The Great Moscow Circus was a night of death-defying stunts, jaw-dropping acts, and a magnificent display of the best of circus.
Walking in, the impressive tent was indeed a sight to behold, especially with the attention to detail, such as a stall selling carnival staples of candy floss and popcorn. We were invited to attend the red carpet gala, and saw celebrities donned in a chromatic display of costumes that matched the mirth and excitement of the atmosphere. It was certainly a night of glitz and glamour, as many rocked glittery heels and flamboyant dresses.
The night began with The Catwall Trampoline Troupe’s performance by guest stars from Canada and the USA. Relying on the large trampolines on both sides of the wall, they began to walk across the giant frame, effortlessly vaulting on and off in perfect synchronicity, resembling jumping jacks as they sprung up lightly off the trampoline. It was the perfect warm up act, and an excellent segue into the next part of the show – the introduction of the ringmaster, Stanislav “Stas” Knyazkov. Clad in coattails and a top hat, he wielded his cane expertly as he stepped into the ring, booming with confidence and an enthralling baritone.
If there was one thing that was testament to the skill and experience of The Great Moscow Circus, it was Ringermaster Stas’ unusual mastery over his audience. Beginning with a pantomime alongside his clown partner, Vasili “Vas” Trifonov, the jovial duo brought a rousing beginning to the rest of the evening, entertaining the crowd with a lineup of simple, yet effective actions – miming a golf swing, and having the audience clap on command through the use of drum beats from a live circus band. Audience interaction was a very commendable part of the show: the circus made sure to use effective comedic interludes, engaging music, and other antics such as the bouncing of a giant inflatable ball among the audience to create and sustain suspense between acts.
The acrobatic troupe emerged twice over the course of the evening. Dressed in Scottish quilts, they displayed amazing coordination in a series of stunts – from the expert twirling of hula hoops, to skipping with multiple ropes while balancing on another performer’s shoulders, as well as leaping through hoops in a flurry of non-stop acrobatics. Their ease in performing spoke volumes about the discipline and skill they had.
The Double Giant Wheel was one unforgettable act from the evening. Hailed as a “gigantic stainless steel monster” by the effervescent Stas, four lithe acrobats perched on top of two interlocking double wheels made of stainless steel, and performed a succession of death-defying stunts that had the audience at the edge of their seats in trepidation, as they somersaulted, leapt, and walked across the wheels, ducking in and out with effortless ease.
Other highlights of the night included the flying duo Katya Rubtsova and Anton Markov, who brought a lyrical and almost sentimental note to the evening. Merging Russian ballet with acrobatics, the agile couple demonstrated pliancy and grace with each turn, spinning and swinging elegantly through the air. Fans of The Greatest Showman will remember the scene with Phillip Carlyle (Zac Efron) and Anne Wheeler (Zendaya) doing their aerial magic; Katya and Anton’s act did not disappoint, as their lithe bodies arch above the ring in a commendable display of elegance and skill.
However, what stole the show was definitely the aptly named Globe of Death. A metal monstrosity consisting of – you guessed it – a massive metal sphere, this act comprised motorcyclists revving up and driving within the globe at breakneck speed. At one point, up to 5 motorcyclists were contained in the sphere, eliciting gasps of excitement from the crowd with each revolution within the globe.
The Great Moscow Circus show was one of great suspense, impressive stunts, daring acts, and truly one for the memories. Displaying the best of theatricality and skill, it is also commendable that the show is animal-free. Major props to them for upholding progressive circus practices!
Don’t miss your chance to watch this amazing repertoire of fascinating acts from all over the world – The Great Moscow Circus runs from now till 9 December 2018. For more information, check out the official website at: http://www.great-moscow-circus.com/.
Photos by Brandon Neo and Jerron Chua of the DANAMIC team.