History


There are a lot of circus elements observed in the national olden times games and events. There were most popular different jokers, acrobats, mims, animal trainers. There was working only one unique academy called „bear academy“ in the eastern part of Europe ( currently it is Belarus), where was being trained bears for European curcuses.

 

There was enstablished static circus in Vytautas park of Kaunas in the begining of 19th century and later, in the end of 19th century, in Lukiskiu square of Vilnius city. There was showed a water show by Denis Godefroy (France) in the Vilnius, in 1892.  It was a second show in the European history. This circus also has been visited by brothers Anatoly and Vladimir Durov. Also, these circuses have been visited by different famious foreign troupes. The most famious lithuanian artists were: Vladislavas Janusevskis (Kadyr Guliam) 1886–1970, Ivanas Radunskis (1872 – 1955), founder of musical clown duet ‚Bim – Bom‘.

 

Lithuanian artists became more popular after the World War I. Juozas Jankauskas, Karolis Pozela and Jonas Ramanauskas were first athletes, who apeared under  greece and romane influence. Also apeared rope-walker Mykolas Vilentchikas (Ritchardas Lenshas), bicycle figurist Jonas Mejeris, fakir Antanas Pilkauskas (Ben Ali), the first lithuanian artist, who was participating in the Chicago‘s exhibition of 1934 and who was tradegically died in 1936, near Alytus (Lithuania) city. This time several small troupes have been founded.

 

The first lithuanian circus called ‚Ausra‘ was founded by Pranas Gudauskas (Klaipeda) and Petras Tarutis (Panevezys) in 1929. There was more than ten different types of artists in this troupe, which was going on tour to villages and cities. In 1930, there was enstablished ‚Ausra‘s‘ first tent in Klaipeda. Some trained animals apeared during this time. During 1930th there were several new traveling circus founded in Lithuania: ‘Patrimpas’, ‘Menas’, ‘Graþuolë’, ‘Karado’, ‘Roma’, ‘Kongas’, ‘Tarzanas’, ‘Foks’, ‘Oktavio’ etc.

 

In 1994, Jonas Ramanauskas founded circus called ‚Cirkas at the scene‘. Later it was renamed to ‚Lithuanian circus‘, and later on – ‚Vilnius‘. After 1950, the troupe was belonging to USSR‘s circus union. They were traveling through USSR republics, Poland (1963), Romania (1972). In the 1980th the troupe fell to pieces. Famious artists are: Danute Bereishiene and Stasys Bereishius, Vita Cerniauskiene and Zigmas Cerniauskas (travelled to Austria, Mexico, Brasilia, Argentina, Japan), Ricardas Cipurna, Valentinas Dikulis, Lidija Gaiciuniene ir Arvydas Gaiciunas, Alfonsas Gineika, Otilija Kaluzeviciene ir Kazys Kaluzevitchius, Albinas ir Vytautas Kazlauskai, Antanas Klièius, Stasys Paþerinis (travelled to Japan), Virginija Pikciunaite – Putrienë (travelled to Japan), Algis ir Viktoras Putriai (travelled to Finland), Petras Pipiras ir Jadvyga Ramanauskiene (travelled to Italy), Jonas Ramanauskas, Vladislava Variakojiene (travelled to Finland), Boleslovas Zabukas. A lot of artists are working for the foreign circuses.

 

In 1995, Petras Variakojis, also known as artist of ‚Vilnius‘ circus, founded the first lithuanian travelling circus called ‚Baltijos cirkas‘ (Baltic circus). Shows are shown in the shapito tent, Vilnius concert and sport hall and Kaunas sport hall. There is lithuanian circus museum constructed in Kaunas. Graves of famious circus-art artists also are here.  A new generation of artists are grown: Jurgita Bujanauskaite, Albertas Chazbijavicius, Pavelas Isakovas, Jolanta and Raimondas Pazeriniai, Darius Scesnulevicius, Itana Uzupyte and Raimundas Janusevicius. There are amateur circus working in Alytus, Klaipeda and Radviliskis. In 1999, there was founded the club of illusionists in Siauliai. Jonas Ziemelis is a present of that club.

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