Rodion Troupe

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Russian Barre

By Dominique Jando


The Rodion Troupe (2008)
Russian-born Valery Rodion holds a master degree in Sports Gymnastics, and participated in international gymnastics competitions before switching to the circus—as many Russian gymnasts do when their competitive career comes to an end. He joined the legendary Russian Barre act of Nikolai Zemskov.

After a while, Valery decided to create his own act, and began a search for a female flyerAn acrobat that is propelled in the air, either in a flying act, or in an acrobatic act (i.e. teeterboard). who could replicate or improve upon what did Igor Boitsov, the remarkable flyerAn acrobat that is propelled in the air, either in a flying act, or in an acrobatic act (i.e. teeterboard). of the Zemskov Troupe (who has since taken over the act after Zemskov’s death in 1995). While he was trying new flyers at Circus Nikulin, Valentin Gneushev, the creator of Zemskov’s act, observed from the wings.

Gneushev gave his opinion, generally doubtful or frankly negative on each of the girls. Then he noticed Anna Gosudareva, a very talented former gymnastics European champion, and suggested her to Valery. The new act thus came to shape, with the addition of another, male flyerAn acrobat that is propelled in the air, either in a flying act, or in an acrobatic act (i.e. teeterboard).. The Rodion troupe made its debut at Circus Nikulin, and then went on to perform extensively in Europe, and in Mexico.

In 2005, the Rodion Troupe participated in the International Circus Festival of Monte Carlo, where Anna became the first woman ever to complete a quadruple somersault on the Russian Barre. This extraordinary feat, as well as the rest of her work, won the Rodions the Gold Clown award, the highest international honor in circus arts.

The Rodion Troupe returned to Monte Carlo in 2006, invited to participate in the extraordinary star-studded circus gala organized in tribute to the late Prince Rainier III of Monaco—arguably one the most extraordinary and unforgettable circus show ever staged. The Rodions made an American appearance in the Big Apple Circus production of Play On! two years later, in 2008. Eventually, Anna Gosudareva retired from performing, and Valery Rodion teamed up with Dmitriy Murashev and the flyerAn acrobat that is propelled in the air, either in a flying act, or in an acrobatic act (i.e. teeterboard). Zhong Zhiwei to create a new Trio Rodion. They participated in the International Youth Festival of Circus Arts at Circus Nikulin in Moscow in 2014, where they won its coveted Golden Elephant.

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