“Yo That Bear Has Swag”: My Night at the Russian Circus

*Please note the native american horse in the right hand corner of the video*

United Russia is apparently the political party that keeps on giving, at least in the Kinnonen household. Last week, Valya informed me that we had 5 tickets to the Russian circus that Friday, free of charge, courtesy of United Russia. The circus? Hmm, I used to love the circus and Russia is known for its circuses, so why not? I may not agree with all of United Russia’s political policies but I wasn’t about to pass on the circus.

And let me tell you– the Russians know how to put on a show.

Bears driving motorcycles, not even bothering to use the handlebars? Check. The bear having some serious swag? Double check.

Kangaroos engaged in ultimate fighting competitions? Check. Genuine cockiness displayed by Kangaroo? Double check.

Techtonicking? Cats riding dogs? Goats dressed in wedding dresses? Ladies in thongs parading around the arena filled with young children and their grandparents? Check!

Total and utter Russia-ness? Double check.

When we first entered the theater we were a little hesitant. The smell of animals and children was overwhelming and the theater looked like it hadn’t been renovated since ’41. I am pretty sure that James, Lindsay and I were the oldest people there who did not have children or grandchildren. My doubts soon disappeared though as I began what may be one of the funniest/most absurd nights of my life. A lot of the acts would probably not be allowed in the states. Case and point the following video:

It may be short (I think about 2 seconds before my iPhone died) but please note the herd of goats hanging out in the aisle of the theater. Halfway through the “goat act”, the goats decided to improvise and took off running for the audience. The animal trainers quickly ran after them but not before the entire goat herd had congregated in the aisle, terrifying small children and generally concerning parents. We couldn’t help but laugh hysterically. The whole atmosphere was already so absurd that it didn’t seem out of place for them to lose control of their goats.

The routine before the improvisation:

If you ever find yourself in Russia and have a free evening, I highly recommend you visit the circus. The Ringling Brothers got nothing on Russia.


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**These pictures aren’t very good but I forgot my camera and had to use my iPhone**


P.S. The Russians love bears. They even teach them how to play hockey.


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