Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Ease, elegance, even politesse distinguish the one-ring European circuses from our multi-ring hurly burlys. These qualities of graceful artistry in the Moscow Circus Wednesday night get roars of appreciation from some 10,000 young and old at the Capital Centre.
That was about five times the number who crowd into Moscow's purposely intimate ring; the Centre chopped itself about in half, with the curtained-off section serving as the circus' backstage area.
The marvelous artistry was apparent in small as well as spectacular ways. When Ludmilla Kanagina finished her exceptionally strong aerial opening act, she paid attention to the oncoming Zamotkins. It was a minute but graceful gesture, a contrast to the ways our multi-ring performers drift into darkness when the oncoming act takes over.
The Zamotkins, acrobats on stilts who leap from teeterboards, were worth the gesture.
One marvels not so much at the tricks themselves but at how anyone thought of evolving them. Marina and Larissa Petrova hang, twist, twirl and change places at the top of the ring. Valeri Guryev, of massive arms and shoulders, balances weights tossed at his neck, and ineffably graceful Ludmilla Golovko and Peter Lubichenko have thought of ways to balance balls with no hands.
Oleg Lozovnik's remarkable company has a new way for the old flying trapeze: They damp down the lights, wear tights that glow in the dark and succeed in impossible reacehs. Though high in the air, it looks like underwater ballet.
This is the fifth American tour and the fifth entirely different "Moscow Circus" arranged by Morris Chalfen, the Minneapolis creator of "Holiday on Ice," the Sol Hurok of his own international realm. It's a treat that will be here through Sunday, with performances Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 and 6 p.m.