From Russia to China, the survival of a circusAdd to Lightbox Download
In Russia ''we were not needed anymore'', says Anjia, 23, a contortionist by profession. Like many of the artists working in a circus that last summer pitched its tent in the shadow of Beijing National Stadium, she comes from Perm, a city in the Urals that had been selected by Stalin as a heavy industry hub and that went bankrupt in the falling of the USSR. "The circuses are in bad conditions, money is tight and we all were doomed to be recruited by night clubs...''. So, 10 years ago the manager Galina, 55, chose to try her luck in China, the other communist empire that survived by shifting to capitalism. Here, she met the survivors of a circus based in Deyang, a city in Sichuan Province, later destroyed by the violent 2008 earthquake. As their peers from Russia, also the Deyang artists were facing an uncertain future in the fast modernizing China. Managed by the State, the Deyang Circus was agonizing and had just been bought by a private group. Today the victims of the USSR dissolution - the Russians but also the Kazakh and the Uzbekh horse-riders - and the victims of the transformation of China are working together in the new Deyang Circus, that travels all around China. The show goes on..Galina, 55, from Perm, Russia. Started to train at 15. After university she worked in a factory as an engineer. But her hearth, she says, was with the circus. 10 years ago she was invited to perform in China, where she still lives, travelling around in an old caravan. " in Russia it was difficult, you end up to work in clubs where people gets drunk..I could'nt take it anymore". Galina works with dogs and cats, but she owns a couple of monkeys too..
- Susetta Bozzi
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China; Beijing; Susetta Bozzi; acrobatics; animals; animals training; arena; artists; backstage; cages; caravan; circus artists; clowns; communist empire; contortionists costumes; Deyang Circus; Deyang; doves; gymnast; horse-riders; hula hoop; jugglers; Kazakh; lions; magicians; manager; National Stadium; night clubs; performers; Perm; Russia; Russians; show; Sichuan Province; Stalin; survived; surviving; tamers; tent; troupes; trunks; Urals; USSR; Uzbekh
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- From Russia to China, the survival of a circus