ABIGAIL MUNN | Director | Trapeze »
An accomplished dancer, choreographer, and aerialist, Abigail holds a BFA in Modern Dance from UC Santa Barbara. She made her first appearance in the ring as a child with San Francisco’s Pickle Family Circus. She has since performed with Lone Star Circus, Zoppé Italian Family Circus, New Pickle Circus, Cabaret Verdelet, Circus Cabaret, Tease-O-Rama, Va Va Voom Room, The Velvet Hammer Burlesque, and of course, Circus Bella. Abigail was featured in the New York Times for Alma Esperanza Cunningham’s work “Princess”. She also co-directs the nouveau-vaudeville troupe Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, three-time “Best of the Bay” award winner: Internationally recognized, the Kitties have been very influential in the modern Burlesque resurgence. Co-Founder and Executive Director of Circus Bella, she has conceived and directed most of its productions for the past eleven years.
JAN DAMM | Diablo and Rola Bola »
Jan Damm has been touring in the U.S. and internationally as a circus artist for over 10 years. Originally from Maine, he has worked street corners, big tops, theaters and opera houses, rural schoolyards, and on screen. He specializes in clown, juggling, acrobatics, balancing and eccentric skills. Jan enjoys collaboration and creating original work, but is also at home in classic spectacles inspired by the greats of vaudeville and circus. Career Highlights include starring aboard Celebrity Cruises' Silhouette, Cirque Mechanics' Pedal Punk on Broadway, Big Apple Circus' 40th Anniversary Tour, and among the original cast of Circus Bella in San Francisco. He lives in Brattleboro, Vermont with his wife Ariele and their two children, Timo and Ilsa.
ARIELE EBACHER | TightWire»
Ariele Ebacher has toured the world dancing on the wire for the past 20 years. She began her career in circus after receiving her BA in Dance from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has performed circus on cruise ships, on ice, in nightclubs, variety theaters, circus tents, and in the great wide open. In the past few years she has been seen with NoFit State Circus, Zoppe Circus, Flynn Creek Circus, Circus Flora, The Bindlestiff Family Circus, Midnight Circus, and the Big Apple Circus. When not on tour she coaches tight wire at the New England Center for Circus Arts, where she lives with her husband and partner in circus and life Jan Damm and their two children.
DWOIRA GALILEA | Contortion »
A native of Coney Island, New York, Dwoira trained in rhythmic gymnastics at an early age and graduated from Fiorello H. La Guardia High School of Music, Arts and Performing Arts in New York City as a theater major. She also trained in circus arts with various coaches at the same time, before studying at the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA) in Brattelboro, Vermont and moving to the Bay Area, where she finished her training at San Francisco’s Circus Center. Dwoira is a contortionist and an aerialist and, besides many appearances with Circus Bella in the Bay Area, she has performed internationally in traditional and contemporary circuses, cruise ships, nightclubs, and corporate events.
CARLO GENTILE | Foot Juggling/Risley »
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Carlo has been teaching, directing, and performing circus for the past 15 years. He is a graduate of the San Francisco Circus Center’s Clown Conservatory and has trained in China, where he and his wife, Orlene, went to perfect their foot juggling act. Carlo has performed with the Royal Lichtenstein Circus as a clown, juggler, unicyclist, and diabolo artist, with St. Louis’ celebrated Circus Flora, has toured extensively with the Zoppé Italian Family Circus, and has appeared several times with Circus Bella’s “Circus in The Parks.” He and Orlene have served as Artistic Directors of CircEsteem and the Chicago Youth Circus.
ORLENE GENTILE | Foot Juggling »
Born in Los Angeles, Orlene has been singing and dancing since age three. She cut her teeth as a variety entertainer on the streets of India, Vietnam, and the backwoods of Thailand. Orlene is a graduate of the San Francisco Circus Center’s Clown Conservatory and has trained multiple times in China where she and her husband, Carlo, perfected their foot juggling act. Orlene has performed with Zoppé Italian Family Circus, Circus Monti in Switzerland, and at the Krystallpalast Varieté in Leipzig, Germany. With Carlo, she has served as Artistic Director of CircEsteem and the Chicago Youth Circus.
GIANLUCA “GIANNI MAGI” GENTILE | Risley »
Conceived in China and born in Woodland Hills, California. Gianluca, now twelve years old, is a clown and acrobat. He is inspired by the long history of acrobatic clown performers, including Fumagalli and the Fuma Boys. He has studied trapeze, Chinese pole, tap, and ballet. Performance credits include the Zoppé Family Circus, Circus Bella, El Circo Cheapo, CircEsteem, and the Chicago Youth Circus.
GIULIA “TRIXIE LOVE” GENTILE | Risley »
Conceived in Switzerland and born in Tucson, Arizona, Giulia, age 11, is an acrobat and aerialist. She has performed with the Zoppé Italian Family Circus, Circus Bella, and other shows. Most recently she completed a training program for trapeze and other general circus arts at CircEsteem in Chicago. She enjoys painting, dancing, and spinning carpets.
GIOIA MEI “TATLO” GENTILE | Risley »
Conceived in Germany and born in Chicago, Gioia, age 7, appeared for the first time in a circus ring when she was eight-week-old, with the Zoppé Italian Family Circus. She’s had a love of performing ever since… Currently she’s training as a Risley flyer and developing her headstands and handstands.
GIUSEPPINA "GUISI" GENTILE | Risley »
Born in Gilbert, Arizona, Giusi, age 3, is just starting out!
Suzanne Santos | Production Director and Clown »
Suzanne Santos has been performing in theaters and circuses for 20 years. As an actor, Suzanne toured internationally with the award winning production of Corpus Christi. As a clown, her credits include Circus Couture, The Pickle Family Circus School Tour, The New York Clown Festival, Clowns Without Borders, El Circo Cheapo Cabaret, and Le Carnaval Carmagnole. She has also had the privilege of writing, creating, and directing for Dell'Arte Youth Academy, Prescott Circus, CircEsteem, SANCA, Aloft, and Circus Smirkus' Road Show in Vermont. She has worked for Equestre Zoppé with The Zoppé Family Circus as a member of the horse department. She has also worked as an administrator, supervisor, and production manager with many of these organizations. She is delighted to be working back in San Francisco with Circus Bella!
SPECIAL GUESTS FROM CIRque Marvelous:
Boris OLGUIN | Juggling
MARIA JOSE | Aerial Hoop
Oliver Ramos | RinGMaster
The Circus Bella All-Star Band
Rob Reich | BandLeader
MICHAEL PINKHAM | PERCUSSION
ALISA ROSE | VIOLIN
IAN CAREY | TRUMPET
JONATHAN SEIBERLICH | TUBA
KASEY KNUDSEN | SAXAPHONE
ROB REICH | Composer | Musical Director »
As one of the city’s stalwart underground artists, Rob Reich is quintessentially what makes the San Francisco music scene a vibrant and vital mecca for independent music. Reich started studying piano at age three. After graduating with a degree in Music Composition from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, he moved to the Bay Area, where he discovered the accordion, now his primary instrument. He is best known for his work with Tin Hat, Gaucho, and Circus Bella. His recent album “Shadowbox” was described by Downbeat Magazine as “an elegant quintet date that moves effortlessly between post-bop, jazz Manouche, and chamber-rock.” Andy Gilbert of East Bay Express writes, “Whatever context he’s in, Reich transforms it into a creative hothouse where thousands of musical flowers bloom.”
James Touzel | Sound
James “lil jimmy” Touzel is a freelance bassist, clarinetist, songwriter, sound technician and vocalist living in San Francisco, California. For the past 10 years, he has been a mainstay in the Bay Area’s traditional American music scene, specializing in bluegrass, country, western swing, dixieland, jazz, and rockabilly. In addition to numerous music and film recordings on the upright bass fiddle, electric bass guitar, and clarinet, “lil jimmy” has toured coast-to-coast at home in the US, as well as performances in Canada, Holland, France, Belgium, Costa Rica, and Russia. He has performed live on stage with noted groups such as the Earl Brothers, the Stylistics, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, Danielle Howle, the Brothers Comatose, Jackie Gore, and the Tams.
In addition to his love for traditional American music, Mr. Touzel has a passion for performing classical music on the clarinet. Before moving to the Bay Area, he held Bass Clarinet chair in the Symphony Orchestra Augusta (GA) and the 2nd/Eb Clarinet position in the Long Bay (Myrtle Beach, SC) Symphony. Additionally, he played with the Wilmington (NC) Symphony and the Aspen Festival Orchestra. James has performed under the batons of many of the worlds leading conductors such as David Zinman, James Dupriest, Julius Rudel, Michael Stern, and Damon Gupton. He attended the Aspen Music Festival where he studied with Bass Clarinet legend Dennis Smylie.
Christina Weiland | Costume Designer »
Christina began costuming as a circus aerialist, creating her own costumes for performance, and teaching herself the fundamentals of pattern making so that she could create whatever she imagined. Soon, other circus artists began commissioning her to make their costumes. Since then, she has been led down various paths, including musical theater, ballroom dance, ballet, opera, and even science, collaborating with the Academy of Sciences to provide costumes and props for their educational programs. She has furthered her education by studying pattern-making at Apparel Arts and has been learning about all aspects of the fashion industry. She has worked in the professional costume shops of Teatro ZinZanni, A.C.T, and Berkeley Rep, and she is also part of Berkeley Rep’s wardrobe crew. Christina is constantly seeking new challenges to grow as an artist and is delighted to return to her roots with Circus Bella.
Judy Finelli | Juggling Director and Coach »
Judy Finelli is one of the cornerstone figures of the American New Circus Movement. Finelli appeared in circus, theatre, film, and television before moving to San Francisco to perform and direct with the Pickle Family Circus. She appeared in Robert Altman’s live-action film of “Popeye” (written by Jules Feiffer), and her television appearances include “Sesame Street,” and “The Mike Douglas Show.” Live performances include the Circo dell’Arte, a Luciano Berio concert at Carnegie Hall, the Theater for the New City, and Circus Vargas. In 1984, she co-founded the San Francisco School for Circus Arts (now Circus Center) with Wendy Parkman, before becoming the Artistic Director of the Pickle Family Circus in 1987. After leaving the Pickles in 1990, Judy has focused on teaching and directing students and shows throughout the US. She has taught at the International Mime Festival, NYU School of the Arts, Juilliard Drama School, the American Conservatory Theater, the Ringling Clown College, the Prescott Circus Theater, and the Sons of Cayuga Circus Studios. She is the subject of a forthcoming documentary “Still Judy: The Judy Finelli Project,” by award-winning director-cinematographer Lisa Denker. *Judy's participation is supported, in part, by the California Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Arts and Disability Center at the University of California Los Angeles.
Wendy Parkman | Choreogaphy and Juggling »
Wendy is a seasoned performer, director, and teacher of all things circus. She performed with the Pickle Family Circus up and down the West coast and to the Roundhouse in London as a juggler, aerialist, acrobat and clown. She also performed with The Flying Karamozov Brothers in The Comedy of Errors at the Goodman Theater in Chicago and at Lincoln Center. She co-founded the Pickle Family Circus School, now the Circus Center SF. She has taught theater and circus arts in many schools and summer programs in the Bay Area, including thirty years at the Urban School of San Francisco.