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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



A family of Russian circus performers and entrepreneurs.

The Nikitin brothers—Dmitrii Aleksandrovich (born 1835; died Jan. 13, 1918), Akim Aleksandrovich (born 1843; died Apr. 21, 1917), and Petr Aleksandrovich (born 1846; died Aug. 20, 1921)—were the founders of the first Russian circuses. They were of serf origin.

The Nikitins performed initially in the streets, then in balagany (temporary wooden structures), and finally in circus theaters. In 1873 they opened the Nikitin Brothers’ Russian Circus in Penza. Up until that time, circus entrepreneurs in Russia were mainly foreigners. The Nikitins built about 25 winter and summer circuses in such cities as Moscow, Tbilisi, Baku, Astrakhan, Saratov, Samara, Nizhny Novgorod, and Ivanovo-Voznesensk. The brothers hired the best circus performers and trained young pupils. In 1911, Akim Aleksandrovich built a circus in Moscow on the former Triumfal’naia Square; it had an arena that could be rotated and lowered and a tank for aquatic acts. The Nikitins were also talented jugglers, gymnasts, acrobats, and horse trainers.

Nikolai Akimovich Nikitin. Born Dec. 5, 1887; died Nov. 24, 1963. Juggler on horseback and animal trainer. Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1947).

N. A. Nikitin, the son of Akim Aleksandrovich, was awarded the Medal of Honor. His son, Nikolai Nikolaevich (born 1912; died 1943), was a circus rider and juggler. He died at the front during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45.


Kuznetsov, E. M. Tsirk. 2nd ed. Moscow-Leningrad, 1971.
Pod tsirkovym shatrom. Saratov, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Two of the members of the board, the old veteran in the service, Nikitin, and the Kammerjunker Grinevitch, went in with him.
"My colleagues: Philip Ivanitch Nikitin, Mihail Stanislavitch Grinevitch"--and turning to Levin--"a district councilor, a modern district councilman, a gymnast who lifts thirteen stone with one hand, a cattle-breeder and sportsman, and my friend, Konstantin Dmitrievitch Levin, the brother of Sergey Ivonovitch Koznishev."
Dmitry Nikitin to Philippine military officials and the media, saying the event was 'quite symbolic and very meaningful.'
MICHAEL CONLAN reckons that Vladimir Nikitin did a runner.
From her 'Chennai Express' co-star Nikitin Dheer to 'Chhapaak' actor Vikrant Massey to 'Dhak-Dhak' girl Madhuri Dixit, stars have extended their warm greetings to the actor.
In 2015, Eduard Nikitin shared a joke on social media about Russia's bleak future.
IANS Nikitin Dheer says his Chennai Express character Tangaballi challenged him to perform better in front of superstar Shah Rukh Khan.
Vladimir Nikitin, the director of Mogilev airport, announced that they are studying the possibility of organizing flights to Egypt in the winter-fall season of 2017-2018.
Irish boxer Michael Conlan, following his defeat by Russian fighter Vladimir Nikitin: "They're f*** cheats.