Circus report: Moscow Circus
- Report, with spoilers galore.
I went to see the Moscow Circus at Boon Lay last night. During
the 2 hours there's a surfeit of jaw-dropping stunts, but failed to
connect in the personal, classic circus way. No ringmaster too.
Overall though, I felt most of the acts were an improvement over
the last time they were here, and they seemed to mesh together
-I didn't appreciate the scantily-clad showgirls. They were
obviously skilled and had creative costumes, but is it really
necessary to put cabaret dancers in a show watched by so many
young kids and families?
-The ushers were abysmal, overzealously prying folks away from
particular seats when it was clear there wouldn't be anybody
sitting there otherwise. Sure those seats cost more but why
leave that huge void front centre? This is the CIRCUS, not some
-Overpriced snacks, no circus program. :( :( :(
That's about all the beef I had, the rest were fine.
Midway: Run by 7-11 (there was brand placement later in the
show); selling food & drink only, all overpriced ($3.50 a hot
dog?!), but well-organized and efficient. Lots of portaloos, all
Opening spectacle: preceded by Brazilian Mardi-Gras-style
showgirls with 5000% more material in their headdresses than
in their bikinis; a parade of all the performers leading to a sort of
human maypole formation, with a suspended lady acrobat as
the "maypole" and broad organza strips from her waist being the
maypole ribbons. Very pretty!
After that, vaguely in this order:
Clown act: Hot-air balloon with bungee. Pretty good, I liked how
they used the entire space for their midair theatrics by flinging
themselves out wildly into midair, or swinging and crawling in,
out and under the balloon basket. Surprise was at curtain the
"dame" was a man and the agile balloonist, a woman.
Cup tower balancing: preceded by Goldmember showgirls; done
by an Austin Powers lookalike and "lovely assistant" Felicity
Shagwell. Pretty impressive, with Agent Powers balancing higher
and higher towers of cups much taller than himself. He also
stacked pie plates thrown at him. Psst from my cheapo seat I
peeked in the Back Yard and saw the "Powers" guy is actually
bald. ;) It got me moved to another seat where I couldn't be a
busybody, but it was a better seat, so no problem.
Trick horse: preceded by "Seville Lady" showgirls; had the horse-
deprived audience ooh-ing and ah-ing. Bowing, sidling
sideways, rotating about the front legs and lying down, with a bit
o' dressage for good measure.
Aerial/Web: 2 ladies who must've done a good job judging from
the applause, but my view was impaired by poorly-placed can
lights, plus it went on a bit too long.
Carpet clowns: (appeared about 5 times in between acts,
especially when there was a lot of equipment to set up) a
character couple with the woman as society lady and the man
(an auguste) also a fantastic lightning caricaturist. Much funnier
than the last time the circus was here, and only one cheap trick.
Juggler: preceded by Carmen Miranda showgirls; the usual 3-
ball showers & cascades, then 4 balls, 5-balls-in one-hand(!),
rings (IIRC, three rings, and audience participated by throwing
rings like frisbees to be caught on performer's heck). Amazing 5-
ball mouth juggling too! I couldn't make out what the "balls"
were, they weren't spherical -- looked like oval orange-yellow
beanbags, but bouncier.
Whip tricks: preceded by Southern Belle showgirls; I really liked
this one and the one following, it isn't often we get to see this
here. Family act with cowboy (and tiny daughters) expertly
snapping whips, cutting off straws and ribbons; cowardly
Singaporean refused to enter ring to have straw cut from hand.
Rope tricks: preceded by cowgal showgirls in fuschia/red chaps;
lasso tricks, and at the climax a pinto pony stood calmly while
the "cowboy" standing on its back whirled an ever-expanding
lasso up, down and around them both. I wanna learn to do this!
Wheel of Death (or Space Wheel): Whoo! Something I've wanted
to see for a long time. Featuring the Alegria Brothers, two
deliriously cute guys in high-rise derring-do. Plenty of heart-
stopping moments. The audience gasped and screamed at
every appropriate moment. I consider this the highlight of the
evening. See http://www.veress.se/alegrias.htm for more info.
15-minute intermission: massive onslaught of butchers hawking
snacks, gewgaws, teddy bears in balloons, clown hats etc. with
a vengeance. Equally enthusiastic response from audience.
Dubsky's Football dogs: lots of dogs (mostly the bulldog kind) in
clothes, playing soccer with balloons from an ingenious balloon-
supply frame suspended above the ring.
Magic: Very smooth. Extremely slender blonde in glittery silver
outfit changes into two English Sheepdogs, brunette magician
changes into extremely slender blonde, brunette magician
disappears, reappears elsewhere; brunette magician conjures
up multiple slender blondes.
Handbalancing/Adagio duo: All on a table. The attractive
Caucasian-Chinese couple's pixie-kids also had a short turn.
Strongman act: preceded by showgirls in slick purple Trinity/
Matrix trench coats (and little else); Fakhridin Akhnazarov was the
brawny guy who handled massive weights like they were
cantaloupes. He first challenged various beefy guys in the
audience to lift the weights, giving the rest of the audience a
good chuckle when they invariably failed to do so. Having proven
the weights weren't plastic balls in disguise, Mr Muscles
proceed to swing them around, lift them with his little finger etc.,
before letting them crash onto a metal sheet. Pushed a nail
through a solid wood board. Ended by pulling a 7-11 lorry-load of
burly audience members across the ring.
Flying trapeze: preceded by showgirls (outfit indescribable,
some kind of rainbow cape with rods); here one feels keenly the
lack of a circus program, as I haven't been able to find out which
troupe this is. Three men and a woman entering in huge flame-
sequined cloaks. It was good while it lasted, but felt very much
leaner than the 1992 act. Ending was spectacular, with one of
the men doing a Geronimo into the safety net.
Finale: a simple affair, just the entire troupe coming out in order,
each wearing a Big Colorful Shiny cloak, with lively music &
I sat in place while the audience was filing out, hoping to feel
some lingering magic, but there was none this time. Show's
over, go home everybody.