Circus Solidarity: Ukrainian Performers Find Home in Hungary - CircusTalk

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Circus Solidarity: Ukrainian Performers Find Home in Hungary

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Swinging on trapezes, juggling rings or twirling on aerial silks, young Ukrainians with a passion for the circus who were uprooted by Russia’s war are now training in Hungary.

Around 100 Ukrainian circus art students from age 5 to 20, with their adult chaperones, escaped the embattled cities of Kharkiv and Kyiv amid Russian bombings.

In neighboring Hungary, fellow circus devotees extended help and solidarity to the refugees, taking them in and allowing them to continue training in the safety of the capital, Budapest.

“I can’t stand it when I can’t train. I just want to perform in circus shows,” said Ira Maiboroda, a 16-year-old acrobat from Kharkiv who arrived in Hungary more than two weeks ago. “When I was in Kharkiv, I dreamed of being in the circus in Europe … I’m here and I’m really joyful.”

After Russia invaded Ukraine, the Capital Circus of Budapest along with a Hungarian school for acrobats arranged for the Ukrainian circus students to come to the capital where they would be provided with food and accommodation.

Gabor Kovacs, director of the Baross Imre School for Acrobats in Budapest which is part of the effort, said that in addition to having their basic needs met, it is important for the students to resume their training.

“We think that the creative work and continuation of their studies can greatly contribute to making their daily lives a little more carefree,” Kovacs said on the sidelines of a rehearsal as acrobats leaped through the air in a circular arena.

In a training facility near the Budapest circus hall, the dancers, acrobats, jugglers and contortionists stretched and warmed up.

Ann Lisitska, a 13-year-old performer from Kharkiv, said that while she was initially heartbroken when she had to leave her home and interrupt her studies, the welcome she had received by the circus community in Hungary helped ease the trauma. … Link to Full Length Article at New Times.

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