Madame A. Strakai and Her Dogs

49946fffa5f2d_95848b

Anna Christiansen (1886-1953), better known by the professional name Madame A. Strakai was born Anna Annisman in Magilure, Russia. She was second generation circus folk, and learned trick riding, wire walking, trapeze and ballet dancing from childhood. Her stage name came from her first husband, with whom she had a bareback riding act. Her second husband was Jorgen Christiansen. With him, she had a bigger horse act (that included over two dozen stallions), and also developed the act known as  Madame A. Strakai’s Siberian Spitz Dogs. They performed with the Moscow Circus until forced to flee the Revolution.  They then gradually worked their way through the capitals of Western Europe, eventually making it to the U.S. by 1923. In the decades that followed, they played big time vaudeville, and Ringling Brothers and Cole Brothers circuses. By the time Madame Strakai passed away in 1953, the pair had settled in Fulton, Indiana.

For more on vaudevilleconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s