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.
Toni Cannon | Chinese Pole »
Toni is consistently working on finding new ways to express himself through acrobatics. He finds the challenge excitingly thrilling, and very relatable to life challenges. Toni started his circus career later in life however, that didn’t stop him from diving deep into his new found love and passion. The first years of his career was spent with Master Lu Yi learning disciplines like acrobatics, duo’s/ trio’s acrobatics, and chinese pole. His traveled quite a bit to perform and has performed a variety of types of shows like Aerial Animations, Topsy Turvy Circus, This is Acrosanct, and witchtech.
Ester De Monteflores | Slackrope »
Esther de Monteflores is an American circus artist, physical performer and choreographer and is the recipient of a 2017 Fellowship in Performing Arts from Artist Trust (Seattle, WA), the co-founder of A Frayed Knot Productions (Seattle, WA) and a current cast member with Cirque Mechanics' (Las Vegas, NV) touring production, 42ft. In her work, Esther seeks a balance between technical skill and expressive movement. Circus arts allow her to create work that is both intimate and spectacular, using the inherent element of risk to focus attention and spark imagination.
Oriana Doria-Quesada | Rola Bola »
Oriana Doria-Quesada was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and began training and performing with the San Francisco Circus at the age of 7 under Master Lu Yi and Xia Ke Min at the San Francisco School of Circus Arts (now Circus Center). With Lu Yi and Xia Ke Min's guidance, he was exposed to a multitude of different skills in traditional Chinese Acrobatics, and began specializing in Rola Bola Kick Bowls at the age of 16. In addition to performing with the SF Circus, Oriana has also performed with the New Pickle Circus, Circus Finelli, Circus Chimera, Troupe Vertigo, Sweet Can, the Santa Rosa Symphony, in the Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival, and with the Los Angeles Opera.
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 10, 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!
Natasha Kaluza | Hula Hoop »
Natasha Kaluza is a one-woman theatrical army. She is a multi-talented performer and educator working nationally and abroad. Kaluza has experience in many genres including acting, circus, clown, dance, singing, music, puppetry, mask, and is also a playwright. She is known as a chameleon for her ability to personify such a wide range of characters. Additionally she is one half of the award-winning clown duet Coventry & Kaluza. Natasha provides high quality performance for events, easily fits into an ensemble setting for contracted shows, and is eager to travel and work with other artists
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.”
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.
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!