Performer Biographies

Adelina Pinella

Adelina Pinelli

At the age of three Adelina began training in gymnastics and by eight she was accepted into the Western Australian Institute of Sport. She continued with her gymnastic career until the age of 13 and then headed into Trampolining and Tumbling. She represented WA for 2 years in trampoline sports and was also the first female tumbler to compete from Western Australia. Adelina auditioned for the National Institute of Circus Arts based in Melbourne and was 1 of 3 that were accepted from Perth. Adelina graduated from NICA with a Batchelor of Circus Arts in 2006 specialising in Hula Hoops and Spinning Bowls. Since graduating Adelina has been busy performing both around Australia and overseas.

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Simon Coronel

Simon Coronel

One of Australia’s most skilled Sleight-Of-Hand Artists, Simon is a performer who blends classical illusion techniques with a modern and innovative style. He has performed in seven countries across four continents, winning multiple awards for his performances (including the Australian Society of Magicians’ “Best Professional Magician" award three years in a row, and "Most Entertaining Performer" in 2005). Simon performs both close-up and on stage, and specialises in the art of pure sleight of hand: using bare hands, short sleeves and ordinary objects to create illusions that would normally need a sizeable special effects budget.

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 Anita Larkin


Anita Larkin

Anita is a highly skilled and experienced percussionist specializing in Middle Eastern and West African percussion including such instruments as darabuka, req, zills, djembe, balafon and dun dun. Anita started studying music at age seven and completed 11 years training in classical piano and theory culminating in an Associate Diploma of Music (Piano) in 1991. In 1993 Anita began to study Middle Eastern and African percussion with Anne Harkin. Over the past 12 years she has expanded her repertoire of rhythms, styles and techniques learning from locally based and international masters. Anita has performed, toured and recorded with various percussion and world music ensembles locally, nationally and internationally including major festivals and events, corporate functions, television and radio. Currently Anita is part of Yalla, Unified Gecko and Finger of Fury. Anita has been teaching Arabic and African percussion for the last five years and is currently running popular classes in Arabic percussion at Underbelly.

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Sergei Druzhina

Sergei Druzhina

Born in 1978 into a family of circus artists, Sergei performed his first high wire act performance act at age 14. Specialising in hand balancing and ballet, Sergei has performed in Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Netherlands, Japan, Germany, France, New Zealand and now regularly around Australia. He has worked with ‘The Great Moscow Circus’, ‘The Russian Circus on Ice’, Michael Edgley's Moscow Circus, ‘The Bolshoi Russian Ballet’ and ‘Nikoulin`s Circus’ - the biggest contemporary circus in Moscow. Sergei was awarded the bronze medal at the first international circus festival in Moscow after competing against 40 of world’s best circus acts. He has also been awarded the ‘Le Coeur du Festival’ at ‘Cirque de Demain’ in Paris. In Australia Sergei has worked as one of the head trainers at NICA (National Institute of Circus Arts) and now runs his own company ‘Little Devils’ who delight in teaching circus to the next generation of performers.

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Sam Starr


Sam Starr

Sam Starr has been enjoying a successful career in performing arts for the past ten and a half years. Beginning as a mime statue street performer, Sam’s work has taken her from Broadmeadows to Beijing and back. Nine years ago, she moved into the corporate performance arena and has been busy ever since! As a trained Circus artist, Sam has performed for just about everyone from small children’s parties to parliament, and her naturally magnetic energy and charisma leave all with lasting memory of vibrant colour, comedy and movement. Sam’s acts range from multi skilled clowning, hula hooping and mime to promotional characters, stage shows and statues. With a killer smile, a natural way with children and a genuinely friendly approach Sam leaves a fabulous imprint on large and small audiences of large and small people.

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Sarah Hone

Sarah Hone

Sarah has a bachelor degree in Circus Arts from the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne. Prior to attending NICA she was a national champion sports acrobat and tumbler. Whilst training at NICA she specialised in Hand Balancing, Adagio, Aerial Ring and Flying Trapeze which she has performed all over Australia and has taken her to places such as Japan, Turkey, Belgium and Paris.

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Ben Murphy


Ben Murphy

Ben Murphy is one of Australia’s leading performers. From his multitude of roles in TV series such as Neighbours, The Sleep Over Club and a guest host on Big Brother, as well as movies such as Hollywood’s “The Great Raid” all the way to his international renowned illusion acts and magic shows. His hilarious comedic characters feature regularly on GMA with Bert Newton. Ben has also toured the world playing Batman and Spiderman in the live action stage shows, appeared in numerous commercials and has been recognized as a talented actor for his emotional roles with Australia’s leading companies. Ben is a highly sought after guest lecturer and teacher in some of the finest performance institutions and has performed literally thousands of shows around the world.

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Skye Gellmann


Skye Gellmann

Skye Gellmann started circus at the age of 10 with Cirkidz Circus School and Performing Troupe, Adelaide, and remained with the company for 7 years. During these years, Skye performed in shows at many large festivals and events including the Come Out Youth Arts, Adelaide, and Adelaide Fringe Festivals. In 2003, Skye was accepted into the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA), Melbourne, Australia, receiving a Batchelor of Circus Arts in 2006. Foremost, Skye is a leading Rolla-Bolla and Chinese Pole artist. He is also an excellent Clown, and has skills in Juggling, Acrobatics, Slack Rope, Walking Globe and Unicycle. Career highlights have been representing Australia at the European Federation of Circuses, 2006 Chinese Pole workshops in France and being awarded, Most Promising Male Actor, in the 2006 Melbourne Short and Sweet Festival.

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April Dawson

 

 
April Dawson

April Dawson has worked extensively in the circus and theatrical dance world. Touring internationally in the circus from the age of 15 she has gained performance experience as a contortionist, dancer and acrobat over the past 10 years. April has performed in the USA for Disney and Universal Studios, in Singapore for Discovery TV, aboard P&O cruise liners, at the Sydney International Motor Show and major arts festivals across Australia. She has worked with Lunar Circus, Bizircus, Circus Quirkus, ABC’s Strictly Dancing, Cameo Rascale, Circus OZ and Rolling Entertainment.


Christopher Zaluski

Christopher Zaluski

Christopher Zaluski is one half of the dynamic duo Feet2Feat, the premier performers of Icarian Games in Australia. With 7 years performance experience this Cirkidz (Adelaide) performing troupe member and NICA graduate performs with Amy Nightingale-Olsen. Icarian Games (a.k.a. human foot juggling) is a rare act, developing during Chris & Amy’s training at the National Institute of Circus Arts under the tutelage of 6th generation circus performer Arturo Gomez. Since graduating from NICA Chris has performed at festivals, cabarets, corporate events and more for the past 4 years.


Tjoni Johansen

 

 
Tjoni Johansen

After many years of theatrical involvement behind the scenes, Tjoni took to the stage five years ago after falling in love with the art of fire dancing. Tjoni has performed as a soloist and with several troupes at various corporate functions, private parties and festivals around Australia. These have included shows at Crown Casino, Sofitel, Park Hyatt, Metro Nightclub, Docklands, South Wharf, and Federation Square to name a few.

Presently Tjoni’s focus is on combining fire performing with various dance styles, especially African and Belly dancing. She also continues to nurture and be nurtured by her business of seven years as a costume designer and creator.

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