Uzbekistan Travel

Uzbekistan - Circus


Tashkent photos

From the ancient times various genre and styles of the national circus training, including the circus-taming, clowns, rope-walking, and others existed in Uzbekistan. Development of the Uzbek national circus is linked to equestrian sporting military exercises, national games, as well as way of life of the local population.

Traditional performances included the art of rope-walking ('dorboz' - 'the rope-walker'). The rope-walkers demonstrated complex maneuvers on the rope using various tools such as walking sticks, plates, and trays attached to the feet, as well as closed eyes. Also, the horse-riders performed complex exercises, athletes and wrestlers competed to be best of the best.

During national festivals, fairs and bazaar shopping days, illusionists and magicians, as well as various street performers demonstrated their art. Clowns ('qizikchi and 'maskharaboz' - 'the one who makes others laugh, i.e. 'clowns') performed both on the rope and among public. They used to stage various scenes employing topics of the national folklore. It should be underscored though, that this kind of national arts and folklore has not die out yet in the country. Hither and thither nationwide, the national artists perform, thus, preserving the originality and uniqueness of the Uzbek national circus.

There are number of national groups of rope-walkers throughout the nation. Almost all of them are said to have learned their art from their fathers and fore-fathers, and have gone through the national school of the rope-walking - the so-called school of "usta-shogird" ('master-student').

Several dynasties are known to be famous in the circus industry not only in Uzbekistan, but also abroad. They are: the rope-walkers Tashkenbaevs, the strongmen Zaripovs, and horse-riders Khojaevs.

Besides, there are other famous masters of the contemporary Uzbek circus - comic actors A. Yusupov, M. Yusupov, F. Sharifbaev, U. Zaripov, and F. Karabaev, the animal tamer - F. Yunusov, the rope- walkers led by Olim and Murod Tashkenbaevs, the horse-rider - K. Zaripova, the illusionist - T. Tojiboev, the tamer of horses and camels - B. Majidov, and others.