OLD CIRCUS. KHARKIV 2010-2013

“Old circus” building with the metallic cupola is considered by many citizens to be abandoned. Only a few curious know that even these days it is filled with unique life flow: Ukrainian Creative Management of Circus Training.
There are 80 children in the Circus. Their parents are not circus performers, training – is not a tribute to the family tradition, it is. Each one is expected to have a talent, which is to be brought to the big circus arena, though not less than ten years of persistent training. According to statistics, only 30 percent of students are to graduate the school.

Grikke Circus has seen better times. When built in 1909 – long before communist era – it belonged to Grikke and was one of the first stone circuses in the Russian Empire. Once historical center, now weaves of narrow industrial streets concealing the old circus building, which surprisingly shelters one of the most outstanding schools in Ukraine.

The cupola is unique – it remains stable due to strong metal strings. Preparing for training and performances in winter children wear jackets and try to run on the cold stone floor not to catch cold.
Sometimes officials come. They wait for building to fall to build something “useful” in its place.

The building itself deserves a story. It has undergone few reconstructions, but enough only to remain standing. A big part of the Circus is not usable and closed for visits – holes in walls, no floors, no heating system for winter – the building is slowly falling apart. It has last authentic sawdust arena in Europe. Nobody ever renovated cupola, nobody knows what it’s made of, so the secret of the astonishing acoustic remains unresolved. There is only one small dressing room for everyone.