Yury Makarov's Website

   

 

George Perkun

1916-1983

 

The circus producer, the Merit Artist of Russian Federation. Has ended the Central school of a theatrical art. Studied in studio of scenic dance, worked as the dancer and the ballet-master in ensembles, the main ballet master at the Moldavian musical theatre. In a circus since 1953. Has put numbers: Khazovs, Korolevs, G. Torbeeva, the attraction "Bisons and tigers" under V.P. Tikhonov's management, has prepared the first program of the Kazakh circus collective, the program for performances in Yugoslavia, India, Hungary, Korea, etc.


 

It's very difficult to tell about the person so much made for art, that only one transfer of his merits would borrow not one page. As his life is latent behind a veil of time which does not spare anybody. Now it person is unmerited forgotten, though it's in the encyclopedia. Despite of it many people remember and love him. The person of extraordinary charm, the fine circus producer, the ballet-master, the Honored worker of arts of Russia, he has lived the big and bright life, has brought up three children.

George Vasilievich Perkun on December, 31, 1916 in family of the architect and the housewife was born. Though, as he spoke he invented the date of own birth because documents have been lost. In 1931 in Blagoveshchensk he has left seven-year school. His father Vasily Filippovich wanted to studied his son in architectural university. But George secretly from parents has acted in Moscow in theatrical school on director's faculty of a drama. Father sent money to George that he studied as the architect. And when he has arrived to the son to Moscow, the big scandal was. Upon termination of school George Perkun has been accepted by competition in school of film actors of studio "Mosfilm" on actor's faculty on a class of the National actor of the USSR M.M.Tarkhanov where has studied two years. Simultaneously he went to school scenic dance on performing branch.

 

Father Vasily Filippovich

With mother Anna Petrovna

Film-tests, 1936

 

In November, 1937 G.V.Perkun has been called up Moskvoretsky regional military commissariat on active military service and appointed in 38 cavalry shelfs of Minsk where has served only two months. In January, 1938 he is directed as the ballet dancer and the ballet-master in Red army ensemble of songs and dancings of the Byelorussian Military District in Smolensk. With this ensemble he has served eight years.

It would be desirable to tell about one incident. It was during the world war two. To George Vasilievich have ordered to transport by the machine the wounded, old men and children from one village in another because soon there should come germans. Not having passed halfway he's seen an enemy ambush ahead. Began bombardment. He's broken through a german obstacle on full speed, having delivered people the whole and safe.

 

G.V. Perkun in the bottom line the first on the right

One of concerts

 

In January, 1946 on affairs of arts at Council of Ministers of the USSR George Vasilievich has been sent on business by Committee to again organized Moldavian theatre of the Opera and the Drama in Kishinev as the main ballet-master. He had been carried out the big creative work in the field of a choreography and studying of the Moldavian national dance. For the first time in a history of development of the Moldavian art he had been put two ballet performances: "Young lady - peasant-woman" by Asafiev and "Mirandolina" by Vasilenko. Being the full member of the Society on distribution of political and scientific knowledge, G.V.Perkun read public lectures on development of the Soviet ballet art.

Upon termination of business trip to Moldova in January, 1949 George Perkun has been transferred in the staff of Committee on affairs of arts at Council of Ministers of the USSR to a post of the senior inspector of Central administrative board of Musical theatres of a department of the Opera and ballet.

In November, 1949 Stalin sends G.V.Perkun in National Republic Albania. On the basis of amateur performance and talented youth he had been created professional ensemble of dance. There was a task much more widely, than statement only national dances. As a matter of fact it was creation of the Albanian national ballet. Main, but not unique difficulty consist that parents by virtue of developed circumstances forbade to girls to work in ballet since this kind of art was considered indecent for the albanian girl. Conditions of residing in the beginning were very awful. George Vasilievich wrote about it in the report to the Soviet ambassador in Albania D.S.Chuvakhin on June, 9, 1950. Once he was beaten by hooligans in the street. The payment for overcoming cultural ignorance by the original state which have regained consciousness from centuries-old hibernation was those.

 

"The Bakhchsarai fountain", 1951

"Esmeralda", 1953

 

The albanian choreographic ensemble under G.V.Perkun's management with a concert "The Brotherhood of peoples" for the first time for all history of Albania has gone to tour on the socialist countries, and later to Soviet Union. The tour have passed with the big success. Everyday lessons of classics which were carried out by George Vasilievich, have underlain statement of ballet performance "The Bakhchsarai fountain" which went always at the overflown halls. This theme was well familiar to Albanian people which many centuries were under a yoke of turks. On the basis of the folklore collected in northern areas of Albania which were very unlike dances of southern and central areas, the big concert "The Flag of the world " has been put. For these works the participants absolutely young choreographic collective, conductor Mustafa Krantia, George Perkun's assistant Palast Kanochi and eight dancers of ensemble have been awarded with awards and medals.

Later ballet "Esmeralda" on V.Hugo's motives "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" which also used tremendous success at public has been produced. Enver Hoxha has personally stated the big estimation to production of this ballet. George Vasilievich gave special attention to transfer of experience to assistants who could replace him after departure. Six person from participants of ensemble have been sent to study to Moscow in choreographic school of Bolshoi. One of ensemble dancers Scandor Selimy has gone to study on ballet master faculty in spite of George Perkun's disagreement. For three years of work in Albania has been put also more than 60 dances, despite of difficult musical and rhythmic figure of the albanian national dance.

In May, 1953, after returning from Albania, George Perkun has been enlisted in staff of Management of circuses as the circus producer. So began a new stage in his career. It's necessary to tell that due to the rich imagination and enormous serviceability he never was without work. It was one of the few unique circus producers who entered into a cage to predators.

 

"The Bright Way" ("Tanya")

With Lyudmila Ivanovna Van-Ze-Vei

On rehearsal

 

Long years of friendship tied George Vasilievich and Lyudmila Ivanovna Van-Ze-Vei (maiden name Shkodina) ever since the school-studio movie actor. In 1940, she played the role of the teacher in Gregory Alexandrov's film "The Bright Way" ("Tanya" USA release). In the sixties with her husband, Alexander Van-Ze-Vei, Lyudmila Ivanovna  participated in an acrobatic circus attractions, beautifully read Mayakovsky and Lermontov. Sometimes she took a taxi for one rouble, and along with her dog Chappy traveled with Podsosenskiy Alley to Prospect Mira to visit George Vasilievich, where friends gathered artists and carefree atmosphere prevailed contact the closest people. She was brought up by his little daughter Ira, when he and his wife were on tour, and who called her his second mother.

In 1961 in Rostov-On-Don has taken place premiere of circus show "There is a steamship Anyuta" in a genre of a comic pantomime. Performance differed the strong, thought over direction. All pieces in show have been connected by one topic. In representation all actors, - jugglers, force acrobats - became drama actors. In it took part: air gymnasts Khazovs, pole equilibrists V.Karseev and A.Mareev, tight-rope equilibrist V.Shkonda, musical clowns Stampinsky, acrobats Yurievs, Demkins, the dancer on hands V.Serebryakov. George Perkun was in this performance by the art director. The show has been shown in many cities more than 1800 times.

 

"The Carnival on Cuba"

"There is a steamship Anyuta"

"New Year's adventures of Santa Claus and Snow Maiden"

 

George Perkun also took part in shows "The Carnival on Cuba" (1962) devoted to the Cuban revolution, children's circus performance "New Year's adventures of Santa Claus and the Snow Maiden", a pantomime for children "Doctor Aibolit" (1965), the title role in which was executed by ringmaster Stepan Isaakian, in circus performance "Colombinetta" for the Central studio of TV.

In 1964 the trip of the Soviet circus collective have taken place in India. The shows passed in six cities and had grandiose success at not spoilt indian public. And it despite of forty-degree heat. In Calcutta before arrival of our actors there were collisions between hindus and moslems on religious ground. Echoes of this struggle were felt even on circus performance as moslems and hindus sat together, having filled in a huge amphitheater. The conflicting sides exchanged unfriendly sights. But gradually during performance ice of mistrust started to thaw, and people simply smiled, applauded, neighbours exchanged impressions.

In a hall at a concert in Bombay there was known film actor Raj Kapoor which was delighted with performance of our actors. They said that he even tried to marry one of his daughters to George Perkun.

 

George Perkun in studio of the Indian radio

With Raj Kapoor

 

In trip across India took part: acrobats-voltigers the Malenkins, eccentric clowns in air the Dashevskys, balance on bricks & on pedestal N.Noskova, pit gymnasts the Kozionovs, E.Shkunova's performing parrots and poodles, musical clowns L.Burdov and G.Zanko, balancing on poles the Avdeevs, antipodists the Mikitjuks, the National actor of Russia A.Aleksandrov-Fedotov's performing tigers, art-acrobatic group the Zagvozdkins, the juggler on a horse V.Koshkin, air gymnast E.Kozlova, jugglers with flowers the Larionovs, acrobats-jumpers the Ablonskies, L.Bezano's performing bears, carpet clown B.Vyatkin, producer-director George Perkun.

George Vasilievich very much liked to photograph. In 1962 he has ended the All-Union In absentia lecture hall on journalism and the picture story. It was published in magazine "Soviet circus".

 

The certificate about ending of a lecture hall

George Perkun's photoetude from magazine "Soviet circus"

 

Many forces were applied by George Perkun for creation of the Kazakh circus collective. The basic structure of troupe included graduates of the Alma-Ati variety-circus studio. Premiere has taken place in 1970 in the Saratov circus. The script has been written by poet Yuri Blagov which was a big friend of George Vasilievich. Circus rider numbers executed in national style, - "Herd-Dzhigits", " The Horse suite ", "Kzyl-Kuu" and " The Higher school of riding " have been prepared by G.Tokarev and A.Sokolov. Among other items were "Baikonur" (acrobats on springboards), herd "Caravan" (the mixed group of performing animals: camels, capricorns, the wolf, a bear, the pony).Carpet clowns, - A.Almazhanov, A.Nisarov.

 

Drawings of dresses for circus show, 1968

 

George Perkun's cooperation with a circus dynasty of predators' trainers Tikhonovs is a theme of the separate story. Together they have created a few circus programs with animals: "The Carnival on Cuba" (1962), "Bisons and tigers" (1966), "Striped stars of arena" (1975), "The world of animals - the world of friends " (1977).

Victor Petrovich Tikhonov was the best friend of George Perkun. He was born in 1917 and since eight years acted with the father in show-booth and small circuses. Was the acrobat, shooter. The greatest results has achieved in a genre of training. Some time he was Kio's assistant. Once, being on tour in any city, he has called to Moscow to George Vasilievich which houses with the broken foot were. He has told, that all tickets are already sold, but premiere will not take place, if his friend will not arrive. And George has arrived. Further on rehearsal there was a following. Scenery have collapsed and Victor Tikhonov has fallen. He had wound on a head. Tigers having smelt a rat were ready to be thrown over him. George Vasilievich was at this time in a hall and has shouted to assistants that those started to the rescue the trainer. Tigers have started to water. All has ended well.

 

G.V. Perkun and V.P.Tikhonov

Larisa Tikhonova

 

In Tikhonov's family lived a big mastiff to whom one amusing episode is connected. To him gave a shopping bag with money and the list and sent in shop to buy foods. Sellers already knew him as the steady customer and served as usually. It is training!

In 1963 George Perkun have been asked to look item of romanian trainer-woman Lydia Zhiga and to state it an estimation. He having visited on rehearsal and has taken out the verdict: the item cannot be released! Woman worked only with one animal, turning to the rests a back and leaving them outside of a field of vision. It's very dangerously to do. But nobody expected such sharp estimation. They have not interested to its opinion and item have been released. The reasons were found. Soon there was an accident because of an attack of predators and woman was lost...

In an attraction "Bisons And Tigers" which premiere has taken place in the Yaroslavl circus in 1966, participated 7 bisons, 6 tigers, a cheetah, boxer dogs and a lap dog. Further the horse has been entered into structure with a horseman-cheetah which took a grass from a mouth of a tiger. The attraction was large achievement in art of training.

 

Attraction "Bisons And Tigers"

 

Among actors whom George Perkun produced items or has simply helped good advice there were trainers Vitaly Tikhonov (V.P.Tihonov's son), Alexey Sokolov, Roman Belley and Yuri Kuklachyov, clown Anatoly Marchevsky, an actress Natalia Varley, air gymnasts Khazovs, acrobats Golyadze. Composer Valentine Belinsky was in very friendly relations with George Vasilievich. They were connected with many years of the great friendship. George Perkun had been produced programs for performances in Yugoslavia, Hungary, Northern Korea, India, Czechoslovakia, Mongolia, Romania, Bulgaria.

 

Vitaly Tikhonov

Alexey Sokolov

Anatoly Marchevsky

Roman Belley

 

Last years George Perkun worked as the general producer in a circus on Vernadsky avenue. People went to him to get an opinion and support. He always found time for everyone. In his apartment almost every day there were young actors. Someone came to show the new script, someone asked consultation concerning unsuccessful a trick. And the skilled producer helped, tried to make all for those who only starts. His life is a vivid example of how the person achieves his intention and remains faithful to the choice, in spite of any external circumstances. And in fact he lived during very hard times. George Perkun is skilful to give people pleasure of life and optimism. And people answered to him with love and gratitude.

* * *