Tuesday, June 17, 2008

KARANDASH: Reprise, circa 1950s

Video courtesy of Raffaele de Ritis

The legendary Soviet clown Karandash in the 50s, in one of his reprises at the Moscow Circus.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mikhail Nikolayevich Rumyantsev (Russian: Михаи́л Никола́евич Румя́нцев) (10 December 1901 - 31 March 1983), better known under his stagename Karandash (Russian: Каранда́ш which means pencil), was a famous Soviet clown. He was a People's Artist of the USSR, and was the teacher of the famous Russian clowns Oleg Popov and Yuri Nikulin.

Starting his career in the circus arena as the imitator of Charlie Chaplin, Mikhail Rumyantsev then abandoned it for, or rather, transformed that part into his would-be renowned image of Karandash always accompanied with his hallmark Scotch-terrier named Klyaksa (which means blot).

He enjoyed immense popularity with the Soviet audience and often gathered full houses all over the country.

In 1960, he toured South America with the Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard.

Altogether Karandash performed in the circus for 55 years and last appeared in the ring just two weeks before his death.
The Moscow Circus School was named after him.

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