Family circus: 2nd time around, Russian acrobat heated up to Las Vegas


L.E. Baskow

Clockwise from bottom, Konstantin Besstchetnyi, Kristina Besschetnaya, Sergey Kholodkov and Irina Besschetnaya are a prolonged Cirque du Soleil household who stay in Las Vegas and all work for” Zarkana” at Aria.

Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015|2 a.m.

. It was 1990, the ice of the Cold War was thawing, and Konstantin Besstchetnyi, a Soviet acrobat, was stuck in Las Vegas.

Konstantin, who passes Kostia, had actually been welcomed with 120 other artists to carry out in the United States. However night after night, city after city, the troupe shown up to empty arenas.

Soon, the performers’s equipment was taken away since management couldn’t pay the taxes, Kostia said.

So the artists waited. To kill time, Kostia and the acrobats trained by the Landmark swimming pool– till hotel management told them to stop. They were being too interesting, Kostia stated, and guests were coming out to enjoy them train instead of play slot machines.

“So we would go outside and find a place where there was absolutely nothing,” Kostia stated. “It’s hot, you can imagine, 115 degrees, and we trained with no water, no pool. I stated, ‘I never ever return to Las Vegas. I hate this city.'”

He chuckled.

“Life brought me three years ago back right here.”

But this time, his family– a better half, child and son-in-law– featured him. Now, the 4 all work for Cirque du Soleil’s “Zarkana.” It’s not uncommon for households to collaborate for Cirque, however it is uncommon for them to work on the very same show, Cirque officials said.

Kostia grew up during the Cold War doing sports acrobatics. He performed all over the Soviet Union, trained at the Volgograd Athletics Academy and contended in sports acrobatics while in the Soviet army.

After a brief stint teaching at a university, Kostia signed up with the Soviet Union’s centralized circus, the Soyuzgoscirk, toured for a number of years, then signed up with the Moscow circus, where he produced his own act. Casting directors from Cirque du Soleil came by one day to see the show and welcomed Kostia and his act to be a part of Cirque’s brand-new program, “Quidam.”

By that time, Kostia had actually been wed more than 10 years to his wife, Irina. Their daughter Kristina was 6.

Kostia had not been around for much of Kristina’s childhood due to the fact that of the traveling he did for work. So in 1995, Irina quit her job in architecture and merchandising, and she and Kristina joined Kostia in Montreal and on the road. Irina worked for Cirque in retailing, accounting and wardrobe.

The household took a trip for about 15 years all over the world. Kristina attended school with Cirque’s private instructors, normally reserved for child entertainers. In her extra time, she found out Cirque acts from her dad and other performers.

Kostia taught her acrobatics, but Kristina was scared of heights. They attempted hand balancing, but Kristina didn’t have the perseverance for that. Then, a few artists on tour taught Kristina aerial act upon the corde lisse, a hanging rope, and the cerceaux, an aerial hoop.

“Even though I was scared of heights, I felt more comfy there,” Kristina said. “I was holding myself rather than being thrown around by my father.”

Kristina signed up with the cast of “Quidam” as an aerial hoop artist in 2005, after among the other artists fell and broke both of her arms. Right after, Kristina started dating one of the acrobats in her daddy’s act, Sergey Kholodkov.

Five years later, “Quidam” switched from a huge top program, which stayed in each city for a few months, to an arena reveal that moved rapidly from city to city. Kostia, seeking a less frantic speed, agreed to move his act to a new program Cirque was creating. He opened in “Zarkana” in 2011 at Radio City Music Hall.

Kristina sent her tapes to manufacturers and was worked with as a mover character. She plays a rag doll that appears throughout the program, and she practices a backup aerial hoop act in case another act heads out. Irina works as a production coordinator at “Zarkana.”

After stints in Madrid and Moscow, the program settled at Aria in 2012.

That March, Kristina and Sergey married in Las Vegas and, about a year later on, Kristina brought to life a child, Nika.

“I am lucky,” Sergey stated. “I remain in ‘Quidam,’ and after that we move here. I satisfy Kristina, have a baby, a gorgeous family and a stunning location to raise the baby.”

Because they carry out in the evenings, Kristina and Sergey spend the day with Nika, who’s now 18 months old, before turning her over to a nanny. Though a lot of other Cirque mothers keep their kids on a regular schedule, Kristina and Sergey put Nika on their schedule so Kristina can offer Nika a bath and put her to sleep– despite the fact that they get home after midnight each night.

At work, the member of the family generally don’t see each other frequently since they all work in different parts of the program. Kristina totters across the phase throughout the performance. Kostia and Sergey appear in the last act, creating human pyramids and launching each other with dignity throughout the phase. Irina works in production behind the scenes.

However on weekends, they hang out together like any household. They check out Mount Charleston. They take road trips to California– to Laguna Beach and to Joshua Park National Park. Kostia and Irina babysit Nika when Kristina and Sergey require a night off.

The household misses Russia, but for now, Las Vegas is home.

“I’m lucky to have my household right here,” Kristina said. “I have my grandmother back house and my uncle, however my essential family is right here.”

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