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Natalya Durova, Russian/Soviet circus star and animal trainer

Great Russian women

Natalya Durova

Natalya Durova (13 April 1934 - 27 September 2007) was a granddaughter of the legendary animal trainer Vladimir Durov. She managed to to keep alive the dynasty of the Durov family, world famous, animal-trainers and clowns, talented naturalists, outstanding satirists and public figures who have put great effort into establishing the Russian circus as a true art form.

Natalya Durova was an outstanding animal trainer, who spent more than 60 years of her life working with animals, many of which were considered absolutely untamable. She ran the Durov Animal Theater until she died in 2007..

Natalya Yuryevna Durova was born on April 13, 1934. Factually was a great grand daughter of Vladimir Durov, who adopted his grand son Yuri, Natalia'a father. She joined her father in the circus and appeared in the arena when she was 4 and at the age of 9 her own circus career as her father's trainee officially started.

When the WWII broke out together with the father she performed for soldiers on the frontlines and at the age of nine Natalya was awarded with a Guards' badge, presented to her by Marshal Zhukov.

Natalia Durova was a veterinarian by education. She also graduated from The Maxim Gorky Literature Institute and became a member of USSR Union of Writers after the graduation.

All her life was devoted to the dynasty profession of the Durov - anmals training and circus performances. Wokring in the the Durov Animal Theater, she followed her great grandfather traditions and training methods: enhancing animals' natural behavior on stage and coaxing them to perform by handing out rewards rather than punishments.

Durova's achievements were highly valued both in the USSR and abroad. She was a People's Artist of the Russian Federation, decorated with State Prize of the USSR and the order "For Merits To The Fatherland" (after the collapse of the USSR) and a number of other awards. Durova was also awarded the title of sea animals training master in Germany.

Natalia Durova is the author of 20 books, 15 documentaries and more then 10 scripts for the animals theater and TV.

Since 1978 and till the rest of her life she was CEO and art director of the "Grandpa Durov Corner Theater", now named the "Grandpa Durov's Wonderland". Natalya Durova often said that members of her family do not retire and proved this statement.

Natalya was married to the Moscow Art Theatre actor Michael Bolduman and had a son Michael Durov, who became a scientist.

Natalya Durova died in Moscow in 2007. Durov's circus dynasty is continued by her grand niece, Natalya Durova the Junior, who is an actress and a guide of "Grandpa Durov Corner Theater".

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