Deaf Artist at the Cirque du Soleil: Maxim Fomitchev


English translation: Sara Gómez Herrero

The ‘Cirque du Soleil’ needs no introduction. World-famous, every show can cost millions of dollars, tickets sell out quickly and every circus artist would wonder to work with this company once. A Deaf artist has achieved it: Maxim Fomitchev.

Maxim Fomitchev (photo: Facebook Maxim Fomitchev)

Maxim was born in Moscow (Russia). When he was a child, he imitated clowns of mime who appeared on television and made his first performance at 13 years old. He graduated with a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the Russian Theatre Academy ‘The Vakhtangov Theatre Academy’.

His stage name is Max-i-mime (or Maximime). He’s a world-renowned mime artist who uses mime techniques of flexibility and strength, combined with comedy and expression. He has worked for the Cirque du Soleil for six years, but has a career of more than 20 years. With the Cirque du Soleil, he participated in the shows Zarkana and Alegría; the last is one of the most successful shows of the circus company

The following video was produced by the Cirque du Soleil itself to present his only deaf artist. It was published in July 2017 and already has more than 800,000 reproductions (subtitles in English and parts in American Sign language):

At the beginning of the 90s, Maxim left Russia to live in Vancouver (Canada). This was two years after visiting the United States and acting before thousands of deaf people, which marked and moved him, in addition to his negative experiences in his Jewish past. Maxim said:
I was at the deaf university, Gallaudet, and I will never forget meeting all these empowered 'normal' deaf students, so full of confidence for their futures. I could not believe there were deaf people studying to be doctors and lawyers and engineers, whatever they wanted, as if they were free
In the following video you can see a story and interview with Maxim by the popular Joel Barish (subtitles in English and International Signs):

Maxim has made us laugh and has thrilled thousands of people, adults and children, all over the world. Surely, you've been to the Cirque du Soleil, you've had it in front of your eyes, you've laughed and you did not even know he was deaf. This is how Deaf people and Sign Languages contribute to make the world better.

The smile of a great deaf circus artist: Maxim Fornitchev without make-up (photo: Facebook Maxim Fomitchev)


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  1. so good to see him again, its been ages since Gallaudet,,, I wish him nothing but the best

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