Circus art in Belarus traces its roots back to the late 19th century. But before that the country had lots of European traveling circuses or show groups.
The first professional circus performance in Belarus was given in Minsk at the Trinity suburbs by Carl Hinne and his Austrian circus troupe in the summer of 1853.
The first Belarusian circus building was opened in Minsk on 16 November 1884. The 800-seat Circus of the Nikitin brothers was made of wood. World famous artists such as Scipione Ciniselli, Anatoly Durov, Ivan Poddubny, Ivan Zaikin, the Nikitin brothers, Ferroni, Tanti, Hooke and Truzzi performed in this circus.
In 1930 a 1200-seat circus tent was erected in place of the wooden building in what is now the Gorky Park. During the Great Patriotic War the circus was destroyed but was reconstructed on the same site in 1946.
The stone-built circus in Minsk was the first circus building of its kind in the Soviet Union. The decision to build this circus was made in 1952 to acknowledge the contribution of Belarus to the victory in the Great Patriotic War as well as to mark the post-war revival of the Soviet Union.
Construction started in 1954 and was completed in 1958. The Belarusian States Circus was the largest and most beautiful circus that could host any kinds of performances – from water shows to aerial acrobatics shows. The building is a remarkable example of Stalinist architecture.
The opening night took place on 11 February 1959, which is now marked as the official birthday of the contemporary Belarusian circus. Back then the first Belarusian circus group was created. Boris Kabishcher became the first Director of the Minsk circus, he stayed on for 20 years.
A copy of the building was build in Kiev, opened in November 1960.
Since 1996 the Belarusian State Circus has been headed by Art Director Tatiana Bondarchuk, the People’s Artist and the Honored Artist of Belarus.
From 2008 to 2010 the Belarusian State Circus underwent full-scale renovations, which made it one of the world and Europe’s best arenas. The building includes an auditorium with interchangeable circus rings, a second auditorium with a rehearsal ring, a ballet room and comfortable animal stables with its own in-house veterinary clinic. The interchangeable main circus ring features a parquet dance floor, a ring floor that can light up and a rubber arena where trainers can work with animals.
In 2013 Vladimir Shaban became the new head of the Belarusian State Circus. Director, winner of national and international festivals Vytautas Grigalyunas became its Art Director.
The Belarusian State Circus is the only circus building in the world that is located on the central avenue of the countries capital.
Belarusian State Circus
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