The joys of buildings that look like flying saucers. This is the 1970 State Circus in Krasnodar, Russia spotted by @ When we think of a circus in Soviet terms we are thinking about a network spread across a vast country. Pre revolution the Circus was a familiar entertainment (maybe someone can help here ...was it just accessible to the elite?) In 1919 the Circuses came fully under state control, in 1957, they were managed by the ‘Soyuzgoscirk’, the bureaucracy operating the Centralized Circus Administration. It’s been noted that the style which featured acrobatic skill, jugglers, dance and music as well as traditional clowning inspired Cirque de Soleil (minus animals) and was very different to a Barnum style circus which was very ‘western’ in spirit. This is an exert from a NYTimes 1988 article about the Moscow State Circus’ visit to America. It should be noted that whilst the overseas audience thought they were seeing the Moscow State Circus, in fact the acts were chosen from across Russia. The article gives the flavour of the level of skill, daring and sheer entertainment - though clearly animal rights played no part at all and one wonders how today’s audience would even view the spectacle. The article mentions the talent “They include the Flying Cranes, aerialists capable of quadruple somersaults, whose performance, balletlike, conveys a narrative; Nikolai Pavlenko and his 17 Sumatran tigers, & Tamerlan Nugzarov, horses and horsemen from the Caucasus region. “Riders are dragged at full speed along the ground. Then this horse jumps through a hoop that has knives sticking out of it. The juggling bear act is known as the Zolkins, named for the trainers Vyacheslav Zolkin and Svetlana Mikityuk, who are husband and wife. Lifetime circus performers, they've been doing this particular routine for a decade, since Vyacheslav, once a tightrope walker, broke his back & needed something else to do. Antipod, or leg juggling, is a family thing; Svetlana's father, apparently, was the first human to master it” The ‘intellectual’ clown Nikulin received the country’s highest honours Hero of Socialist Labour and the Order of Lenin for his wartime bravery.