Alesya Goulevitch ignored the juggler inside the ring, balancing what appeared to be a large plant pot on his chin.

The young Russian woman sat on the ring wall and shivered. She wrapped herself tighter in a long-haired fur coat.

“When I left Miami it was too hot,” Goulevitch said.

Then she smiled widely. She prefers being here in Lewiston, preparing for another show. She can manage just two weeks at home in Miami before the boredom hits.

“You watch TV and you sleep and you sleep,” she said, her eyelids drooping. From her, it sounds like a decade-long sentence to a Siberian gulag.

If only it were a little warmer here, she said.

This Friday and Saturday, Goulevitch will join more than a dozen other performers for the 50th Anniversary Kora Shrine Circus at the Central Maine Civic Center. The circus will feature Las Vegas-style magicians, elephants, acrobats on a Russian swing and Svetlana Shamsheeva, whose “pet prodigies” act includes cats and birds.

Goulevitch is billed as “Alesya from Russia and her whirlwind hula hoops.”

The 25-year-old circus veteran does a five-minute show. It’s highlighted by two stunts. In one, she manages to whirl 10 hoops simultaneously, using different parts of her body. In the other, she keeps 50 going.

She doesn’t know what a whirlwind is, though.

Goulevitch ignores Ringmaster Charley Van Buskirk’s introductions as she starts her performances. She concentrates too hard for such distractions, she said.

Perhaps, it’s part of her long training. Goulevitch has belonged to circuses all her life.

Her mother, Nadia, was an aerobatic artist who retired last year. Her father, Fiodar, is a clown. He performs with this circus too.

As a little girl, Fiodar put her on a unicycle. She also learned to perform on a hanging rope, a gymnastic skill.

The plastic hoop, “obruch” in Russian, came out of the gymnastics work. And it stuck. It became part of her diverse repertoire as the family traveled across Europe and Asia. They joined their first American circus six years ago.

The three still travel together. However, Alesya has her own motor home, which she shares with her terrier and a parrot.

For this current tour, they drove from Miami to Michigan. Then, they went to New Hampshire, spending last weekend in Manchester.

They arrived in Lewiston on Monday and will leave for Portland after Saturday’s last show. Then comes Augusta and Bangor.

Alesya plans to keep moving. There’s no desire to slow down or take roots.

“Why?” she asked. “I’ll do this for as long as I can.”



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