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Trials and tribulations of a Russian traveling circus

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Oxana Koudzinova, 30, performs and manages Circus Koudzinov, a family-run circus with about ten performers.

Oxana Koudzinova, 30, performs and manages Circus Koudzinov, a family-run circus with about ten performers.

© RIA Novosti . Diana MarkosianOxana Koudzinova, 30, performs and manages Circus Koudzinov, a family-run circus with about ten performers. Koudzinova was born into the circus life and started performing at the age of 5.
Trials and tribulations of a Russian traveling circus - Sputnik International
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Oxana Koudzinova, 30, performs and manages Circus Koudzinov, a family-run circus with about ten performers. Koudzinova was born into the circus life and started performing at the age of 5.
© RIA Novosti . Diana MarkosianCircus Koudzinov is a traveling band of men, women, children and animals that races between Moscow's suburbs, playing a show a day for two weeks or more throughout the summer.
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Circus Koudzinov is a traveling band of men, women, children and animals that races between Moscow's suburbs, playing a show a day for two weeks or more throughout the summer.
© RIA Novosti . Diana MarkosianThe family circus first raised its big top a year ago. With its tiny budget, the troupe has only managed to profit from a few of its performances in its first season.
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The family circus first raised its big top a year ago. With its tiny budget, the troupe has only managed to profit from a few of its performances in its first season.
© RIA Novosti . Diana MarkosianA circus artist relaxes in front of his trailer just before the morning matinee performance.
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A circus artist relaxes in front of his trailer just before the morning matinee performance.
© RIA Novosti . Diana MarkosianAt the circus, performers enjoy little privacy, 8 months out of the year they live in such proximity to their neighbor that personal space often becomes an issue.
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At the circus, performers enjoy little privacy, 8 months out of the year they live in such proximity to their neighbor that personal space often becomes an issue.
© RIA Novosti . Diana MarkosianAn hour before the first performance, artists prepare by donning make-up, putting on noses or welcoming the crowd. The owners of Circus Koudzinov say artists must juggle the role of a performer and stage hand.
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An hour before the first performance, artists prepare by donning make-up, putting on noses or welcoming the crowd. The owners of Circus Koudzinov say artists must juggle the role of a performer and stage hand.
© RIA Novosti . Diana MarkosianInside her trailer, Oxana Koudzinova, checks her make-up before her big number.
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Inside her trailer, Oxana Koudzinova, checks her make-up before her big number.
© RIA Novosti . Diana MarkosianThe circus troupe is on the road eight months out of the year. Oxana's modest home comes equipped with a cozy eat-in kitchen, a small flat screen
television and a cubicle-like bedroom, which she shares with her husband and daughter, Evelina.
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The circus troupe is on the road eight months out of the year. Oxana's modest home comes equipped with a cozy eat-in kitchen, a small flat screen
television and a cubicle-like bedroom, which she shares with her husband and daughter, Evelina.
© RIA Novosti . Diana MarkosianThroughout the performance, children and adults shrieked, gasped, guffawed and gazed in wonder. The owners of Circus Koudnizov say an average of 100 people, one sixth of the tent's capacity, come to see the circus.
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Throughout the performance, children and adults shrieked, gasped, guffawed and gazed in wonder. The owners of Circus Koudnizov say an average of 100 people, one sixth of the tent's capacity, come to see the circus.
© RIA Novosti . Diana MarkosianBackstage, the props, costumes and even animals are all piled up. Oxana Koudzinova, 30, and her dancing dogs, patiently await their turn.
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Backstage, the props, costumes and even animals are all piled up. Oxana Koudzinova, 30, and her dancing dogs, patiently await their turn.
© RIA Novosti . Diana MarkosianA flying gymnast in action at the Circus Koudzinov matinee performance.
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A flying gymnast in action at the Circus Koudzinov matinee performance.
© RIA Novosti . Diana MarkosianThe high-diving dogs are part of the main attraction in the circus.
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The high-diving dogs are part of the main attraction in the circus.
© RIA Novosti . Diana MarkosianThe Russian circus is known to be a family business. Oxana Koudzinova, 30, says she expects her daughter to be a performer and uphold the family's name.
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The Russian circus is known to be a family business. Oxana Koudzinova, 30, says she expects her daughter to be a performer and uphold the family's name.
© RIA Novosti . Diana MarkosianA performer's life can be abundant in excitement but tragically bereft of time alone. Oxana shares a moment of privacy with her daughter, Evelina, who has not yet reached her second birthday but is already being groomed for the circus life.
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A performer's life can be abundant in excitement but tragically bereft of time alone. Oxana shares a moment of privacy with her daughter, Evelina, who has not yet reached her second birthday but is already being groomed for the circus life.
© RIA Novosti . Diana MarkosianThe troupe travels to a new location every two weeks. It takes about three hours to set up the tent and another two and a half to pull it down. Travel -- by truck, motor home and converted bus -- is invariably at night, more than occasionally depriving the entourage of sleep.
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The troupe travels to a new location every two weeks. It takes about three hours to set up the tent and another two and a half to pull it down. Travel -- by truck, motor home and converted bus -- is invariably at night, more than occasionally depriving the entourage of sleep.
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