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As early as 1847, Czar Nicholas I had ordered the creation of the world’s first circus school, and built the first Russian state circus — which after many alterations and some major political changes would become the Kirov Theatre. Half a century later, in 1919, Lenin signed a decree nationalizing the Russian circus, which was followed in 1927 by the creation of the State College for Circus and Variety Arts, better known as the Moscow Circus School. It will become a model not only for all the circus schools of Eastern Europe and Asia, but also for the circus schools that have mushroomed since the 1970’s around the western world. More significantly, it will produce some of the greatest circus artists the world ever saw, making them the standard by which, today, all circus acts are measured.
Outside the St. Petersburg Circus building, the first building dedicated for the circus. Built circa 1897.
Lazerenko, the Clown leads Bolshevik March 1916