Svetlana Gololobova

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Hand Balancer

By Dominique Jando

Svetlana Gololobova
Svetlana Gololobova was born June 17, 1964 in Chimkent, Kazakhstan, at a time when that country was part of the Soviet Union. At age 14, she went to the State Circus School of Tashkent, Uzbekistan—which was the closest to her hometown—where she received a general training in all circus disciplines, showing exceptional abilities for hand-balancing.

In 1981, she was selected to join a group of exceptionally gifted students from Tashkent who were sent to the prestigious State College for Circus and Variety Arts (a.k.a. Moscow Circus School) in Moscow. There, she specialized in hand-balancing and was invited to work with Violetta Kiss, one of the College’s most talented and celebrated teachers. (Along with her brother, Aleksandr Kiss, Violetta had performed one of the most extraordinary juggling and balancing acts in the history of the Soviet circus—and of the circus anywhere.)

Not surprisingly, in 1985, Svetlana graduated with a remarkable hand-balancing act titled Circus Princess, which she performed to the music of Emmerich Kalman’s popular operetta. In 1988, she participated in the All-Union Circus Competition of the USSR—arguably at that time one of the most difficult circus competition in the world—where she received the third prize. She subsequently worked all over the former Soviet Union, and with touring units of the Moscow Circus in Bulgaria and Austria.

In 1991, Svetlana Golobova was featured at Moscow’s Circus Nikulin, on Tvetsnoy Boulevard, and then went on tour with the Moscow Circus in Peru. On her way back, the troupe made a halt in Canada, where several performers, including Svetlana and her husband, Yury, defected. She settled in Montréal, Québec, and eventually became a citizen of Canada. There she began to work for various circuses, including Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Parasol, and the Tarzan Zerbini Circus, and from 1993-1998, she taught hand-balancing at Montréal’s National Circus School. One of her former students is the award-winning hand-balancer Samuel Tétrault.

Since 2007, Svetlana has become a U.S. resident. She has performed one version or another of her amazing hand-balancing act, and sometimes her aerial tissu(French) A double piece of hanging fabric, generally made of silk, used for an aerial act. (See also: Fabric, Silks) act, at SeaWorld, Florida; with Cole Bros. Circus; the Big Apple Circus; on cruise ships; and in many special events. Her son, Nikita (b.1998), continues in his mother’s footsteps, and does a hand-to-handAn acrobatic act in which one or more acrobats do hand-balancing in the hands of an under-stander. balancing act with his father, Yury.

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