Backstage of the Russian circus: one trainer and “four tons of kindness”

The Yuri Nikulin Circus on Tsvetnoi Boulevard in Moscow is one of the oldest circuses in Russia. More than 60 artists regularly perform on the arena of this circus. Among them, famous Russian elephant trainer Andrei Dementiev-Kornilov.

This handler represents the fourth generation of the renowned Kornilov circus dynasty, whose history stretches back more than a century. He first entered the arena aged 12, when renowned Soviet actor and clown Yuri Nikulin assigned Andrei the role of audience volunteer led down to the arena. Now he continues his father’s work, treating elephants like members of the family.

The performance staged by Andrei Dementiev-Kornilov’s troupe is breathtaking. It involves five Indian elephants. These smart, good-natured, and amusing animals exhibit a wide variety of inimitable tricks.

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