Slava Polunin – The Life of a Philosopher Clown

Slava Polunin – The Life of a Philosopher Clown

Slava Polunin, the Artistic King of St. Petersburg State Circus and the President of the International Academy of Fools, tells us what inspired him to live the life of a clown…


Slava Polunin

Sixty four year old Russian philosopher clown, Slava, has won international acclaim across  30 countries and 120 cities with his now world famous Slava’s Snow Show. It’s a colourful classic, clown-inspired mime performance, enjoyed by over three million fans of all ages.

Slava says: ‘This show is my life project and I wanted to create it as a vehicle to do what I loved best: to travel the world with my friends and family having fun and creating magic.’ He continues: ‘I wanted to influence the world using the opposite of criticism and living as a clown is a philosophy of life. It gives me permission to be surprised with life and to colour everything around myself.’

One may wonder what made Slava decide to live life as a clown, he says;

“My passion is to teach people how to live their dream and age 14 I told my mother I wanted to live as a clown…When I first saw Marcel Marceau I was hypnotised. Living life as a clown was always my only option. Your subconscious always knows what’s best for you.”

Slava’s philosophy for a clown’s life:

Happiness is a real chance to understand the world and to live according to the rules of nature. To understand others is a great pleasure and one life is not enough to live all experiences.”

Where does a philosopher clown relax?

Slava portrait Hamac (V.Mishukov)

Slava’s home, Le Moulin Jaune, is a sprawling banana coloured magical mansion located on the outskirts of Paris, France on the doorstep of Euro Disney. Slava refers to his home of 15 years as a creative laboratory and playhouse and it’s here he lives with his wife of 36 years, Siberian born Elena and their extended family.

Slava’s  ‘I always wanted to live within a forest and as a child I dreamt about this home and recognised it from my childhood dreams.’ Their home also doubles as a business environment from which he and other artists, designers and creatives are drawn to explore and share their theories of foolishness, fantasy and fun.