a family of Russian circus artists, clowns, and animal trainers.
AnatoliiLeonidovich Durov. Born Nov. 26 (Dec. 8), 1864, in Moscow; died Jan. 8 (21), 1916, in Mariupol’. He made his debut in 1879 in a balagan [an ancient comic folk theatrical spectacle with crude settings] as an acrobat, equilibrist, and juggler. In 1882 he began performing with trained animals in the M. Truzzi circus in Voronezh. The first circus actor to introduce political satire, he usually combined the satirical acts with the trained animal act. A. L. Durov toured Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, Spain, and Italy.
Vladimir Leonidovich Durov. Born June 25 (July 7), 1863, in Moscow; died there Aug. 3, 1934. Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1927). Brother of A. L. Durov. In his youth, V. L. Durov was captivated by animal training and attended the lectures of I. M. Sechenov on animal physiology. He made his circus debut in 1879 and became known as a clown soloist and animal trainer, using trained animals in his satirical acts. For the first time in Russia he developed a training system based on the study of the natural instincts and reflexes of animals. He became the founder and propagandist of so-called gentle training based on a humane treatment of animals and the use of food to encourage the animals to perform. Later this method was used by all the Durovs and most Soviet trainers. In 1912 he organized a wildlife center (now the V. L. Durov Nook).
Anatolii Anatol’evich Durov. Born Nov. 26 (Dec. 8), 1887, in Voronezh; died Nov. 19, 1928, in Izhevsk. Son of A. L. Durov. A. A. Durov made his debut in 1914. He was exiled for making a jest against the imperialist war. He resumed his work in the circus in 1917, working with a large group of trained animals and birds.
Vladimir Grigor’evich Durov. Born Apr. 3 (16), 1909, in Voronezh; died Mar. 14, 1972, in Moscow. People’s Artist of the USSR (1967). Grandson of A. L. Durov. V. G. Durov studied in theater workshops with V. E. Meierkhol’d. After A. A. Durov’s death, he worked with his group of animals. Continuing the traditions of A. A. Durov and V. L. Durov, he combined satirical clown acts with trained animal and bird acts, striving for spectacular appeal and the emotional satisfaction of his audiences. He toured Great Britain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, and France. He was awarded the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and various medals.
Iurü Vladimirovich Durov. Born Dec. 30, 1909 (Jan. 1, 1910), in St. Petersburg; died Feb. 22, 1971, in Brussels. People’s Artist of the USSR (1971). Member of the CPSU from 1947. Grandson of V. L. Durov. Once his grandfather’s assistant, he later continued to work independently. A clown-satirist and animal trainer, lu. V. Durov performed with a large, diverse and well-trained group of animals. He was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor and various medals.
Tereza Vasil’evna Durova. Born Sept. 5, 1926, in Voronezh. Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1969). Granddaughter of A. L. Durov. She has been performing with a mixed group of animals since 1947.
WORKSDurov, A. L. V zhizni i na arene, parts 1-3. Voronezh, 1914.
Durov, V. L. Moi zveri. Moscow, 1927.
Durov, V. Moi artisty. Kiev, 1953.
REFERENCESDmitriev, Iu. A. Brat’ia Durovy. Moscow, 1945.
Kuznetsov, E. M. Arena i liudi sovetskogo tsirka, Leningrad-Moscow, 1947.
Ostrovskii, Ia. Vladimir Durov i ego artisty, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1969.