Great Moscow Circus on Vernadsky Avenue is the largest circus in Europe. If you compare it with other theater venues in Moscow – it is quite young. Muscovites of the older generation remember that until 1970 there was only one circus in the capital – an old building located on Tsvetnoy Boulevard, it was loved by Muscovites and guests of the capital. But as time went on, the building became dilapidated and required major reconstruction. In addition, the auditorium could not accommodate all visitors. The size of the arena allowed the organization of only classical performances, and the troupe wanted and could do more. All this made the Moscow city administration think about building a new modern circus on Vernadsky Avenue, and it was opened in 1971.
Surprisingly, for 40 years in Europe, there has not been a single circus comparable in scale to the unique structure on Vernadsky Avenue. The height of the dome is almost forty meters. The auditorium holds three thousand three hundred spectators. The circus on Vernadsky consists of five arenas – light, horse, ice, water and illusion. Behind the scenes is another arena, the sixth, which is not visible to the audience. It is intended exclusively for rehearsals. The unique design of this structure allows you to create unusual performances, fantastic shows and colorful revues here. Correspondents who visited the opening wrote that it is “the best attraction in the world”. Not only Russian artists perform in the circus. Circus performers from China, Italy and many other countries consider it an honor to perform at least once on Vernadsky Avenue.
In the arena of this circus, not only talented and endlessly loving people work brilliantly, but also animals well known for their artistic abilities. Especially surprising is the ability of trainers to prepare for the performance of even animals that were previously not distinguished by artistic gift: even funny trained hedgehogs take part in the performances. During its almost half-century history, the circus on Vernadsky Avenue presented more than a hundred unique programs to the audience. It is interesting that many rooms today have no analogues in the world. They were highly appreciated at world circus festivals.
At the circus arena on Vernadsky Avenue, such stars as Pencil and Yuri Nikulin and Irina Bugrimova shone. The circus is run by “People’s artist of Russia” – Edgard Zapashny, and the position of Art Director is held by is brother Askold Zapashny.
In 2011, the circus turned 40 years old. In honor of the anniversary, a new program “Jubilee Express” was presented, where gymnasts, equilibrists, illusionists, jugglers and eccentrics were involved.