Vyacheslav Polunin: no boundaries should divide life and art

The “International cooperation in the sphere of circus art and street theatre” took place on December 3 at the V St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum. Participants discussed issues of popularizing circus art and other challenges of modernity.


“We see problems and we see solutions, - said Dmitry Ivanov, general director of Russian State Circus company. – We managed to straighten out the system of circus conveyer: we expanded the geography of tours, now our program includes many previously “blocked” cities. Just a little while ago we negotiated with Turkey and Japan, so now the Russian State Circus Company will return to the international arena. We have a lot to look forward to, because at circus festivals our artists perform very well and often win gold and silver”.



“Our main idea is the theatrialization of life, spreading art to every sphere of our lives, - said people’s artist of Russia Vyacheslav Polunin. – It’s not art we make, it’s something that changes the daily routine. People should learn to live in a way, which turns each and every thought and action into art. Festivals are an opportunity to show ourselves, communicate and find inspiration – this is the formula for cooperation. This can’t be just a technical operation, this is a way of life. No boundaries should divide art and life”.


Natalia Tabachnikova, deputy artistic director of the “Slava Polunin international theater and cultural centre”, told about what she considers the current objective of circuses of the world:


“The history of active international cooperation started back in 1989 at the “Caravan of Peace” festival, when theatres of different countries went on a world tour as a single united group. And the current objective is clear: there should be joint festivals of street theatre, circus and contemporary art, which are not competitive in nature. Circus art is available for everyone, therefore it easily comes out into the streets”.


Besides that, Tabachnikova pointed out that the problem of educational and information support of circus events is still crucial. The system of international master-classes would be a good idea, but we also need to publish books and provide media coverage of the circus life. Particularly, this year organizers of the “Circus and street theatre” have prepared the “Jugglers. History in faces” book for publication.


“There are few writers and critics in the sphere of circus art, - Tabachnikova continued. – Each year we try to publish something, but literature in Russian is practically non-existed, we usually translate a lot. We create websites, dedicated to different problems, and provide online broadcasts of our performances and information about the circus art and our events. We want to share our knowledge”. Participants decided that it is necessary to create a TV-program, because many people know very little about contemporary circus.


“Circus isn’t just what people remember from childhood and youth, it develops”, - said Tabachnikova.