Behold the resplendent creatures who are the flesh, bones, brains, beauty and brawn
of the Vau de Vire Society!
Shannon Gaines(Gustafson) began in So Cal as a hyper lil squirt on the competitive gymnastics scene…later becoming an elite level rhythmic gymnast. She trained two summers at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and then decided to ditch the gym for boys. Upon meeting her favorite, Mike Gaines, she went on to earn a B.S. in physical & dance education from the University of Wyoming. In 2006 she stood very still for the U.S. at the World Championship for Living Statues competition in the Netherlands. She is co-founder, choreographer and performer with Vau de Vire and has done a pretty good job of it… earning VdV the Guardian’s 2008 Best of the Bay (best circus troupe) in San Francisco. She has had the honor to choreograph live performance for such groups as the Dresden Dolls, Peaches, Angelo Moore of Fishbone and the Alkaline Trio’s music video “Burn”. In collaboration with local favorites Rosin Coven and VdV, she has pleasured from re-creating Edward Gorey’s stories live for the annual SF Edwardian Ball(also 2008 best of the bay). Shannon also loves doing choreography for City Circus, a performance troupe for teens and young adults at Acrosports in SF. She recently choreographed the Oakland Opera’s critically acclaimed presentation of Stravinsky’s Renard and Stoli vodka’s 11 city nightclub tour smash, The Moskova Affair. In addition she is a working dancer, stilter, roller skater, living statue, acrobat, fire performer, clown and balancing sword performer.
Kelsy Hiyakumoto is our Principle Dancer. Stand by for her full bio….
Lee Morrison is our All Around Stunt man. Stand by for his full bio..
Rebecca Feller ( a.k.a. Lil’ Miss Beca) is thrilled to be part of the Vau De Vire family! Rebecca began dancing on ice. She grew up training for competitive figure skating and taking applied ballet for skaters, Indian dance, voice lessons and an array of visual arts classes on the side. Rebecca’s love of musicals led her into the theater world both on stage and behind the scenes in make-up, wardrobe and costume construction. In 2002 she attained a Degree in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and began working for Jessica McClintock. Since then she has co-created and launched several clothing companies and her costumes have been seen around the country on Katy Perry’s band and most recently in the art installation RA-Balisk at the De Young Museum, SF. Rebecca began her professional dance career in 2003 as a Belly Dancer with The Suhaila Dance Company and Bal Anat. In 2006 Rebecca switched over into the world of circus, joining Vau De Vire Society and several other San Francisco based circus companies as a dancer, character actress and costume designer. Over the past few years Rebecca continued to grow expanding her performance skills and taking on; fire dancing (poi, fans, fingers, torches and sword), roller skating, acro-dance, adagio/hand balancing, aerial hoop/lyra and most recently acrobatic pole dancing!
Shredder Hoops is on a mission to enlighten and inspire by example. Strength, style, and the courage to shine combine to create her testament to the moment…don’t underestimate it’s potential. Anything is possible.
Erin Shredder is a California native who grew up in the Santa Cruz Mountains between the giant redwoods and the beautiful waves of the Santa Cruz coastline.
In 2004 Erin Shredder was moved deeply while watching Hoopalicious perform at Burning Man. With this newfound inspiration a new purpose materialized and a love affair with the hoop ensued. Shredder Hoops was born.
Thriving on adventure and self-discovery, this hoop artist extraordinaire has a passion for circles and beauty and a demonstrated mastery of both. Erin Shredder is a professional circus artist who spends much of her time spinning on the aerial lyra, deftly manipulating any number of hula hoops (sometimes on fire), and lowering the jaws of the general populous.
By early 2006, Erin Shredder was contracted for her first national tour of the US with the New Cole Brothers Circus performing for over half-a-million spectators in 97 cities spanning over 11 months. Upon returning to San Francisco, Shredder Hoops was recruited by Vau de Vire Society.
Shredder Hoops’ featured acts include: Aerial Hoop, Hoop Dance, Fire Hoops, Acrobatics, Doubles Trapeze, and Doubles Lyra.
Erin Shredder finds inspiration through all whom she meets. She recognizes that each being is unique and has the ability to shine bright. When you exist at your highest potential, all you need will be provided.
Dwoira Galilea is a wild and bendable, crazy extendable, flexible freak who stands on her hands instead of her feet and sits on her head instead of her seat. Sexy and fierce, this strong willed and bodied broad continues to grace the stages of many, performing contortion and aerial hoop across San Francisco and the world, showing off the amazing agility and precision she has learned from years of training. She studies contortion with Mongolian legend Serchmaa Byambaa, as well as multiple Guinness World Record holder Leslie Tipton. She has also studied aerial arts with Swinging trapeze innovator Elena Panova, The New England Center for Circus Arts with Elsie and Serenity Smith, and with Tanya Gagn?© of the Trapeze Loft and the Wau Wau Sisters. She teaches a number of disciplines at the San Francisco Circus Center including static trapeze, flying trapeze, aerial hoop, aerial conditioning, stretching, and kids aerial arts.
Paula Kidwell is currently a fashion knitwear design student in San Francisco and enjoys modeling and flipping on the side. She has a background in Acrobatic Gymnastics with two National gold medals and representation on the national team at the ’06 World Championships in Coimbra Portugal. She also spent a year at the National Circus School in Montreal. Paula strives to be living art and to be happy and creative with whatever she does in life.
TT Robson has an obsession with pulling her body onto hanging objects, a fascination of walking on her hands, and a compulsion to dress in torn tights. Fortunately, Vau de Vire Society has attracted a few other people with the same issues. TT has been with Vau De Vire since August 2008. She has been performing and teaching aerial for over 7 years. She works on tissue (her specialty), rope, lyra, rope & harness, and if none of those are available, just look up, she’ll probably be climbing something. TT’s background in dance and gymnastics has helped her develop a style all her own. She also performs on the ground as a dancer and a wide range of characters. The founder and director of The Gravity Arts aerial dance school in Santa Cruz, she also currently performs with Vau de Vire Society, Skyana Entertainment, Velocity Circus, Trapeze World, and as an independent soloist. She was a member of Mir & A Co. from 2003-2007 and has also performed with Karl Schafer Dance Ensemble, Area 51 Dance Company, and Urban Rennaissance. TT‚Äôs dance and aerial training includes Alvin Ailey School of Dance in New York, Circus Center San Francisco, Project Bandaloop, DeLeon Productions, UCSC dance department, and Boulder Aerial Festival.
Miriam is a third generation native San Franciscan who grew up as a competitive gymnast. Her circus life began with flying trapeze over ten years ago and since then she’s trained on static, doubles, and swinging trapeze as well. She leads a double life as a documentary video editor. The film “A Quiet Revolution,” which she co-wrote and edited, won an Emmy for Best Historical Documentary in 2009. She is addicted to Blue Bottle coffee and Tcho chocolate.
Sasha HarringtonSASHASasha Harrington began on her acrobatic path as soon as she could walk, dedicating over a decade of her life to high-level competitive gymnastics. She broke from the rigid regimen of the sport for the circus world, and has since formally and extensively trained as an aerialist and acrobat. Now performing aerial tissue, hoop, tumbling and dance with a bold and dynamic style of her own, Sasha entertains, engages, and involves audiences from all over.
Sharp Shooter. In SHOWS she shoots BB guns. In LIFE she shoots antique rifles and STORIES beyond your wildest dreams and she has lived them all. She is deadly accurate with her guns and her guns. Getting Shot with a BB by Victoria is an Honor.
Stephanie Lindsay began singing jazz with young classical trios in the Napa Valley, in old wineries and caves North of San Francisco. There is a statue of a phonograph downtown where the first loudspeaker was born.. She received formal training and traveled in top competitive choir as a youngster and continued to study voice under opera singer Lisa Raboy. She became certified in actor‚Äôs training under stage guru Robert Parsons with emphasis on mask and clown technique from Suisun-Harbor Theater in 2001 and helped to lead the revolution in expressionism of today‚Äôs modern clown movement. Before her big break in the illustrious VdV, Stephanie was seen with popular vaudeville dance group Lucent Dossier, where her solo music appeared, and gained cirque backstage and dance experience with the S.F. darlings of influential performance group Xeno.
Blaze is a pole acrobat and contortionist. She is also a static trapeze artist. She is most well known for smoking a cigarette with her feet. One thing we can promise is that she will do things you have never seen before.
Kirsten is extremely excited to be working with Vau De Vire Society and to officially be in the circus! Most babies come out of the womb kicking and screaming; Kirsten came out dancing and singing, and has spent her entire life perfecting not only her art as a performer but her level of absurd silliness as best she can. An East Coast diva, Kirsten is classically trained in voice (Peabody Preparatory) and dance and is a proud graduate of The Baltimore School for the Arts. She has appeared in National Tours such as “A Chorus Line” (Sheila) with director Baayork Lee and “Jesus Christ Superstar” starring Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson. She has also had the great honor of performing every role possible in the Nutcracker from Snow Queen to the Sugar Plum Fairy. When not on stage, she is fortunate to be able to share her wealth of knowledge as a dance teacher and certified Pilates and TRX Instructor throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. And, as always, Kirsten dedicates all of her performances to her family and friends but most of all to her loving and supportive parents, Jay and Paula. Love and light to you all! www.kirstenegerding.com
Maggie grew up on the east coast studying ballet, jazz and neurotic timeliness. She pursued a double major in Communications and Theater despite childhood aspirations of becoming a vampire or a camel. After university, she relocated to London for a job as a radio producer. Having had her fill of Bubble & Squeak, Maggie returned to the states and headed west to California. Upon arriving in the golden state, she set her ballet slippers aside for the barefoot glory of modern dance. She has since trained in various modern techniques with Khamla Somphanh, Randee Paufve, and Reginald Ray Savage, and also studied aerial arts at the San Francisco Circus Center. Maggie has enjoyed a vast array of performance opportunities, including being a dance artist with Savage Jazz Dance Company, dancing for Amanda Palmer at the Fire Arts Festival, and modeling for Dark Garden. She is a regular performer and go-go dancer extraordinaire for San Francisco‚Äôs biggest, baddest burlesque show, Hubba Hubba Revue. Also a member of Sisters of Honk, you might find her in full klown gear wreaking lovely havoc on the city or offering up more go-go-madness on stage with electro klown-fi kings, Gooferman. She is thrilled to be dancing for the Vau de Vire Society and fulfilling all of her wildest, fishnet-laden dreams. Maggie also teaches fitness classes, is a personal trainer, and firmly believes that sweat is the new black.
Angelo Rodriguez is a world class aerialist, one of the original performers for Cirque de Soleil, and he set the bar for all aerialists to follow. He has performed worldwide on many stages and continues to enthrall audiences with his gravity defying aerial style on straps, silks and more. He is an accomplished acrobat and adagio hand balance artist pairing up with top performers in the world.
For more than a decade, Elliott Gittelsohn has been involved in circus arts. He apprenticed at Circus Smirkus Academy and is a graduate of the Clown Conservatory. He studied at the Circus Center’s Professional Program under Serchmaa Byamba (Mongolian Contortion), Lu Yi (Chinese Acrobatics), Xia Ke Min (Chinese Acrobatics) and Elena Panova (Aerials). As a performer he has appeared with several avant garde companies and traditional troupes such as Vau de Vire Society and New Pickle Circus. He was also a founding member of SFBoylesque. He has worked for Cirque du Soleil, Fiji Water, ESPN, JetBlue Airlines, Google and appeared at the 2008 Superbowl in Arizona. He has traveled as an performer across North America and the Pacific. Elliott is currently based in San Francisco where he teaches at Circus Center, Acrosports, Splash Circus Theatre and Yerba Buena Gardens.
Neal “StreetRat” Cordova is the co-founder and head coach of Marin Parkour/FreeRunning. He has been a patron of the art of acrobatic movement for the past 10 years. He assisted in the creation of Crossfit Marin and their Parkour program before creating MPK and establishing the Lost Boys street team. Since his involvement in the art of movement, he has done several events for youtube corporate headquarters including the first ever Youtube Live event. He has also worked as a star acrobat for Velocity Circus and has gone on to create a specialty troupe within Velocity, focusing on freestyle urban acrobatics and partner work. To date, Neal continues to pursue the art, philosophy and evolution of the sport, and to incorporate it into the world of circus arts. He comes from the streets to the stage, rockin out for flight and freedom of mind, body and spirit.http://www.youtube.com/user/MarinParkour
Following a long career as a competitive gymnast, Meghan Miller toured the Americas, Europe, and Asia for over five years as an aerialist with Cirque du Soleil, She performed aerial hoops in the big-top production “Quidam” and in the Las Vegas water show “O.” Her educational background is in biology & nutrition, and she a graduate of London School of Journalism’s Freelance Travel Writing program and published travel writer. She is a certified Yoga and Pilates instructor and coaches circus skills and basic acrobatics. On an amateur level, Meghan is a dabbler in French and parkour, a public radio listener, seasoned vegetarian, cafe-loiterer, late-night book-reader, and lover of vintage 1920s anything
Christopher was destined to spend a great portion of his time upside down, in past lives, this life and beyond. He fell in love with the beautiful Chinese art of plate spinning when he was still a little girl, and that grew into a great love and fascination with Chinese Acrobatics and and eventually all things circus and dance. Beginning Yoga at the age of 13, Christopher has been stretching, bending and inverting ever since. He went on to study acrobatics in the mid 90′s in New York City, first at Broadway Dance Studio, and then with renowned teachers like Tanya Gagne of the Wau Wau Sisters, Sarah East Johnson of LAVA, and world famous male contortionist Jonathon Nosan.
In 2001, He began practice at Circus Center, spending 7 years under the tutelage of Master Trainer Lu Yi & Xia Ke Min for Chinese style acrobatics, Mongolian Contortionist Serchmaa Byambaa, World Champion in Sports Acro Vladimir Nazarov, Angelo Rodriguez and Leslie Tipton.
He performed up and down the west coast from 2003 to 2008 doing a variety of different acts including handbalancing, dance, Chinese platespinning and as a target for sharpshooter Victoria Nicholson in the act CowboyGirlz, working in nightclubs, variety and burlesque shows, and corporate parties for Yahoo, Microsoft, Sephora, Google and many more. From 2006 to 2008 he was a member of the Vau de Vire society. He took a 2 year hiatus from performing and delved deeply back into the world of yoga. He completed his yoga teacher training through YogaTree San Francisco in 2010 and is working on his AA in Dance from City College San Francisco.
Rejoining the Amazing Vau De Vire society both as a performer and a yoga teacher at the new VDV Circus and Dance Institute, Christopher brings humor, passion and a deep love of the physical arts to all that he does.
Eeka BooEEKA BOO
Eeka Boo will amaze you with the magical characters she creates for herself-electric and defying gravity on all kinds of aerial apparatus.
Sarah GonsalvesSARAH G
Sarah g, aka the cat juggler, is a creative poet and story teller in love with life and art. She has a knack for being a behind the scenes guru, and has moonlighted with VDV as an all around director’s assistant, stage manager, prop builder and production coordinator on the side of being a non-profit director, poet artist-in-residence and writing coach for the past twelve years in Colorado and the Bay Area. She has been with Vau de Vire since the beginning and is proud and honored to be an integral player in all of the artistic excellence and adventures that have materialized and those yet to be written.
Pamela spontaneously arrived from Planet Hatu in 2004 in search of a creative performance outlet, friendly creatures, and shiny things. Life on Hatu provided her with a rich background in make up, hair, costume design, dance, fire play, floral design, multiple personalities, snake charming, absinthe brewing, and pseudo taxidermy. The infamous Street Legal Theater and China Bleu were her launching pad. She is a co-founder of the first professional fire performance troupe in Utah, Incendiary Circus, which performs regularly for the Utah Arts Fest, SLC First Night, and many other public/private/corporate affairs. Now well equipped with an arsenal of talent, she came to find the beloved Vau de Vire Society. THRILL! The love of Show and this tightly knit group of extraordinary creatures are the life blood flowing through her. It is a special thing when one finds such an amazing family and opportunity to live the life we love. She is Charmed, Blessed and full of Gratitude. You will find her backstage helping Ballerinas to fasten garters and apply eyeliner, onstage as the Bearded Lady with a sword of fire, to the side of the stage managing the flow, or outside for a safety meeting, day dreaming about tour buses, Vikings and roller coasters.
Genevieve has been an Event Production Specialist since ’91 in numerous capacities, from Operations and Security, Stagehand to Stage Manager. She joined the Vau de Vire Society as general production crew in early 2009, her first event with them being the ’09 Edwardian Ball. She has since toured the U.S. with them and couldn’t be happier that she has been kidnapped by her favorite Circus Family.
HAIR & MAKEUP
|VdV FAMILY OF ARTISTS
The Madd Vibe Orchestra
Fou Fou Ha!
Truly an enigma, and deemed as a true musician and poet, Keno Mapp brings his life force and love to this group. Widely recognized for his funky Music CD, ‚ÄúHeart Touch‚Äù and the author of the Inspirational poetry book “Senseless Murder”, as well as one of the original Punany Poets, televised on HBO’s Real Sex 24&26. Whether it‚Äôs funky music or heart touching poetry, with Keno Mapp, it‚Äôs always love… www.mooremapprecords.com
Boenobo the Klown
San Francisco Symphony
Eric McFadden Trio