Cirque du Soleil. Even those who have never studied French know how this phrase is translated, or at least understand what it is about. The famous Circus of the Sun is a Canadian project whose artists amaze the audience with the inhuman capabilities of the human body! But there is another important point. There are no and never have been our four-legged brothers in the circus… The famous circus has come to Russia again. More precisely, his partner is Cirque Eloize. Chelyabinsk also entered the touring cities. This is the third visit by Canadian artists to the South Ural city. Traditionally (and with great pleasure) I go to performances and prepare material about the show of the famous troupe. There are more than enough topics for the article (just expanse for a journalist!) – costumes of artists, the fabric for which is bought exclusively in white and only then dyed; dozens of trucks that carry the luggage of the team, the circus performers themselves, each with their own history, and, of course, the show is full of surprises and delights. Each time I paid tribute and admiration for the unreal skills of the guys demonstrated from the stage. But today we will not talk about that. Acrobats, tightrope walkers, gymnasts, jugglers are all first-class artists. The grateful Chelyabinsk audience, as for the first time, was amazed at the possibilities of the human body and spirit, applauding throughout the two-hour performance. The Eloise circus does not have chic costumes, skillful makeup, there are only 19 of them, by the way, all dancers. This is a more youthful, modern project, there is no fabulousness and phantasmagoric du Soleil, but with an abundance of rebellious spirit, freedom and self-expression. But, like the du Soleil artists, the guys from the partner show amaze with their plasticity and movements. Sometimes it seems that all the action takes place on the screen when the tricks are mounted using computer graphics – what is happening on stage is so unrealistic. Yes, here they know how to surprise with high circus art. And in order to become a legend, the famous circus brand did not need to exploit defenseless animals and birds. But the animal world of Canada is diverse, like nowhere else – bears, reindeer, wolves, cougars, moose and hares. If desired, the circus performers could bring a couple of grizzlies onto the stage. But the creators of one of the most spectacular circuses chose humanity.On the Internet, you can find a comment by Edgar Zapashny that the Circus of the Sun simply simply did not have enough money for animals, so they, they say, hastily invented a beautiful legend about their good-heartedness and skillfully use it. Maybe it was so, but you don’t want to believe in it, and why? The words of the trainer sound painfully cynical and look like an excuse for their own actions. And in general, I personally do not have much confidence in the Zapashny brothers, their arguments in defense of their activities sound unconvincing. It is enough to recall the video posted on the network, where the Zapashnys are talking with the animal rights activists of Rostov (). “Crush with authority, rude pressure and hmm … illogical questions,” – this is how I would describe the speech of folk artists, which we hear in the video for almost forty minutes. Well, God be their judge. In fairness, it should be noted that today more and more complex interesting “human” numbers appear in the Russian circus, the artists improve their skills. However, the image of “bears on a bicycle” still arises in the head of a Russian citizen at the word circus. For me, the Russian circus is taboo. The circus is equal to suffering, I will not go there for any gingerbread. At the same time, I am aware that there are people there who are trying to please and delight the viewer – funny clowns, graceful gymnasts. And, frankly, I am sorry that for me and those people who do not want to support cruelty with their ruble, such circus performers are a priori banned. Demonstration of the unusual and funny is considered the basis of circus art. And this, above all, is clowning, acrobatics, tightrope walking, etc. Yes, it is unusual when a monkey sits astride a camel, and a camel, in turn, sits on an elephant. Unusual, cruel and barbaric. I am not against the circus as an art. I just really want people to demonstrate their skills, and not force animals to do it. And if the artists have nothing to show and the main act of the troupe is a tortured goat weaving along a rope with a monkey on its back, then such a circus is worthless. “Where to take the children? – ask caring parents. – Where to show the child animals? Connect your cable TV! There is a good channel “Animal Planet”. Or else: National Geographic. Shown here are the animals in their natural habitat. Who knows, maybe fascinating wildlife shows will make your children want to go to Antarctica to study penguins or save monkeys in the wilds of the Amazon. By the way, most people I know who attend Russian circuses usually express delight over the performances of gymnasts flying dome of aerial acrobats, someone is in love with clowns. I have not yet heard from anyone the joy of seeing animal tricks. One friend honestly admitted: “I feel sorry for the animals, but what to do?” Do not be silent, do not support cruelty. In general, in my opinion, the position “what can I do alone” has long exhausted itself: if you wish, you can reach your forehead with your heel, as the circus gymnast Eloise does! Yes, and we are no longer the only one. For those who don’t care…By the way, in the iD show, which was brought to Russia by the Circus Eloise, not a lion tortured by training, but a strong-looking strong man jumps through the ring, and he does it so gracefully and beautifully that you are only amazed at how he squeezed his entire sculptural relief into the ring, not even hitting its edges with your body. It’s unusual, it’s amazing. But it is not clear to me what the fantasy of the spectators, looking at the tigers jumping through the fiery rings, draws. If I ever visited such a place, then, I’m afraid, I would not be able to get rid of the obsessive thought during the entire performance: “What did the trainer do to make the wild cat do this?”.There is no humane training. This is my deep conviction. Someone will object: “But what about Kuklachev’s cats? Are you against them too? I will answer with the words of Yuri Dmitrievich: “It is impossible to train cats.” By the way, the master of clowning does not like being called a trainer, he, in his own words, just watches cats, reveals the talents of these beautiful creatures and encourages them. And he does it all through his love for animals.Ekaterina SALAHOVA (Chelyabinsk).PS Video with the Zapashny brothers and Rostov animal rights activists.