Circus solidarity: Ukrainian performers find home in Hungary

Young Ukrainians who fell in love with circus and were forced to flee Russia's war , are now learning how to juggle on trapezes and twirl on aerial silks.

26 March 2022 Saturday 12:58
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Circus solidarity: Ukrainian performers find home in Hungary

Around 100 Ukrainian students of circus arts aged 5-20, with their adult chaperones, managed to escape the troubled cities of Kharkiv or Kyiv under Russian bombings.

The neighboring country of Hungary was home to fellow circus lovers who extended support and solidarity to the refugee. They took them in and allowed them to continue their training in Budapest.

"It's hard for me to train when I don't have the opportunity." I want to perform in circus shows," stated Ira Maiboroda (16-year-old Kharkiv acrobat who arrived in Hungary two weeks ago. "When I was in Kharkiv I dreamed about being in the European circus... Now I'm here and it's really joy."

The Capital Circus of Budapest and a Hungarian school of acrobats organized for Ukrainian students to visit the capital after Russia invaded Ukraine. They would receive food and accommodation.

Gabor Kovacs is the director of the Baross Imre School for Acrobats Budapest, which is part the effort. He said that students need to be able to continue their training.

Kovacs stated, as acrobats leapt through the air in a circular arena, "We believe that the creative work of their students can greatly contribute to making everyday life a little easier."

The Budapest circus hall is home to a training center where the dancers, jugglers, and contortionists warm up and stretch.

Ann Lisitska (13-year-old performer hailing from Kharkiv) said that although she was initially devastated by having to leave home and interrupt her studies for her studies, she felt more at ease when the welcoming reception she received in Hungary from the circus community helped her through the trauma.

"I didn't know what it would be like. She said that she was upset when she left because my home studio was gone, and some of my relatives had been left behind. "I didn’t expect to feel so welcomed and it to be so pleasant.

Performers must be physically fit and can sometimes fall from high places, as they swing on silks or ropes.

Kovacs, school director, said that even losing a few days training can lead to a rapid decline of a circus artist’s skills.

He said, "A week or so off work is the same as six month off work for a professional athletic,". "We must create daily practice to allow these artistic children to work and grow continuously.

The Capital Circus of Budapest hosted a two-night circus show this week. All proceeds from the show will go to circus equipment for Ukrainian performers, Kovacs stated -- a sign of the strong connections within the circus community.

He said, "The circus has always been about bringing circus artists and performers from different countries together to create a show." "The circus has always been an art form that promotes solidarity in this way," he said.




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