. Although these forays into foreign lands had proved successful enough, having a new winter base in Paris still made more sense.

Thus, Dejean asked Jacques-Ignace Hittorff (1792-1867), the City of Paris’s Chief Architect, to design the plans for a new circus. Hittorf had already built the Cirque des Champs-Elysées for Dejean, as well as its twin counterpart, the Panorama (today Théâtre du Rond-Point), which were part of the master plan for the renovation of the Chanps-Elysées gardens in the 1840s. Hittorff had also supervised the redesign of the Place de la Concorde (notably with the addition of his own monumental fountain, La Fontaine des Mers) and he would later build Paris’s Gare du Nord, the twelve hôtels particuliers (townhouses) that surround the Arc de Triomphe on the Place de l'Étoile, and many other "classic revival" pieces of work—a style of which he was one of the most influential proponents.... (more...)

New Biographies

New Videos

New Oral Histories

Circopedia Books

A Message from the Editor

CIRCOPEDIA is a constantly evolving and expanding archive of the international circus. New videos, biographies, essays, and documents are added to the site on a weekly—and sometimes daily—basis. Keep visiting us: even if today you don't find what you're looking for, it may well be here tomorrow! And if you are a serious circus scholar and spot a factual or historical inaccuracy, do not hesitate to contact us: we will definitely consider your remarks and suggestions.

Dominique Jando
Founder and Curator