Page 3                                                 January - February 1978



Dennis Soldati reported that he and Dick Francis spent over six hours with Ignatov, working out and watching him warm up and perform; and Dennis says he saw the Moscow Circus perform six times during its stay in New York City. Hearsay has it that Hovey and Judy Burgess were seeing the circus once a day during its New York run. In his Moscow Circus review elsewhere in this issue, David LeDoux reports on a group of

Boston jugglers spending an hour with Ignatov after the show. Roger Dollarhide (who was seeing the show for the second time in a few days) and my family and I talked with Ignatov briefly before a performance in Hartford, at length at intermission, and (along with several other Boston area jugglers) at length after the show; after talking with us at intermission, Ignatov went to his dressing room and got two more rings and performed with eleven instead of the planned nine in his post-intermission performance. These encounters with Ignatov are typical. Everybody who saw him has a story of juggling with him, or of him doing some special tricks, or him tellling something of his background and plans, and so forth. Beyond being an incredibly skilled performer, Ignatov is more approachable and open and patient than one could possibly hope for. (Interestingly, no one I know who spent time with Ignatov saw any other fans visiting backstage with any other performer with the Moscow Circus.


Are we jugglers more aggressive in seeking out our idols, or are jugglers in general more open with each other, or is Ignatov simply exceptional?)


In his review of the circus elsewhere in this issue, David LeDoux reports some information on Ignatov's background and thoughts. Here is some more information obtained by Roger Dollarhide and others.


Ignatov was married two years ago to wire walker Marina Osinskaya who also performed in the American tour of the Moscow Circus (Ignatov could be seen during her act dressed as a roustabout and spotting for her and adjusting the tautness of her wire). Her parents are wire walkers, and she didn't attend the circus school as Ignatov did.


Ignatov regularly finishes his act by doing nine rings. Occasionally he finishes with eleven rings. He believes that he is the only juggler in the U.S.S.R. currently performing eleven rings. He is practicing thirteen rings and hopes to do it in his act eventually; if he succeeds this would be an undisputed world record for the greatest number of objects juggled. He plans to continue improving until age thirty-five and then taper off.


Ignatov complained about the rigors of the American tour. In Russia apparently he is used to doing thirty shows a month in one location. On the American tour, he was doing fifty shows a month and changing cities every week. He complained about how tired he was (indeed, his face betrayed considerable fatigue) and how after each move to a new city, all the performers had to spend an especially hard day helping set up everything in the new city.


Ignatov's teacher was Violetta Kiss, herself a one-time master juggler and sister of Alexander Kiss, another top juggler.


-- Dave Walden


ABOUT LINDSAY LESLIE, European Correspondent


Lindsay Leslie is an electrician by trade and a juggler for fun. He was born in 1928, and although he took an interest in juggling at the age of fourteen, it was not until he started teaching his two sons to juggle that he began to practice regularly. In 1970 his two sons aged eleven and fourteen got their double act on Granada TV, and not to be out done, seven months later he got his single act on the small screen. His sons were the youngest jugglers ever to appear on British TV, and Lindsay almost qualified as the oldest, being then forty-two.


Since then he has juggled on four other TV shows, the best of which was when IJAer Lloyd Timberlake introduced him on Opportunity Knocks and got in a plug for the IJA on National Network TV. Lindsay joined the IJA in 1972 and attended the 1975 convention in Youngstown, Ohio, where he believes he learned more about juggling in four days than he otherwise would have in a lifetime. His hopes for the future are that the IJA gets a larger following in Europe and that it won't be long before we have a mini-convention on his side of the Atlantic.*

-- Lindsay Leslie




*It looks as if Lindsay's wishes are coming true. See the European Get­together announcement elsewhere in this issue. -- Ed.


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