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    CIRCUS PRINCESS CONTEST IN SARATOV

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    MOSCOW, March 1 (RIA Novosti) - The Circus Princess first all-Russia contest in Saratov (Volga area) gathered 70 artists, Noviye Izvestia newspaper says.

    All in all, 27 circus artistes competed for the crown in two age categories: 14-20 and 21-30. All genres were represented - animal training, acrobatics, air gymnastics, etc. Those participating were prizewinners of international contests and beginners.

    The contest jury was headed by circus star, general director of the Russian State Circus Mstislav Zapashny.

    Trapeze gymnast Kristina Bautina and juggler Kristina Kokorina won the first prizes worth 30,000 rubles ($1=27.7 rubles). The second prizes worth 20,000 rubles went to Maria Sarach for the Thumbelina performance and Yulia Vartanova for the dance on the wire. The third prized worth 15,000 rubles went to Anastasia Novikova for the performance with bears, Natalia Galiyeva for wiredancing and Yulia Samoilenko (juggling).

    "The Russian circus art originates from Saratov where the first stationary circus of the Nikitin brothers appeared in 1873," said Mstislav Zapashny. According to him, the winners will represent Russia at all international competitions throughout 2005.

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