For a few weeks there has been a free show at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Over from Russia came the Moscow Circus. The circus was fascinating and I aim to share some of it with you here.

Anytime you have an opportunity to see a show like this I highly recommend that you go. Not only is it fun and exciting, but it is inspirational and a chance to learn from some very talented performers.

Before we begin, I want to thank Sasha Vosk for allowing me to put the pictures I took on this website. He is responsible for managing and promoting the show, so I also extend my thanks for just putting on the event.

Adagio Hand to Hand BalanceFirst up was the Acrobatic Duo, also known as Adagio, Olga Legenda & Andriy Kharitonov.

A beautiful mix of flexibility, strength, and acrobatics. A couple of the pictures showcase this as they perfectly sequenced from one move to the next.

Everyone in the act, with few exceptions, performed at least a basic handstand (and I have no doubt that all of them could). This goes to prove just how much of a necessity this skill is in all acrobatic arts.

The second photo is actually easier than a regular planche. The counter-balance of the second person makes you take much less of a forward lean. However, the added weight does make this stunt require a pair of strong arms.

Two Person Planche

Contortionist BridgeThe second act was a contortionist, Daria Bogdanova. We can all work to become more flexible but to do this sort of things requires lot of hard work, and good genetics.

I am a fan of bridging which has given me a flexible back and a strong neck. I can get my chin to the floor but I certainly can not get my chest on the ground. I have no desires to be able to sit on my own head but I am very impressed by the ability to do so.

Flexible HandstandI really like the picture of this handstand. Having a flexible back is a useful trait in hand balancing as it makes it easier. Notice how the upper part of her torso is actually parallel to the ground.

Having flexible legs is also a boon. She went from the splits into the position pictured her. By bending your legs or going into the splits you are effectively lowering your center of gravity which makes the balancing easier. Just be careful that you don’t throw your hips or arms out of the proper alignment when you do so.

Slack Wire Side PlancheThe next act was an interesting one that I had never seen before. A Slack Rope Equilibrist, Evgeny Vasilenko.

It only hung a few feet from the stage but it was loose making it much more difficult to balance on then a tight wire.

Slack Wire HeadstandHe did some very interesting moves on it including, a cartwheel, the splits, standing on it as it was swinging, and much more. He even did a handstand on it while it was swinging, but unfortunately I did not get a good picture of that trick.

In the pictures you can see a headstand and a twisted one arm half or elbow planche.

Hula Hoop HandstandOlga Legenda from the Adagio act also did Hula-Hoops. Personally, I can spin one around my waist but have never even tried anything more advanced than that. It takes a special kind of skill to keep those things moving especially when you have multiple hoops going all at once.

In the handstand you would not only have to pay attention to staying balanced, but keep your foot moving in precise circles.

Getting many hoops moving at once and making sure that none of them hit each other or stop takes a very precise skill.

Hula Hoop Back BendWhat had to be the most unique act on the bill was Limbo, by Tetyana Petrova. Yes thats right a limbo specialist. Flexibility applied in a very specific way.

I definitely would not want to go up against her at a party. As a matter of fact, I can’t even recall the last time someone had limbo at a party.

In the picture here she is going at a low level, but that is not all. There are sharp blades both above and below her. A slip would be painful!

This is an important point. Simply watching her limbo lower a lower might be entertaining but not as much as it was, because she added some sort of effect each time. Her finale involved going uder the bar set on top of wine bottles. But to add to the effect it was lit on fire.extreme limbo

Intense LimboAny time you put on a performance, whatever it may be, by adding some sort of dramatic flair you can greatly enhance the appeal to the audience.

Continue on to Part 2 –>

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