Leviathan by Circa
Created by Yaron Lifschitz
With the Circa Ensemble and participating artists
Friday, September 30, 2022 | 7:30 PM
Saturday, October 1, 2022 | 7:30 PM
Performed by the Circa Ensemble and a company of Bay Area-based artists
Director Yaron Lifschitz
Music Owen Belton
Stage and Costume Designer Marg Horwell
Associate Designer Libby McDonnell
Lighting Designer Amelia Lever-Davidson
Technical Director Jason Organ
Producer Danielle Kellie
Allen Moon / David Lieberman Artists’ Representatives USA, Canada, Central & South America
Co-commissioned by Stanford Live and generously supported by the Stanford Live Commissions and Programming Fund. Project made possible by the John F. Powers Fund for the Performing Arts.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with Stanford Live, the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc, Brisbane Festival, Perth Festival, and La Strada Graz Festival.
Circa acknowledges the assistance of the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body and the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.
PROGRAM SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Please be considerate of others and turn off all phones, pagers, and watch alarms. Photography and recording of any kind are not permitted. Thank you.
Thirty-six might not seem like a huge number but if we took a photo of every arrangement of the artists who appear in Leviathan and printed them on A4 paper and stacked them, the pile of photos we would have would span ten thousand trillion times across the Milky Way galaxy. And that is just where the artists stand—not each finger, toe, strand of hair or facial expression.
This almost unfathomable complexity is the basis of Leviathan—are we free or oppressed by our interconnectedness, do we define ourselves as individuals or part of a society? It is straightforward to make a large show that looks impressive; but the task for Leviathan was deeper—could we combine sustained engagement, genuine exchange and searching physical languages to capture something of these fraught, challenging and contested times. Leviathan is not an easy piece nor does it aim to be. But right now, it strikes me that grapple, authenticity and connectivity are far more important than entertainment.
Productions of this scale don’t happen without support of many partners and supporters. Chris Lorway and his team at Stanford Live have been key commissioning and presenting partners since the beginning and it is a profound privilege to present this creation as part of his extraordinary program.
"The mighty Circa" (Lyn Gardner, The Guardian)
Circa Contemporary Circus is one of the world's leading performance companies. Since 2004, from its base in Brisbane, Australia, Circa has toured the world - performing in more than 40 countries to over 1.5 million people. Circa's works have been greeted with standing ovations, rave reviews and sold-out houses across six continents.
Circa is at the forefront of the new wave of contemporary Australian circus - pioneering how extreme physicality can create powerful and moving performances. It continues to push the boundaries of the art form, blurring the lines between movement, dance, theatre and circus. Compelled by the question ‘what is possible in circus?’ Circa is leading the way with a diverse range of thrilling creations that ‘redraw the limits to which circus can aspire.’ (The Age).
Under the direction of circus visionary Yaron Lifschitz, Circa features an ensemble of exceptional, multi-skilled circus artists who have been a regular fixture at leading festivals and venues in New York, London, Berlin and Montreal with seasons at Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Barbican Centre, Les Nuits de Fourvière, Chamäleon Theatre as well as major Australian Festivals.
Visit circa.org.au to find a Circa performance near you and discover why Circa has been hailed as nothing short of ”... a revolution in the spectacle of circus.“ (Les Echos).
Circa is committed to fostering the next generation of circus artists and runs public circus classes from its studio in Brisbane. Circa also runs regular circus programs with communities throughout Queensland and around Australia.
As a champion of live performance, Circa was the Creative Lead for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games arts and cultural program.
Discover more about Circa by subscribing to enews at circa.org.au and following the company on facebook.com/circacontemporarycircus, Instagram.com/circapresents, spotify.com/user/circapresents and via #circacircus
Creative Team Bios
Yaron Lifschitz – Director
Yaron Lifschitz is a graduate of the University of New South Wales, University of Queensland, and National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA), where he was the youngest director ever accepted into its prestigious graduate director’s course. Since graduating, Yaron has directed over 60 productions including large-scale events, opera, theatre, physical theatre, and circus.
His work has been seen in more than 40 countries and across six continents by over 1.5 million people and has won numerous awards including six Helpmann awards and the Australia Council Theatre Award. His productions have been presented at major festivals and venues around the world including Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Barbican, Les Nuits de Fourvière, Chamaleon and all the major Australian festivals. His film work was selected for the Berlin and Melbourne Film Festivals. He was founding Artistic Director of the Australian Museum’s Theatre Unit, Head Tutor in Directing at Australian Theatre for Young People and has been a regular guest tutor in directing at NIDA.
He is currently Artistic Director and CEO of Circa, and was Creative Director of Festival 2018: the arts and cultural program of the 21st Commonwealth Games.
Owen Belton – Music
Owen Belton lives in Vancouver, Canada and graduated from Simon Fraser University with a degree in Fine and Performing Art. His studies included acoustic, electroacoustic and computer music composition, film sound and dance. He has been writing music for dance for the last 25 years, working with many Canadian choreographers including Crystal Pite, as well as choreographers from Europe and the USA. Dance companies he has created scores for include Kidd Pivot, The National Ballet of Canada, Nederlands Dans Theatre, Ballet Nuremberg, The Royal Ballet and 420 People(Prague). Owen also creates sound design and composition for theatre and has scored several short films, as well as movies and documentaries for television. He is excited to be having his first foray into the world of the circus with Circa.
Marg Horwell - Stage and Costume Designer
Marg is a multi-award winning set and costume designer. She recently designed set and costumes for Blasted (The Malthouse) and costumes for The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui (Sydney Theatre Company).
Marg has also designed set and costumes for Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again, The Testament Of Mary, The Real And Imagined History Of The Elephant Man, The Homosexuals, Or Faggots, Edward Ii, I Am A Miracle, The Good Person Of Szechuan And The Histrionic (Malthouse Theatre), Animal (InFlux Theatre), Lilith Jungle Girl, Summertime In The Garden Of Eden (Sisters Grimm), The House Of Bernada Alba, Peddling, Cock, Constellations, Music, Birdland, I Call My Brothers (Melbourne Theatre Company), Resplendence, Chapters From The Pandemic, Save For Crying, Wretch (Angus Cerini Doubletap), Big Heart, Shit, Savages (Dee & Cornelius), Eight Gigabytes Of Hardcore Pornography (Griffin Theatre Company/Perth Theatre Company), Ophelia Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (Bell Shakespeare Company/Chambermade Opera), Bliss, Nora, La Traviata (Belvoir), Common Ground (Chunky Move), Marlin (Arena Theatre/Melbourne Theatre Company). Marg was Designer in Residence for Malthouse Theatre in 2017.
Libby McDonnell - Associate Designer
Libby is a designer and choreographer and she is currently Head of Design at Circa. Libby works in diverse genres and forms. At the heart of her work is people and movement.
Libby has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) in Visual Art from Queensland College of Art -Griffith University and an Associate Degree in Dance from Queensland University of Technology. Her professional career has included performing and making independent dance work, as an Artistic Director of Ballet Theatre of Queensland and Choreographer for Blue Roo Theatre Company. For eleven years Libby has worked with the team at Circa to imagine, develop and deliver their productions locally, nationally and internationally. During her time at Circa she has designed costumes for over thirty productions, co-directed 3 main stage productions and led many of the company’s engagement projects including the pilot of the Circability program.
Libby is based in Brisbane with her family.
Jason Organ – Technical Director
Jason graduated from Queensland University of Technology in 1988 and has had an extensive career as a Lighting Designer, Production Manager, Technician and Rigger. He has worked with companies such as Queensland Ballet, Queensland Theatre, La Boite Theatre Company, Kooemba Jdarra and festivals such as Out of the Box, Qld Music Festival and Brisbane Festival.
Jason was the co-founder of JLX productions, a lighting design and technical consultancy, based in Brisbane. Since 2010 Jason has been working exclusively with Circa as Technical Director. In this time, he has helped deliver more than 20 new productions and toured to 31 different countries presenting Circa’s work.
Amelia Lever-Davidson – Lighting Designer
Amelia is a lighting designer based in Melbourne, whose practice encompasses theatre, dance, television and events. Design credits include The Violent Outburst That Drew Me To You (MTC); Every Brilliant Thing (Belvoir); They Divided The Sky (Belvoir 25A); Australian Realness, Trustees, Turbine (Malthouse Theatre); Diaspora (Chamer Made); Next Move 11 (Chunky Move); Moral Panic, Contest, Niche, Conviction, Dream Home (Darebin SpeakEasy); Hand to God (Vass Productions); Looking Glass, Triumph (45 Downstairs); Desert 6.29pm, Jurassica, Foxfinder (Red Stitch Theatre); MKA Double Feature (MTC Neon); Ground Control, Camel, Hello There We’ve Been Waiting for You (Next Wave Festival). As Lighting Associate, The Nico Project (Melbourne International Festival); as Tour Lighting Associate Minnie and Liraz (MTC).
Amelia’s work has been recognised with Green Room Awards for Contest, Looking Glass and her 2015 body of work. Amelia is an Australia Council ArtStart and JUMP Mentorship recipient, and a past participant in The Malthouse Besen Family Artist Program and The Melbourne Theatre Company’s inaugural Women in Theatre Program.
Circa Cast Biographies
After a restless adolescence looking for an activity to focus his abundant energy on, Fran was introduced to circus at the age of 16. He went on to start his circus career at 18 at the preparatory school of Madrid, Carampa, and later at the Ecole Supérieure des Arts du Cirque de Bruxelles, specialising in hand to hand and group acrobatics.
With a focus on improving his core technique – and becoming a human trampoline – Fran continued his training in France and was involved in the creative development of several shows with high-level acrobatic collectives across Europe.
In his free time, Fran enjoys Olympic-style weightlifting and reading epic fantasy books.
Discovered on a friend’s trampoline in Melbourne, Jon caught his big break at the age of 12, working as a stunt double for Warner Brothers Where The Wild Things Are.
After over a decade in gymnastics, Jon went on to study at the National Institute of Circus Arts, specialising in rope. Jon graduated in 2014 and began touring independent projects around Australia before performing internationally with some of the country’s best circus companies—Circa, Casus and Circus Oz.
Jon can be found hiding in a cafe, hanging from his rope or standing on people all around the world.
Growing up in Albury, Holly-Rose was introduced to dance at the age of two and fell in love with all things performing after joining her local cheer and dance studio. In 2014, Holly-Rose auditioned for a place in the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, where she trained in handstands, hand to hand, aerial straps and tumbling under the mentorship of Loic Marques and Nick Hutchinson.
During her time at the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Holly-Rose toured JUNK both in Australia and internationally. She also took part in Sydney Festival’s Nanjing Project, while travelling to Melbourne most weekends for additional dance training and performances. Graduating in 2021, Holly-Rose packed her life into two suitcases and moved to Brisbane to start the next chapter with Circa.
Outside of circus, Holly-Rose loves swimming at the beach and dogs, especially pugs.
Rhiannon began training with the Spaghetti Circus, Youth Circus Family in Mullumbimby from the age of 4. At 18, Rhiannon was accepted into DOCH, School of Dance and Circus in Stockholm Sweden. Here, Rhiannon specialised in hand balancing and hand to hand flying, focusing on a unique movement quality and research approach to my circus disciplines.
After 3 years of training Rhiannon graduated with a BA in Circus and was asked to join Australian company Gravity & Other Myths, with whom she developed and toured the show A Simple Space internationally for two years. During this time Rhiannon also co-created another small award-winning show Cadence which planted the seed to eventually co-create the successful circus company Arts House.
Rhiannon joined the Circa ensemble in March 2020.
Marty Evans came to circus by a more roundabout route than most. After watching nothing but circus videos during his lunchbreaks at Australia’s only nuclear reactor, Marty left behind his published scientific career, embracing his physical sports background to pursue a career in circus.
His first taste of circus came at the University of Sydney in 2010 as he tried to entertain himself during free periods by learning to throw people into the air and trying to catch them again. Marty trained at the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne. He is a fiercely determined and hardworking hand-to-hand base that enjoys exploring new challenges and techniques.
Marty joined the Circa Ensemble full time in 2015, and has been involved in the creation of numerous Circa productions including When One Door Closes and Humans.
Nancy Gutierrez Luna
Nancy Luna, an artist born in the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico on January 10th 1997, began her training in circus at 15 years of age through aerial techniques. Her development and learning were shaped thanks to her previous acrobatics training at Fly Academy Gymnastics. At the age of 16 years, she began her professional career, joining the main cast of the Mexican production company Circo Dragón as an artist, With Circo Dragón, Nancy participated in many national and international festivals, while also continuing her training in circus, specialising in hand to hand and aerial hoop. Nancy participated as a guest artist in the gala presentations of three consecutive editions of the Periplo International Circus Festival, and won the third place as an aerialist (aerial hoop) in the National Circus Competition of Ficho International Festival of Circus and Show of Mexico in 2015
In 2016, she started training at Ecole de Cirque de Québec. Today, Nancy dedicates her training and work to creating highly sensitive numbers that have the ability to connect with her audience, create a variation of emotions in her and at the same time possess a high level of exploration and technique. Recently, Nancy has performed in the Montreal Completement Cirque Festival in 2019, Midnight Circus in 2019, and Cirque Du Soleil’s Nysa in 2020.
Instead of paying attention at school, Sam Letch focused all of his energy on throwing himself around in the cold and rainy north west of England, where he grew up.
At the ripe old age of 15, Sam decided that doing back tucks off sand dunes wasn’t enough. The answer to his problem: Parkour. He trained for three years until his acrobatics took him to the National Centre for Circus Arts (London) where he picked up such skills as teeterboard, hand to hand, banquine, floor and group acrobatics. After graduating Sam’s first job performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival lead him on to work with such companies as Cirque Eloize.
Sam’s primary love is performing, shortly after that is his moustache, followed by singing musicals at the top of his lungs for anyone who will listen.
Gerramy started his circus training at the age of 14, joining a youth circus based in Queensland. After discovering a natural talent for object manipulation, it was not long before he found himself performing seasoned shows at different venues from the Brisbane Powerhouse to the Adelaide Fringe Festival.
Gerramy completed a Bachelor of Circus Arts, studying at the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA), where he further advanced his training in the art form of acrobatic basing and rolla bolla.
Gerramy has been performing with Circa since 2014.
Hamish McCourty is an acrobat and musician. He began his circus journey at Cirkidz in Adelaide when he was eight years old and after graduating from the performance program he’s been creating his own work touring nationally and internationally.
Hamish is currently working on fusing together his passion for music and circus on stage. His main specialties are tumbling and basing pair and group acrobatics and he prides himself on making people laugh and being a loon onstage. Hamish is a keen performer and multi-talented acrobat with his sights set on leaving his mark in the world of circus.
Daniel has been physically active throughout his whole life, primarily focusing on his gymnastics training in his hometown of Maryborough and a few small gyms along the Queensland coastline.
After attending National Institute of Circus Arts for three years, where he specialised in hand-balancing and aerial straps, Daniel joined Circa as an ensemble member in 2015. Having fostered an immense passion for circus, he has since performed in many iconic Circa works including What Will Have Been, Closer, and Humans.
He spends his spare time feeding his unhealthy addiction to video games or reading whatever he can get his hands on.
Kimberley O’Brien grew up competing in athletics and playing representative AFL. After seeing one of Circa’s shows, Kim joined Circa’s youth performance troupe Circa Zoo in 2008.
After two years of training and performing Kim was given the opportunity to be the first member of Fast Track, a program designed for young and aspiring performers within Circa.
In 2011 Kim left Circa Zoo to be a full-time ensemble member. Since then, Kim has toured numerous shows in various countries and performed in over 30 Circa shows. One of her highlights was performing Wunderkammer at the Sydney Opera House in 2012.
Paul, aka "the human whippet, dexterous daredevil, neat freak and mister fixit," had his first professional gig in 1996 playing one of the lead roles in Company Skylark’s Wake Baby. Since then, he has toured the world from outback Australia to 42nd Street/Broadway, New York performing in circus, dance, puppetry, musical and physical theatre.
Off stage, Paul co-founded circus company Kronik, co-set up a professional circus training studio in Melbourne, co-managed Warehouse Circus, ran independent circus troupes, and co-coordinated and implemented a number of circus workshops including one for 10,000 scouts over a 10-day period. Paul has performed with companies including Circus Oz, Circus Monoxide, Kronik, Cantina by Strut & Fret Production House, The Australian Choreographic Centre, Jigsaw Theatre Company, Out Of the Blue Studios, Malcom C Cooke & Associates, and Legs On The Wall.
Paul used to believe in his own immortality, now he just believes he’s a nut. He joined Circa as a full-time ensemble member in 2013.
Alice joined The Flying Fruit Fly Circus when she was eight years old. During her ten years at Fruit Flies she performed in a number of productions and was involved in workshops, teaching and a technical traineeship at the neighbouring theatre company, Hot House. These experiences took Alice all around the country, leaving her hooked.
Alice graduated in 2010 and joined Circa at the age of 18. Since then, Alice has toured the world, performing in many Circa productions, including Wunderkammer, Opus, and Shaun the Sheep’s Circus Show. Alice has performed with Company 2, and Gravity and Other Myths as an acrobat/flyer, specialising in static trapeze, duo trapeze, diabolo, hula hoop, clowning and dance (swing, contemporary).
Alice’s passion as a performing artist is to interrogate, explore and share, experiences, stories and ideas using circus as a medium.
As a child, Luke Thomas was always driven to pursue an acrobatic career, constantly found swinging upside down on the hills hoist in his backyard. At age 11, he joined Circus 35° South, and trained aerials, tumbling and manipulation for seven years before studying at the National Institute of Circus Arts, graduating in 2017.
During his study, Luke specialised in tissue, foot juggling and group acrobatics. Luke co-created and performed Out of This World Children’s Show, with seasons at Woodford Folk Festival and Melbourne Fringe Festival. Luke also performed in One Fell Swoop’s By a Thread at Mullumbimby Circus Festival, Perth Fringe Festival, Adelaide Fringe Festival and the Circa Festival at Auch, France.
Luke joined the Circa Ensemble in 2018, performing in the world premiere of Circa’s Peepshow.
In an effort to curb some of Lachlan’s seemingly boundless energy, his mother enrolled him in Canberra’s Warehouse Circus at the age of 8. After graduating from Warehouse’s Emerging Artist Program, Lachlan cofounded an independent circus troupe named Poncho Circus. Lachlan performed with Poncho for a year before deciding that a career in circus was definitely more appealing than sitting behind a desk.
He attended the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) studying Chinese pole, teeterboard and group acrobatics. After graduating, he performed with Circus Oz for two years performing internationally and around Australia before joining the Circa Ensemble in January 2019.
Violetta Van Geyzel
Vi is a playful, adventure loving circus artist drawn to quirky, inquisitive work. Vi grew up in Queensland, Australia competing in Artist Gymnastics and as her love for competing faded she moved to Melbourne to pursue performing arts. She graduated NICA in 2020 having specialised in partner acrobatics and aerial rope.
Born and raised in outback Western Australia, Georgia was a competitive gymnast and dancer for 13 years. This background gave her the discipline and work ethic which now informs her circus practice.
After both parents insisted that their only child join the military, Georgia decided to forgo those plans to follow her own dream of running away with the circus. Graduating from the National Institute of Circus Arts in 2019, Georgia joined Circa as a full-time ensemble member in January 2020.
In her spare time Georgia enjoys motorbike riding, surfing, and free diving. She also hopes to travel the world skydiving someday.
Billie discovered Spaghetti Circus at the age of 11 before moving to Melbourne to study at the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) in 2007. In her graduating year, Billie made her international debut at the 4th World Circus Festival in Moscow. Billie joined Circa as a guest artist in 2011 for the world premiere of Nocturne in South Korea, whilst continuing her solo work performing in cabarets and festivals nationwide.
Becoming a Circa ensemble member at Circa in 2014, Billie toured How Like an Angel before an eight-month residency at the Chameleon Theatre in Berlin performing Beyond.
Bay Area Cast Biographies
Letitia is living her best retirement life! Formally an educator in Palo Alto, she is now exploring her various avenues as a performing artist. She has done community theater in Sunnyvale and Mill Valley. Letitia is also a jazz vocalist and has delighted audiences at the Tabard Theater in San Jose and other local bistros. She is also a member of the Tabard Theater board of directors. As a lover of choral music, Letitia also sings with several Bay Area community choirs. Having no previous circus experience, Letitia was honored when asked to join the cast of Circa. Her heart was eager to accept the challenges inherent in exploring this art form, given her age and level of ability. Through this experience, Letitia is learning a great deal about trusting the creative process, building community, and working through limitations.
Matt Chapman (he/him/they) is a performer, director, and teacher of physical theatre and clown. He currently teaches at Stanford University as a Core Lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies (TAPS). Matt is the co-founder and co-artistic director of Under the Table, collaborating on each of the company’s 14 works produced since its founding in 2001, touring around the world at festivals and on crappy stages in the back rooms of restaurants. He spent several years on Faculty at Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre and has taught in several programs at American Conservatory Theatre (SF). Matt plays guitar in and writes songs for the Oakland punk band The Big Forgive, which he formed with his partner Molly in 2009. They have a goofy and beautiful four-year-old kid.
Calvin Kai Ku
Calvin Kai Ku is a total nerd. So, he’s a scientist of enhancing human connection. Whether he’s performing in a circus, theater, or a magic show, he strives towards discovering and experimenting with performance as a vessel to deliver wonder, joy, and the ridiculous. His past laboratories include the WuQiao Circus Festival, events for Fortune 500 companies, Teatro Zinzanni, and Circus Bella. He is also a founding member and current Director of the Medical Clown Project, a San Francisco Bay Area non-profit using the power of joy and laughter to heal pediatric and older adult patients in hospitals, assisted living and memory care locations, and disaster relief zones. Through the culmination of his many skills, Calvin Kai Ku combines his circus and theater versatility with empathy and vulnerability as he explores exuberance evoking experiences for his audiences.
Cleopatra is a senior at Stanford University studying communications and theatre and performance studies. As a theatre student, Cleopatra has many years of experience on the stage as an actor and singer, as well as backstage working tech or designing lights. Her most recent productions include TAPS’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Moth/Philostrate), and Ram’s Head’s Lodestar (Maggie). This is her first time performing circus, and she is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to perform with Circa through the Arts Intensive program. She hopes you enjoy the show!
Andrew Woo-jong Lee
Andrew is an undergraduate primarily studying pure mathematics but always dabbling in anything else that seems interesting. He grew up in Hong Kong to Korean parents, then attended boarding school in the U.S. and is now at Stanford for university. He grew up playing the cello and started dancing in high school, and currently at university he's been performing in pit orchestras, chamber ensembles, and a modern dance company.
Crystal Liu is a Stanford student participating in the Arts Intensive Art of Circus Movement course with Circa.
Aisling Murran is a Stanford senior studying the ecology of pollinator/plant relationships, but when she isn't dissecting bees, she's preforming. She's a member of the Stanford Improvisors and loves physical improv and comedy. Her recent participation in circus is new but stems from a background in gymnastics, communicative physicality, and performing arts.
After years of constant emergency room visits in his childhood, Seth decided to test his luck by joining the circus. Throughout these past few weeks training with Circa, he’s realized that he needs to revamp his workout routine as his buttocks was incredibly sore for the first week or so. Despite his agonizing pain, he’s thoroughly enjoyed learning alongside his amazing classmates and the Circa acrobats and is considering going to circus school if Stanford doesn’t work out for him.
Vince is described as a “ true Renaissance man” by the TV show American Ninja Warrior and holds true to the name as he wraps up his PhD in Chemistry while working to become a professional sculptor, dancer, and fashion designer. His endless energy for trying new things and discovering how they intersect has led him to many passions and now circus. Though this is his first real circus performance, he has recently been choreographing his own circus routines on public sculptures and hopes to continue interconnecting his passions and diving head first into life.
Emily is an actor, singer, and composer/lyricist who grew up folk dancing in the Boston area and the Pacific Northwest. A third year undergraduate studying music and symbolic systems, they also enjoy working in the Stanford costume shop. Infinite thanks to her dad, Tony, for his compassionate legacy of arts education.
Born and raised in Moscow, Sasha moved to the States at the age of 17 to study cognitive sciences and visual arts at Stanford University. Her artwork blends digital art, film, physical performance, science, and traditional media and was displayed in Stanford Art Gallery, Mohr Student Gallery, SOMA, and site-specific natural locations. Sasha also constructs sets with Stanford Theatre Department and performs with Chocolate Heads Dance Ensemble. In her free time, Sasha loves goofing around and decorating things with pipe cleaners.
Sharon Wambu is a singer, dancer, and actress who is thrilled to be performing with Circa! She is a junior at Stanford studying Computer Science and Theatre & Performance studies and minoring in Music. On campus, you can catch her performing in Legacy Dance, Everyday People, and various theatre productions! Highlighted credits include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Mitch Mahoney), Chocolate Heads' Fashion Fable (Dancer), Riot of Spring (Dancer).
Katherine is a movement artist with 14 years of experience based in ballet and contemporary concert dance, with previous training at Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and the Kennedy Center. She has choreographed and directed numerous works, including for tour at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Her interest in the circus originated in her previous research in dance academia and recent explorations into the pole arts. Katherine is currently studying symbolic systems with a minor in dance at Stanford.
Sid is a college sophomore studying who knows what. She writes, dances, does drag, gets bored. Then she gets up to do a cartwheel. Absolutely no grace and spirit there. So she joined Arts Intensive and trained with Circa for a few weeks in hopes of rolling in a more respectful way towards the audience. We’ll see.
Camille, age 13, is an 8th grader at Discovery Charter School in San Jose. She started gymnastics when she was six years old, and continues to this day. Doing flips on the trampoline is one of her favorite things. Camille has also performed in musical theater since she was five. A favorite past role was playing Little Red in Into the Woods at Children's Musical Theater San Jose. She also enjoys painting and is an avid reader. While Camille loves art, flips, reading, and performing, she hopes to be a marine biologist someday. Enjoy the show!
Stella Coelho Curtis
Stella Coelho Curtis learned to climb up stairs before she could walk. Since then, ascending to great heights has remained a priority. Her parents soon learned that if they ever couldn't find her, they should look up into the nearest tree. At the age of six, Stella began training with Moni Santini-Kelly in aerial silks, which has been an ever-growing passion for over seven years. She likes to create her own choreographies and characters, both for silks and the Lyra hoop. She has also enjoyed performing in theatrical productions at school, such as the musical Aladdin Jr., and a rap ensemble interpretation of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart."
Kayla took a keen interest in gymnastics at four years old. Although she loves all aspects of the sport, her favorite events are beam and bars. If Kayla isn't doing cartwheels or backbends, you can find her in the gym doing Olympic weightlifting. She is the 2022 National Champion in her age and weight category. Kayla's love for performing is apparent as she enjoys participating and showcasing her skills at Silicon Valley International School's yearly talent show.
Grayson has been dancing since the age of five. She dances tap and jazz at West Coast Dance Conservatory. She is a purple belt in Taekwondo and has competed in an international poomsae competition. She studies piano and performs in a rock band at school. Grayson loves theater, art, swimming, and animals. She's thrilled to be in her first circus performance with Circa.
Samara Ailani Randle
Samara was born with determination. When she was two years old, she spent a week learning how to turn the pedals on her tricycle. Though she also began gymnastics at two years old, she had her eye on aerial silks from the moment she entered the gym. Extremely energetic, the excitement and strength needed for aerial suited her. She’s been training for the past 5 years with Moni Santini-Kelly in Palo Alto. One of the few aerialists to perform Triple Star, her favorite moves are the ones with drops. When Samara isn’t hanging from a rig, she’s crocheting, drawing kawaii creatures, or preparing for her future veterinary practice by caring for animals in the Roblox game, Adopt Me.
Ruby Schrobsdorff is a 3rd grader at Woodside Elementary School. She studied ballet, tap, and hula at Westlake School for the Performing Arts before discovering her love for gymnastics—and now circus! You will just as often find her upside down as right side up. Ruby loves ice cream, adventures, and her bunny, Ollie. She aspires to be a pop star when she grows up.
Mattias Sharp is a 6th grader at Hillview Middle School in Menlo Park. He loves doing flips and spins on the trampoline, learning new tricks with his skateboard, surfing, and boogie boarding. Mattias performed in two school musicals last year. He enjoys playing the viola in the Hillview school orchestra and plays the piano after school. When there is nothing else to do, he can be caught riding his unicycle down his street for fun.
Sophie trains regularly at Sessions Parkour and has tried competitive gymnastics, rock climbing, swim team, and ropes courses. She enjoys creating her own illustrated comics and recently came up with a line of octopi art.
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