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<div style="font-size:175%; border:none; margin:0; padding:.1em; color:#996666;">Welcome! ✫ Bienvenue! ✫ Willkommen! ✫ Добро Пожаловать!</div><div style="font-size:175%; border:none; margin:0; padding:.1em; color:#996666;">Bienvenida! ✫ Benvenuto! ✫ 歡迎 ! ✫ Vítejte! ✫ Καλώς ήρθατε!</div><div style="font-size:175%; border:none; margin:0; padding:.1em; color:#996666;">Üdvözöljük! ✫ Добре Дошли! ✫ Welkom! ✫ Ласкаво Просимо!</div><div style="font-size:165%; border:none; margin:0; padding:.1em; color:#996666;">Velkommen! ✫ Tervetuloa! ✫ Дабро Запрашаем! ✫ Välkommen!</div><br/>
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<div style="font-size:175%; border:none; margin:0; padding:.1em; color:#996666;">Welcome! ✫ Bienvenue! ✫ Willkommen! ✫ Добро Пожаловать!</div><div style="font-size:175%; border:none; margin:0; padding:.1em; color:#996666;">Bienvenida! ✫ Benvenuto! ✫ 歡迎 ! ✫ Vítejte! ✫ Καλώς ήρθατ
<div style="top:+0.2em; font-size:98%;"> ''Circopedia was originally created with the support of the  Big Apple Circus Ltd. and inspired and funded by the [http://www.sdrubin.org/ Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation]''.</div><br/>
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ε!</div><div style="font-size:175%; border:none; margin:0; padding:.1em; color:#996666;">Üdvözöljük! ✫ Добре Дошли! ✫ Welkom! ✫ Ласкаво Просимо!</div><div style="font-size:165%; border:none; margin:0; padding:.1em; color:#996666;">Velkommen! ✫ Tervetuloa! ✫ Дабро Запрашаем! ✫ Välkommen!</div><br/>
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<div style="top:+0.2em; font-size:98%;"> ''Circopedia was originally inspired and funded by the [http://www.sdrubin.org/ Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation]''.</div><br/>
 
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==In The Spotlight==
 
==In The Spotlight==
  
===RICO & ALEX BRIATORE===
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===IRINA BUGRIMOVA===
[[File:Rico_and_Alex.jpg|right|300px]]During the first half of the twentieth century, the Spanish clowns Rico y Alex (Enrico Briatore, 1881-1965, and Alessandro Briatore, 1870-1960), who came from an Italian circus family, were among Europe's most celebrated clowns. In Paris, they dethroned the legendary Foottit and Chocolat from their place of preëminence when they starred in the "Temple of Clowns", the famous Cirque Medrano, from four consecutive years, from 1910 to 1914. They were acrobats, musicians, and singers, and they spoke seven languages (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, English, Russian, and even a little Catalan), which allowed them to build a very successful international career. Although they spoke in their act, they didn't rely much on verbal comedy, which was trendy then: Rico and Alex were very physical, but their visual humor had a surprising elegance and a very human, charming touch that appealed greatly to their audiences.
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Rico and Alex were not, as it is often the case with clown duets, brothers: They were uncle (Alex) and nephew (Rico). The Italian Briatore dynasty had originated with Giuseppe Briatore (1831-?), an acrobat on horseback from Mondovi, Piedmont, in Northern Italy. Giuseppe was part of the equestrian troupe of the D'Angolys. He married in the D'Angoly family: He and the equestrienne Quinta D'Angoly had six children, Angelo, Enrico, Giovanni, Adele, Pietro, and Alessandro (the future Alex). Giuseppe ran his own circus for a brief time, and then created a troupe of acrobats on horseback with his five sons, which was the first to perform a three-man-high column standing on two horses. (The trick will be improved later by the amazing Fredianis, who performed it on a single horse!)
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[[File:Bugrimova_Poster.jpeg|right|300px]]A former competitive track and field champion with a taste for dangerous stunts, Irina Bugrimova (1910-2001) was a true legend of the Soviet circus. She had performed as a circus daredevil and a high-school rider before finding her true calling as a very successful lion trainer. She became a major star of the Soviet circus in an era where female cat trainers were unheard of in the USSR: For a time, Bugrimova's only competition in that domain was Margarita Nazarova (1926-2005), another Soviet circus legend, who began performing in the cage fourteen years after her!
  
The Briatore dynasty later produced several excellent jugglers, on horseback as well as on the floor&mdash;including the tempo juggling act of The D'Angolys, which performed with great success before and after WWII. Youngest son of Giuseppe and Quinta, Alessandro (Alex) was born in 1870 in Russia, where the Briatores were performing then, and made his debut in the ring five years later in Berlin; he made his clowning debut at the same time with the celebrated Tony Grice, escaping from the pocket of the latter's extra-large trousers! Although he would remain an acrobat and equestrian for many years to come, Alex had made his very first steps as a clown in good company!
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Irina Nikolaevna Bugrimova (Ирина Николаевна Бугримова) was born March 13, 1910, in Kharkov in Ukraine, which was then part of the Russian Empire. Her father, Nikolai Bugrimov, was a professor of veterinary medicine. Her mother, Aleksandra, came from an aristocratic family: Her father, Iosif Iosifovich Fedorovich, had been Admiral of the Russian Fleet. Alksandra had a strong artistic bent; she was an accomplished pianist, an artist, and showed a great interest in the art of photography. Irina was the fourth child of Nikolai and Aleksandra Bugrimovi, who, coincidentally, bore the first names of the Russian ill-fated Tsar and Tsarina; it is just as the Bolshevik revolution started that Irina, who was seven years old, began studying music and ballet at the Kharkov Opera studio.
  
The Briatores toured extensively all over Europe with their equestrian act, which was at the time one of the most famous bareback riding acts in the business. Enrico Briatore, the future Rico, was the first son of Alex's older brother, Angelo (?-1886), and his wife, Bertolina, née Ghiza, an equestrienne. (They had a second son, Angelo, born in 1885, who died in infancy in Paris in 1886.) Enrico was born on October 26, 1881, in Birmingham, England. His father died unexpectedly just before his second son's death, in 1886; Bertolina was just twenty-four and Rico was five. It is at this tender age that, like his uncle Alex before him, Rico began to work in the ring. He soon joined the family's equestrian act, and he also became a remarkable tumbler and acrobat.... ([[Rico y Alex|more...]])
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A restive child, Irina became interested in competitive sports; she played hockey, did speed skating, and competed in track and field, from long and high jumps to discus, spear, and weight throwing. She won many competitions and, in 1927, became the weight throw Ukrainian champion, and in 1928, she won the same title for discus. Meanwhile, as a teenager, young Irina often helped her father when he treated horses and wild animals at the state circus of Kharkov, and she thus became familiar with animals of all sorts&mdash;as well as with the circus world, for which she developed a keen interest. ([[Irina Bugrimova|more...]])
  
 
==New Essays and Biographies==
 
==New Essays and Biographies==
  
* [[Rico y Alex]], Clowns
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* [[Irina Bugrimova]], Lion Trainer
* [[Barbette]], Trapeze and Tightwire Artist
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* [[Mikhail Shuydin]], Clown
* [[Pablo Noel]], Animal Trainer
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* [[Yury Nikulin]], Clown, Actor, Circus Director
* [[Big Apple Circus]], History
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* [[Serge]], Circus Chronicler and Illustrator
* [[Gerry Cottle]], Circus Owner
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* [[Alexandre Palisse]], Clown, Circus Owner
  
 
==New Videos==
 
==New Videos==
  
* [[Michael_Video_(1975)|Michael]], Juggler (1975)
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* [[Rokashkov_Troupe_Video_(2003)|Rokashkov Troupe]], horizontal bars (2003)
* [[Naraeva_Video_(2017)|Vlada Naraeva]], Hand Balancer (2017)
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* [[Darkan_Video_(2019)|Darkan]], strap act (2019)
* [[Bertram_Mills_Video_(1959)|Bertram Mills Circus]] at Olympia (1959)
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* [[Slavina_Video_(2007)|Slavina]], aerial straps/tissu (2007)
* [[Linon_Video_(1962)|Linon]], Comedy Bouncing Rope (1962)
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* [[Super_Silva_Video_(2011)|Super Silva]], aerial daredevil (2011)
* [[Shandong_Risley_Video_(2010)|The Shandong Acrobatic Troupe]], Risley Act (2010)
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* [[Red_Sails_Video_(2020)|Red Sails]], double tissu (2020)
  
 
==New Oral Histories==
 
==New Oral Histories==

Latest revision as of 20:39, 16 May 2022

Welcome! ✫ Bienvenue! ✫ Willkommen! ✫ Добро Пожаловать!
Bienvenida! ✫ Benvenuto! ✫ 歡迎 ! ✫ Vítejte! ✫ Καλώς ήρθατ ε!
Üdvözöljük! ✫ Добре Дошли! ✫ Welkom! ✫ Ласкаво Просимо!
Velkommen! ✫ Tervetuloa! ✫ Дабро Запрашаем! ✫ Välkommen!

Circopedia was originally inspired and funded by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.

In The Spotlight

IRINA BUGRIMOVA

Bugrimova Poster.jpeg
A former competitive track and field champion with a taste for dangerous stunts, Irina Bugrimova (1910-2001) was a true legend of the Soviet circus. She had performed as a circus daredevil and a high-schoolA display of equestrian dressage by a rider mounting a horse and leading it into classic moves and steps. (From the French: Haute école) rider before finding her true calling as a very successful lion trainer. She became a major star of the Soviet circus in an era where female cat trainers were unheard of in the USSR: For a time, Bugrimova's only competition in that domain was Margarita Nazarova (1926-2005), another Soviet circus legend, who began performing in the cage fourteen years after her!

Irina Nikolaevna Bugrimova (Ирина Николаевна Бугримова) was born March 13, 1910, in Kharkov in Ukraine, which was then part of the Russian Empire. Her father, Nikolai Bugrimov, was a professor of veterinary medicine. Her mother, Aleksandra, came from an aristocratic family: Her father, Iosif Iosifovich Fedorovich, had been Admiral of the Russian Fleet. Alksandra had a strong artistic bent; she was an accomplished pianist, an artist, and showed a great interest in the art of photography. Irina was the fourth child of Nikolai and Aleksandra Bugrimovi, who, coincidentally, bore the first names of the Russian ill-fated Tsar and Tsarina; it is just as the Bolshevik revolution started that Irina, who was seven years old, began studying music and ballet at the Kharkov Opera studio.

A restive child, Irina became interested in competitive sports; she played hockey, did speed skating, and competed in track and field, from long and high jumps to discus, spear, and weight throwing. She won many competitions and, in 1927, became the weight throw Ukrainian champion, and in 1928, she won the same title for discus. Meanwhile, as a teenager, young Irina often helped her father when he treated horses and wild animals at the state circus of Kharkov, and she thus became familiar with animals of all sorts—as well as with the circus world, for which she developed a keen interest. (more...)

New Essays and Biographies

New Videos

  • Rokashkov Troupe, horizontal bars (2003)
  • Darkan, strap actAerial act performed hanging from a pair of fabric or leather straps. See Aerial Straps. (2019)
  • Slavina, aerial strapsPair of fabric or leather straps used as an apparatus for an aerial strap act./tissu(French) A double piece of hanging fabric, generally made of silk, used for an aerial act. (See also: Fabric, Silks) (2007)
  • Super Silva, aerial daredevil (2011)
  • Red Sails, double tissu(French) A double piece of hanging fabric, generally made of silk, used for an aerial act. (See also: Fabric, Silks) (2020)

New Oral Histories

Circopedia Books

A Message from the Founder

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