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Index – Culture – They gave a warm welcome to the artist, who almost died two years ago

Index – Culture – They gave a warm welcome to the artist, who almost died two years ago

I felt a little trepidation when I sat down to show the last performance of the capital’s circus, because Steppe scent I had many preconceptions because of the title. I didn’t want to see another production that emphasized “the great Hungarian” and sacrificed quality on the altar of building national identity. Many films, series and theater performances have made this mistake in the past period, I was confident that this would not be the case with the circus. Fortunately, the show managed to tell the story in a way that makes what we saw beautiful, shows values, goes back to the roots and doesn’t overdo it. Looks like it might be.

The performance evokes nomadic steppe peoples, untamed fantasy landscapes, a world steeped in myths and historical traditions, almost a fairytale world in today’s eyes, which, given its closeness to nature, is still more real than the present confined to concrete.

We dream in one language

Turkmen, Uzbek, Mongolian, Azerbaijani, Hungarian and Ukrainian artists simultaneously showed the beauty of their cultural roots and our common past. A way of life when we sleep in tents, wake up with the first rays of the sun, and get our bearings from the stars.

This way of life resonates with the circus presence at several points.

Tents set up, plenty of travel, and like migratory peoples, the circus performers – who perform in a different country almost every season – expand their knowledge and cultural customs with each new day and each kilometer they leave behind, while preserving and proudly promoting their country’s traditions.

The performance begins with a drop, as a sort of Magyarized Peter Pan, the kids overmaneuvering, as they fly, only with rocking horses. We later find out that they are the children of Ukrainian artists who were accepted by the Budapest Grand Circus a year earlier. But not only were they provided with ‘food and entertainment’, the children could also maintain their aim of entertaining and dazzling the audience with their talent.

These dreams also appeared in the performance. Clarity is when we still see the future as a blank canvas, and our imagination can only limit the colors and shapes we want to fill it with.

Children always return between art productions, and take over the stage with modern horses (bikes). At some point in the performance, they also show their own talent, and although they are all highly skilled, it is a little blond boy who stands out from the crowd of children, who has such an aura that you can sense immediately: we welcome a future circus star.

Strength, endurance and beauty

The first artist production is the Kazakh weightlifting duo, Duo Korotin hand by hand susceptible. Slow and steady postures, unconscious confidence, and seemingly effortless but hard muscular work set the mood. Following them, Mongolian circus performers stood in the spotlight. The very flexible artist girls stirred up the Hungarians shooting backwards, with the little difference that they stood on thin sticks, looked back, proved that they could also aim and shoot with their feet, and cruelly executed the balloons hanging on the target board. As the spectators descended from the bridge because of what they saw, they literally descended a spiral and cut themselves as if heaven had blessed them with liquid bones.

Let’s learn to be flexible so that our spine remains straight

Gyula Maka, the circus manager, learns the lesson.

Those who still believe that pole dancing is an exclusively women’s sport may have never seen a Chinese pole production by Kasai Benjamin and Potty Gordon, students of the Paros Emery Artist Training Academy. The boys employed tricks that primarily required raw strength with technical choreography.

The performance music was particularly enjoyable throughout and blended very well into the drama. Although there were many jazzy elements that I didn’t understand at times, I didn’t mind at all. Also, there was a production in which the sound evoked the background music for motivational videos – with the difference that there was a real performance behind what was seen, so they could set a real example. I still haven’t processed the high wire production of Triple Breath members from Uzbekistan.

This is an unfathomable number, but when two boys walk through the rope without insurance, and a girl argues over the device clamped in their mouths, and they don’t even budge … A few days ago we could not walk on the bench twenty centimeters high.

We finally figured out “who takes love through”. It just turned out not who, but who.

All three artists received such huge applause that you could hear it from the moon (but definitely from Brussels). So the next production was not easy, but Samir Abbasov did not bother. The artist from Azerbaijan came up with the trophy balancing figure. At first, I didn’t think that anyone would be able to reach the motivational threshold that I had climbed five minutes ago, but Abbasov clearly succeeded. I wanted to go back to high school to tell my physics teacher: What he teaches doesn’t exist. The Azerbaijani artist showed that success is not only about dancing on the edge of a knife, but also on the tip of a knife.

Probably, every waiter envied the talent of Kazakh charlatans, who could fill a dozen tables in a restaurant in one minute. This was followed by throwing sceptres and boards on the ground and in the air, many times during the evening we found ourselves asking the poetic question in astonishment:

Since the horse is one of the most important farm animals for the steppe peoples, equestrian artists naturally brightened up the evening. The Kazakh horse team led by Genghis Urmanbetov showed confidence and harmony between horse and rider, which really sparked an era when people had not yet locked themselves in a sterile environment.

There were so many highlights of the night that it’s hard to single out just one, and since everyone else is outperforming, it’s not appropriate. But you must. because Steppe scentSky Angels, like Kristina Vorobyeva and Rustam Usmanov, presented in In 2017, aerial gymnasts from Uzbekistan were honored by a professional jury at the 41st Monte Carlo International Circus Festival, but they experienced not only heights, but also depths.

Because they performed in Amsterdam in 2020, when Usmanov’s tooth broke as he held himself and his wife aloft. They fell ten meters. The guy was slightly injured, his love was seriously wounded, and at first the doctors said that she could no longer walk, but after three operations and months of difficult rehabilitation, Vorobyeva not only got back on her feet, but decided to return to the heights.

Showing amazing endurance and willpower, Christina confidently, but with a slight limp, entered the arena of the capital’s circus. However, in the air, they presented the same productions with a graceful nature that made them world famous. Getting back into riding is one thing, but entrusting your life with a set of teeth again is another level entirely.

Their not-so-serious performance was rewarded with a standing ovation.

Steppe scent It was a beautiful, fun and uplifting performance. In this production, the big circus in Budapest also showed that the circus is about more than just hair gels, sequins, show items, loud “hips” and perfectly practiced technique. Rather, it is an art form that touches a person in a different way than theatre, dance, film or music.

(Cover photo: Tamás Kaszás / Index)