Nikolai Olkhovikov – Equestrian Juggler


Russia and the Soviet Union produced many incredible jugglers over the past one hundred years. The most celebrated horseback (equestrian) juggler from Russia was Nikolai Olkhovikov (1922 – 1987). He was born into a circus family, with his parents and grandfather being established performers in several genres, especially those involving horses. Nikolai made his debut in the circus at the age of seven and worked as a acrobat, tightrope walker, and horseback jockey. As a teenager, he developed the equestrian juggling act that he would become famous for.

Olkhovikov’s act included work with two hoop and glass sets, five balls, seven balls, three sticks, four sticks while balancing a pole, four sticks and a ball, a four stick routine, five knives, and three torches, all while standing on the back of a galloping horse without a saddle. He would bounce two balls on a tennis racket and would even sometimes flash 6 sticks on horseback. The finale of his act was balancing a tray of filled wine glass on a long pole on his head, knocking away the pole, and catching the tray, all while standing on the back of his horse.

Nikolai was a member of the member of a Soviet military performing unit during World War II, performing for the Soviet troupes. He took a break from the circus to attend the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory where he studied vocal performance. After rejoining the circus, he would sing in his rich baritone during his equestrian juggling performances! He was talented enough that he was invited to join the Minsk Opera House at one point.

Nikolai Olkhovikov, showing both his singing and juggling on horseback

He toured throughout Europe, appeared in several movies, and wrote a book about his memories in the circus. In 1970, he became a professor at the Moscow Circus School and created a notable act, the Russian Troika, which you can watch by clicking here. He was also considered on of the best billiards player in all of Moscow.

Check out the following videos showing Nikolai’s act.

You can watch other versions of act by clicking here and here.

Nikolai’s son Leonid followed in his father’s footsteps and presented a very similar act to his father’s.

Leonid Olkhovikov, Nikolai’s son

Nikolai Olkhovikov passed away in Moscow in 1987 and is still remembered today for his exceptional talent.

Nikolai Olkhovikov

ニコライ・オルコビコフ – 乗馬ジャグラー

ロシアとソビエト連邦は、過去 100 年の間に多くの素晴らしいジャグラーを輩出してきた。ロシアで最も有名な乗馬ジャグラーは、ニコライ・オルコビコフ(Nikolai Olkhovikov, 1922 – 1987)である。彼はサーカス一家に生まれ、両親と祖父は馬を使った様々なジャンルのパフォーマーとして知られていた。7 歳でサーカスデビューし、アクロバット、綱渡り、馬上騎手として活躍した。10 代になると、後に彼を有名にした、馬上でのジャグリングを開発した。

オルコビコフは、鞍をつけずに疾走する馬の背に立ち、2 つの輪とグラスのセット、5 ボール、7 ボール、3 本のスティック、ポールのバランスを取りながらの4本のスティック、4 本のスティックとボール、4 本のスティックルーティン、5 本のナイフ、3 本のトーチを使った曲芸を披露した。テニスラケットでボールを 2 つバウンスさせたり、馬上で 6 本のスティックをフラッシュすることもあった。フィナーレは、頭でバランスを取っている長い棒の先に、ワイングラスを載せた盆を置き、その棒を弾いて盆を受け止めるというもので、これもすべて馬の背に立ったまま行われた。



ヨーロッパ各地を巡業し、映画にも出演、サーカスでの思い出を綴った本も出版している。1970 年にはモスクワのサーカス学校の教授となり、「ロシアン・トロイカ」という素晴らしい演技を生み出した(ここから視聴可能)。彼はまた、モスクワで最高のビリヤードプレーヤーとも言われていた。





ニコライ・オルコビコフは、1987 年モスクワでその生涯を終えた。その類まれなる才能は、今日も人々に記憶されている。


和訳: 青木 直哉(AOKI Naoya)

David Cain is a professional juggler, juggling historian, and the owner of the world's only juggling museum, the Museum of Juggling History. He is a Guinness world record holder and 16 time IJA gold medalist. In addition to his juggling pursuits, David is a successful composer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and singer as well as the author of twenty-six books. He and his children live in Middletown, OH (USA).

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