a family of Soviet circus performers and clowns.
Vitalii Efimovich Lazarenko. Born Apr. 27 (May 9), 1890, in the settlement of Aleksandrovsk-Grushevskii, the present-day city of Shakhty; died May 18, 1939, in Moscow. A satirist-clown and tumbler; Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1929).
V. E. Lazarenko joined M. I. Kotlikov’s circus in 1898. In 1911 he made his debut in the Moscow circus of the Nikitin Brothers. He became a star with such acrobatic feats as leaping over obstacles, (he set a record with a salto mortale over three elephants); he also created the character of a philosophizing tramp. Lazarenko’s work attained its peak in the Soviet circus. He headed actors’ brigades at the front (1919–21) and from 1919 worked in state circuses. Lazarenko was concerned with topical social and political issues (his monologues became famous), and affected a poster-like expressiveness. He called himself a folk jester.
Lazarenko welcomed the creation of a new society and harshly criticized those who hampered socialist construction. His repertoire included propaganda pieces by V. V. Mayakovsky, N. A. Aduev, and A. M. Argo. He performed in the motion pictures Love and Castor Oil; The Night, the Moon, He and She; and Morozko (all 1924). He received the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.
Vitalii Vital’evich Lazarenko. Born Mar. 5 (18), 1914, in Moscow; died there Mar. 14, 1948. A satirist-clown. Son of V. E. Lazarenko.
V. V. Lazarenko worked in the circus from 1928, performing as a tumbler, bicycle acrobat, and juggler. He acted with his father until his death in 1939 and then as a solo act, furthering the traditions of publicistic clowning.
REFERENCEDmitriev, Iu. Vitalii Lazarenko. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.
IU. A. DMITRIEV