“The most important thing is to create something new”
In conversation with the juggler and producer
Dmitry Chernov is certainly one of the most recognizable artists. As a “shaman”, who juggles the balls with pockets placed all over his body, he was last seen at the Circus Conelli in Zurich. He is also successful in the business as a producer. We talked to him about his career and his plans.
Circus Zeitung: You were born into a circus family. Was it intended for you to become an artist as well?
Dmitry Chernov: I have always traveled with my parents, it was great to travel with them. If you resit, you see the world, find many friends. My parents taught me many circus disciplines. The juggling taught me my dad. I’ve practiced all days long to become like my father (Editor’s note: Valentin Chernov). And my friends who saw me realized that I had the talent.
Circus Zeitung: As a kid you also stood in the ring with Oleg Popov.
Dmitry Chernov: Yes, that was my first experience in the ring. My father was on tour with him from 1987 to 1995. Oleg Popov had the idea that I should be a little Oleg Popov. When I was four years old, they attracted me like him. The experience is priceless, I joined him until I was six. My parents say that I loved it, because after the show he gave me sweets every time.
Circus Zeitung: Today you perform as a juggler and have developed your own unmistakable style. How was the idea born?
Dmitry Chernov: My dad has always juggled with big balls. If he juggles with seven balls, he had the idea of having pockets for it. Back then I had a classic number with little balls. At the age of 13, I started juggling seven balls. My dad said to me, let’s make a new number. We created them based on his idea with the bags. It took me three years, then I started performing in 2005, then in 2006 I was at the Festival Cirque de Demain. The creation was a great experience for me.
Circus Zeitung: How do you find promising talents?
Dmitry Chernov: Mostly friends suggest me to their friends. I am now quite popular in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine. Artists find me in the social media. Then I look at their numbers.
Circus Zeitung: Have you even thought about developing whole shows?
Dmitry Chernov: My passion is creating numbers. A show is more of a business. If I do a show, I have to sell it, I have to take responsibility for a team of artists. Right now, for me it’s a priority to develop new acts, find talents and turn them into stars.
Circus Zeitung: What makes a good circus number for you?
Dmitry Chernov: The most important thing is the good trick. Circus without tricks is dance. And then she has to be creative and unmistakable.
Circus Zeitung: How to imagine the process of creating a number?
Dmitry Chernov: First and foremost, I observe the person and their personality. If someone is e.g. has no talent for dancing, then I have to consider that. Then I think about the style. Music is very important, it creates the atmosphere. And it inspires me to have good ideas.
Then it’s about inserting the discipline into the style. I let the artist show all the tricks and see what I want to change or maybe miss. Of course, I look at other numbers, I know the market. The most important thing is to create something new, not copies.
Circus Zeitung: How is your connection to the festival in Israel?
Dmitry Chernov: I had a slumber show in the first festival that won silver (Editor’s note by Evgeny Sle-
puk). Slava really liked the style of the number. For the second year, he then sought a director. He held numerous talks, mainly with candidates from Russian-speaking countries, Ashdod is very Russian. In the end he chose me, he trusted me and believed in me.
Circus Zeitung: What role do festivals play today for an artist?
Dmitry Chernov: Festivals are a world of their own. It does not help an artist today as much as it used to. But my opinion is: The more festivals there are, the more development there is. In Israel, the fourth edition of the festival will take place this year – and the circus culture is growing rapidly. Slava now has a circus school with more than a hundred students in Ashdod (editor’s note: Slava Nusinsky, festival president). Something is developing and that is why festivals are good for the world.
Circus Zeitung: You have already achieved a lot at a young age. What are your next plans?
Dmitry Chernov: I will create four more numbers by July. But my main goal is to build my own team. I do not want to betray too much. It will be six people with different disciplines. At the moment I’m doing castings, in June I’ll start with the team. And by the way, I still have my own number.
The interview was conducted by Daniel Burow