Moscow is often described as the world's circus capital, and the Moscow State Circus is internationally renowned for the skill and inventiveness of its acrobats and clowns. In fact, when it's at home, the Moscow State Circus is two separate circuses, the Big State Circus on Prospekt Vernadskogo, and the Old Circus or Nikulin Circus on Tsvetnoi Bulvar. Unlike the touring version, the circus in Moscow includes a number of animal acts which may offend some people's sensibilities. However, the inventiveness and professionalism of the performers is astounding, and children are bound to be delighted by the dazzling variety of acts. Although there are some differences in presentation, both circuses maintain the same extremely high standards, and are undoubtedly some of the best entertainment available for children in Moscow.
The Russian Circus rose to world acclaim during the Soviet period, when acts from many Russian circuses united to tour the United States under the title, "The Moscow Circus." During this time, the circus, which was already important, became an even more prominent piece of culture, and a point of pride. Russian Circus traditions include clowning, juggling, acrobatics, contortion, and animal acts (especially bear acts, such as bears who juggle with their feet).