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Santa Cruz Amusement Park Welcomes Moscow Circus

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July 08, 2007

There is plenty to celebrate at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk this summer. While the historic Looff carousel turns 96 and the Giant Dipper roller coaster turns 82, the world famous amusement park turns 100-years-old.

In addition to art exhibits and other special events to help celebrate the centennial, all are invited to come enjoy the rich tradition and humor of the Moscow Circus for free at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk's Beach Bandstand.

With its rich tradition and enviable reputation, the Moscow Circus continues to be the standard by which all other circuses are judged. Experience one of the crown jewels of Russia's rich cultural heritage, and an hour of unforgettable excitement.

The Moscow Circus and the Beach Boardwalk will offer two free performances daily (Sundays - Thursdays) from July 8 through August 16. Performances on Sundays will be at 12 noon & 6 p.m.; on Mondays through Thursdays performances will be at 12 noon & 3 p.m.


Sasha Vosk - Sasha was born in Kiev, and has been involved in show business since age 11, learning the art of mime from his uncle. Moving to Moscow at 14, he performend and studied mime, stand-up comedy, and acting throughout his teens.

Over the years Sasha continued performing, adding the circus arts to his act. He spent two years in the Air Force, where his job was entertaining the troops throughout the former Soviet Union.

When he was released from service and decided that the circus was his love, Sasha was accepted to the Moscow College of the Circus and Variety Arts, home of the famed Moscow Circus. After performing for over 15 years, and seeking a wider audience, more freedom, and greater opportunities, Sasha immigrated to the United States.

He and his wife Lena (another former Moscow Circus performer) have been creating and producing successful American tours of the Moscow Circus since 1998.


Daria Bogdanova - Born in Penza, Russia, Daria attended a local Arts High School, Circus on Stage. She became interested in the circus during a very promising career as a rhythmic gymnast. She eventually quit gymnastics and joined the circus.

In recognition of her talent, Daria was invited to participate in a program celebrating the 125th anniversary of Penza's Circus. As a student she won the highest award at the First Youth Creativity Festival which recognized her as the brightest young star on the Moscow Circus horizon.

Ms. Bogdanova toured the US in 2005 and 2006.

Sergey Toropov - Born in Arhangelsk, Sergey began his professional career with the Moscow Circus in 1995, after Sergeygraduating from the State College of Circus in Moscow.

He performed his gravity-defying hand-balancing act all over Russia, appearing at some of the best known Russian venues, such as St. Petersburg's Music Hall, and Nikulin's Old Moscow Circus.

His foreign engagements include a 3-year contract with "Circus-Circus Hotel and Casino" in Las Vegas and tours of the U.S. in 2005 and 2006" as well as extended tours of South Korea, Belgium and Canada.

Olga Legenda - Born in Toroza, Ukraine, Olga began her circus training at the age of 7 when her mother, a director of the Circus Studio "Hope", introduced her to the art of the circus. Olga

The training she received there makes her a very versatile performer, equally strong in 3 different genres: hoola -hoops, acrobatic duo and aerial silks.

Her big break came in 2004 in Kiev, Ukraine, where she and her partner won a Grand Prize in the country's toughest competition "Young Circus of Ukraine" for acrobatic "adagio" routine. Since then she has earned gold and silver medals in major competitions in both Russia and Ukraine.

Many international tours followed, including a very successful engagement in Dollywood, TN. in 2005, and a California tour in 2006.

Olga Legenda & Andriy Kharitonov
Andriy Kharitonov - a native of city Stahanov, Ukraine, Mr. Kharitonov has been a circus acrobat since 2005.

Before teaming with Olga, Andriy had a very successful career in sports: in 1999 he became "Master of Sport" (one of Russia's highest ranks) and in 2002 won a bronze medal at the All-Ukrainian championship.

As a circus performer he has toured Germany and Israel.

Evgeny Vasilenko. The son of circus performers, Evgeny was born near Krasnodar. As a high school student he split his time equally between English studies and the art of circus, introduced by his father, a head of a local Circus Studio.

EvgenyThe training made him a perfect candidate for the State College of Circus, Russia. His talent manifested itself as an outstanding balance acrobat.

In addition to his circus skills Evgeny is a very experienced dancer with skills ranging from classical to Latin, and from jazz to break dance.

Since his graduation from the College of Circus in 2002, Vasilenko joined Russia's most prestigious and one of the oldest circuses - Nikulin's Old Moscow Circus.

He has been on a number of international tours, including a 2005 tour of the USA.

Tetyana Petrova - Born in Doneck, Ukraine. At the age of 12 Tetyana started her training at the local Circus Studio "Hope", and within a year had developed 2 excellent acts which allowed her to join Moscow Circus' tours to Taiwan, Sweden, Egypt and Poland.

In 2006 she took first place at the International Festival of Circus Arts "Flowers of the Planet."

Vladimir Tichonov - "Tishka" was born in Podolsk near Moscow. A graduate of the State College of Circus and Variety Arts in Moscow, he Vladimirbegan his professional career with the Moscow Circus in 1967 as a lead acrobat in a group act "Giant Steps," staying with them until 1977.

In 1970 he became a diplomat of the All Russian Circus Competition, and in 1972 was awarded the title "Laureate of All-Russia's Circus Festival."

His big career move came in 1995 when he was promoted to a clown - his true calling.

Numerous international tours followed: Poland, Canada, USA, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Argentina, Colombia, France, Holland, Belgium, Germany, England, India, Syria and Indonesia.

Twin brothers Vladimir and Anatoliy Shustov were born in the suburb of Moscow. They started their circus studies in an amateur circus studio and completed them in the State College of Circus and Variety Arts in Moscow in 1977. Vladimir and Anatoliy Shustov

After joining the Russian State Circus they won numerous circus competitions both in Russia and abroad.

They became laureates of the All Russian Circus competition, and of the World Festival of Circus Artists in Santiago, Chile. In Monte Carlo (the world's major competition) they were awarded the Jury's Special Prize, at the prestigious French competition in Massy, they won the President's Special Prize.

This outstanding team has toured the following countries: Germany, Czechoslovakia, Vietnam, Laos, Hungary, France, Italy, Chile, Great Britain, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Spain, the US and Indonesia.

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