Travelling Circus

No more loud music. Actors are hidden behind the curtain. A tent circus is empty. But it only seems to be – life never quiets down here.

Arena is the first thing seen by a circus child. They fall in love, fight and even pay their last tribute to the dead here. The author of these pics was lucky to come and see a real and unique circus wedding. And of course it was celebrated at the arena. It differed from a regular wedding only in one thing – its modesty due to plain conditions of a mobile circus. The first impression is that these circus people are similar to the others. They indeed are, but barring one feature – their devotion to their occupation.

It may sound ironic, but our hard times have caused one useful thing for circus – moved casual people from here. The ones who have left are the real circus fanatics, who continue working for beggarly payments. It’s even embarrassing to say how much these newlyweds get for their job but still they have no thoughts about leaving the arena. If asked a silly question about what the circus is, they’ll answer without any hesitations: “This is life”.

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There’re no miracles in circus. It’s a favorite proverb of Shatirov brothers. Twins Alexander and Arkadiy have 7 performances during the show – hose riding, air gymnastics and whip performance, animal acts with a bear and with monkeys, pole acrobatics and a performance with constricting snakes. Practically they can cope with the whole show and they almost do. They seem to be “ironmen” and unique persons. But there’re no miracles in circus. All this is just a commonplace, backbreaking work – rehearsals, repairing accessory, solving small and sometimes idiotic problems. For example, Alexander’s wife, who is a magician, has no possibilities to show her special trick when a regular rock “gives birth” to various objects and spring water. Let’s keep this trick’s secret but briefly speaking to work it out a midget is needed. One “small person” who worked with her went on a drinking bout and they are looking for another partner for this trick.

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We are used to consider circus an easy genre and if a poster says “A unique show with predatory apes – hamadryas baboons” we will just smile to this “promotional gimmick”. But indeed Shatirov brothers are the only ones in the world who work with male baboons. These are real beasts and it’s impossible to totally tame them. This gregarious animal can knock a bull or even a lion down. So brothers have more than enough scars on their bodies.

In addition twins have one extremely talented macaque named Gosha. One show with him at a night club brings 500 Euros. But still the brothers prefer working out the whole show at circus almost for nothing. And again there’s only one explanation: it’s their life.

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Our strange country, which is itself a kind of a circus, has the most “difficult” circus spectators. In Europe people coming to a circus show are already in the mood of joy. And we hardly open ourselves to this kind of entertainment. But in such cases it’s used to say “That’s not our fault, that’s because of such a life”.

These circus people live in their own environment of their trailers. That’s not a surprise why they marry each other but not people “from outside”. They are the only ones who can understand this life. And no one else can reach its depth and gamma. That’s why they are always sincere when saying “Circus is our life”.

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Photo credits: 1

11 thoughts on “Chapiteau”

  1. OMG i’ve never seen so much poverty and such depressing sights in my entire luxurious life. I feel sorry for those poor animals, especially the pooh bear and the dogs 🙁

  2. Love is Wind.Maybe you cant see it but always you can feel … my god my eyes cant believe this pic…. This blog is amazing. It’s not only interesting but also enlightening. I have not come across such an interesting article for a long time. photographers like you still exist. Congratulation on your amazing work.

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