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A parody of a circus

Parody as a genre has recently become widespread. It became popular both in satirical literature and on the stage.
In the photo: Yu. NIKULIN and M. SHUIDIN perform the Reprise ” Log ” Dozens of satirical authors parody poets, ridicule individual unsuccessful and clumsy lines of poetry. Parodists-entertainers copy the voices and manner of performance of famous actors of drama, cinema and their colleagues on the stage. There is a parody in the circus arena.

The audience love the parody of the genres of the arena. In the Leningrad Tyuz, for example, for many years, the performance “Our circus”has been going on with constant success. It is watched with pleasure by both children and adults.

When the 80th anniversary of the Pencil was celebrated, at the anniversary evening in the Leningrad circus, almost the most fervent reception was met by the performance of pupils of the orphanage No. 31, who showed a parody scene “Trained lions”.

However, we will not talk about a circus parody at all, but about the one that is born directly on the arena. Parody has long been a form of circus humor and satire. The most widely used this genre covert clowns. And their very appearance, as we know from the history of circus art, was due to parody, for its sake. The slow-moving uniformist, the unsuccessful uniformist, who was the complete opposite of the brisk and agile comrades in the ring, contained parodic elements in this alone. Later, this uniformed man separated from other servants of the arena, lived an independent life in the performance. His repertoire, at least in the early stages, consisted mainly of parody scenes, often having the character of improvisation in the eyes of the audience.

Funny clowns copied by other performers, athletes, riders, acrobats. He came out with fake weights, then tied to a stick with a rope that was supposed to depict shambarger. “Focus!”Oh, Yes,” he said, and repeated the conjurer’s manipulations in an exaggerated manner. It was both funny and lucid. Because the satirical “copy” was given immediately after the “original” and the audience could compare how correctly the Jolly Mockingbird grasped the typical features of the circus act that had just been performed. The power of true parody is to convey the typical, the characteristic. Instant recognition is a specific feature of this genre.

Gradually, the parody ceased to be content with purely circus themes. She went beyond them. Parodies of other forms of art were also performed. So, the old clown’s entree “Othello” is a caricature of theatrical cliches, on the show.

Time leaves its mark on parody, on its topicality. This is natural. If the parody of “Othello” or “hamlet” mocked the theatrical routine, in our days circus mockers choose other targets for satirical arrows. Here is one example of such parody.

In the 50s, the foreign multi-part adventure film “Tarzan”was very popular. The clown B. Vyatkin, then working at the Leningrad Manege, made a witty and evil parody of this “action movie”. Half-naked, smeared with walnut paint, in an apron made of dog tails, Vyatkin — Tarzan ran out from behind the scenes and, hanging on the rope, flew across the arena. He, uttering a loud war cry, exactly the same as the notorious screen hero, dragged a huge doll by its long hair, in the guise of which the features of the heroine of the film were transmitted. A parody of “Tarzan” worked perfectly. She debunked the film and its “passions”, making it purely circus techniques. Success together with B. Vyatkin was rightly shared by the then artistic Director of the Leningrad hospital, G. Venetsianov. He immediately drew attention to the script application brought by the artist Ya.Rivosh, quickly implemented the production, enriched the scene with many funny details, Director’s findings.

Masters of laughter in the circus certainly use the genre of parody. It is always present in the repertoire of the clown V. Mosel. Clowns often make fun of ballet cliches. This is how Moselle does it: he portrays a “prima ballerina” who is ecstatically performing the Adagio from “Swan lake”with her partner. Its heroine is already quite Mature, in age, a person. But how she flutters, imagining herself charming, graceful, light! And suddenly-boom! Under a loud drum beat, the “ballerina” loses her balance, makes a “cascade”, that is, simply speaking, falls, but immediately jumps up and continues the dance as if nothing had happened, without a shadow of embarrassment. The parody that Moselle demonstrates debunks complacency, pomposity, and self-conceit-traits that are alien to true talent

A similar scene is also in A. Nikolaev He strengthened its parody sharpness by the fact that his “dancer” is hidden under a tutu… automobile tire. Its cushioning properties are perfectly played by the performer. In General, it should be noted that Nikolaev quite often resorts to parody in the arena. With making fun of ballet clichés were successful G. G. Makovsky and Rothman. There were also parodies of Western westerns in their repertoire. But one of the most witty, the most subtle, was the scene of a football match. The clowns ridiculously copied the entire course of the match, especially-the stormy frenzied jubilation after each goal scored.

Parody has always been present in the repertoire of Yu. Nikulin and M. Shuidin.one of their best works in this regard should include the scene “Log”. The famous film Director G. Roshal, speaking with a review in “Pravda”, wrote: “I must admit that for a long time I have not laughed literally to tears at any program in the circus or at any movie Comedy, as it was with me when the excellent scene with”the log” was shown.

“Log” – a caricature of how the film is made. When you watch this scene, you can’t help but remember K. Chapek with his sharply satirical cycle “How it’s done”, in which he gave, in particular, a parody image of “kinokukhni”. Nikulin and Shuydin in its own way developed this theme.

The parody performances of A. Rodin, A. Marchevsky and some others deserve attention. Rodin is particularly drawn to musical parody. I remember the parodic and eccentric figures he created, including a violinist who plays with such passion that his violin begins to smoke and eventually catches fire. A significant creative event at the arena was the parody “Singing bison”. I must say that Rodin owns many circus genres, and this is extremely important for a clown-parodist.

Parody on the arena has a wide range. It is a weapon in the Arsenal of not only clowns. Parody is also used in other forms of circus art. When a comical figure appears among aerialists or tournament players, slender, beautiful, and graceful, it is, of course, a parodic antipode. But how the room benefits from this! Parody is successfully present in the illusion numbers and in the comic training. Elephants ,for example, “parody” Gypsy dances, dogs-a football match, monkeys-musicians. In the illusion, the parody beginning is usually introduced by comedians. In fact, their purpose is largely to parody the work of illusionists, removing the veil of “mystery”from it. But, in addition, there may be parodic illusionary tricks. Thus, E. T. Kio once demonstrated the “American gentleman’s Head” trick. It was a parody pamphlet.

Acrobatics is also not alien to parody elements. They are contained, in particular, in the acrobatic composition “Musketeers”, shown by “Circus on ice” (team # 1) and is a circus interpretation of an episode from the novel by A. Dumas. A funny brawl over the “letter from the cardinal”, a carriage that combines both the carriage and the throwing Board, from which acrobats jump, representing fencers, images of the Musketeers themselves and other characters-all this turns the number into a fun, lively scene that speaks of the great possibilities of parody in the circus.

The parody in the arena a lot of problems. It is necessary not only to “imitate”, “debunk”, “bring down from a pedestal”, but also to better emphasize the complexity of a particular circus act, hotel trick. In short, parody is an important component of a circus performance. But it should be remembered that always, in all cases, it must be justified, meaningful. In other words, the parodist needs to clearly understand why and what exactly he jokes, caricatures.

Unfortunately, not all performers remember this rule. As a result, the parody loses its fighting qualities. Worst of all, a genre designed to fight the stamp sometimes turns into a stamp itself. For example, a parody of the “old circus”became popular. As soon as some circus genres of almost a century ago are not ridiculed-both professionals and Amateur participants. Perform with such a parody and acrobats-eccentrics under the direction of A. Andreev. Their number is called “in the old circus”.

All the artists have that they should have in such a case — both fake mustaches and striped tights. But the question arises: what do performers make fun of? The appearance of ancient athletes? Their postures, which, indeed, were sometimes exaggerated? However, is this enough to say that this is a caricature of the old circus? The parody picture grasps only some purely external moments, and the main thing — depth, satirical sharpness — it is deprived. If we consider that exactly the same scenes, as we have already said above, have appeared recently too many, it sometimes seems: we are facing a parody of the same parodists. This is how genre inflation occurs. The arrows of parody fly past. You can’t even tell that they’re missing their target. For the goal is, in fact, not there…

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