Learning the ropes of Moscow circus a matter of time and application

FLYING HIGH: Viktor Martisevich and Sasha Narieka practise the Russian bar with Tatsiana Paltaukaya (centre). Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0626sgcircus1

FLYING HIGH: Viktor Martisevich and Sasha Narieka practise the Russian bar with Tatsiana Paltaukaya (centre). Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0626sgcircus1

APART from the lingering aroma of popcorn and the presence of performing ponies, not a lot has changed for the performers of the Great Moscow Circus.

Viktor Martisevich, who is part of the circus’s Group of Risk, joined the circus almost 20 years ago after spending his younger years as a competitive acrobat in Belarus.

“You start really early at five years old, but you also finish early - by 20, you are already old for that sport,” he said.

“I was nearly 18 when I first visited the circus and it was my friend who worked there - I couldn’t walk back out.”

Since becoming part of the circus, the 37-year-old has maintained a rigorous training schedule, starting at 8am and finishing performances at 11pm. 

“The typical life of a performer is like professional sport,” he said.

“I for a run a few kilometres and then I come to practice because I am a performer in three acts and they all take one hour or two hours.

GALLERY: BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE GREAT MOSCOW CIRCUS

“They’re all different skills and you can’t do them at the same time.” 

Martisevich specialises in the Russian bar, which he often performs with his wife, Katsiaryna.

The routine involves two performers balancing a bar between them, launching a third into the air and catching them - the stunt requires careful co-ordination and strong legs.

“It was created by a Russian fellow 30 years ago and it’s my special love - it’s very high-skilled and can look easy, but it’s really dangerous,” Martisevich said.

Between his performing responsibilities and other jobs like selling tickets, he has found time to build a new act with the help of Orange tradespeople, but it remains a closely-guarded secret. 

The Great Moscow Circus will complete its Orange season on Sunday before moving to Dubbo.

danielle.cetinski@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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