Flying Cortes

The Flying Cortes

Join us in welcoming The Flying Cortes as they ascend to the highest reaches of the Big Top and soar through the air in one of the most awe-inspiring acts in the circus world!

The Flying Cortes have appeared in various circuses and prestigious circus competitions around the globe. In 2013, they were recipients of La Piste d’Or (“The Golden Path” award) at The International Circus Festival in Massy, France. In 2012, the group also received the Kerstwintercircus (Christmas Winter Circus) Award in The Netherlands.

The troupe consists of Robinson and Alex Cortes, fourth-generation performers with roots in Colombia. They came to the United States with their parents in 1977 and each has enjoyed the circus spotlight since childhood in various troupes from families including the Wallendas, the Gaonas and the Poemas.

Also featured in the troupe is Robinson’s wife, Alida, and the pair’s daughter, Ysabella. Alida’s circus background features a number of recognizable names in the circus industry – Wallenda, Zoppe and Bertini, to name a few. Rachael Hutinger, who honed in on her skills at Florida State University’s acclaimed circus program, The High Flying Circus also joins the group.

As the troupe soars above the center ring, they ask the audience to remember two things: dreams can come true and people can fly!

Kirill Rebkovets

Kirill Rebkovets

Kirill Rebkovets likes to say “I live my life [literally] on the edge” – and he’s absolutely right! You won’t believe what he can do on the Rola Bola!

Kirill was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and moved to Florida at age 10. It was stateside where he quickly fell in love with the circus, specifically with the Rola Bola act. He soon became one of the most notable Rola Bola performers in the world, holding a number of World Records and creating several original tricks.

The Rola Bola act is rare in the circus world – its difficulty is measured in inches. One inch to the right and everything falls apart – there is no room for error. But this has not stopped Kirill – in fact, he says that it is what makes it interesting: “This thrill makes me want to try something even more crazy and challenging.”

Kirill has plenty of performance experience for audiences of any size, having appeared on NBC’s “The Today Show” and as part of Cirque du Soleil, as well as for smaller private corporate events. Regardless of where he is, he always brings his passion and professionalism to the stage, revelling in keeping people on the edge of their seats.

Prepare to be thrilled by the incredible Kirill Rebkovets!

 

Anastasini Dogs

Anastasini Soccer Dogs

These canine athletes will leave you howling with laughter – it’s the Anastasini Soccer Dogs, led by Luciano Anastasini!

 The name Anastasini is synonymous with circus, and eighth-generation performer Luciano is no stranger to the circus world. He has spent his entire life immersed in high-flying, daredevil acts that date back hundreds of years to his family’s roots in the Old Country.

 While his father was a wing-walker daredevil, his mother’s specialty was animals. As he put it, “you name it, she worked with it – elephants, lions and even baboons in South Africa!” Luciano thought at first he would follow in his mother’s footsteps, teaching stray dogs from the neighborhood to do tricks in his backyard. But the high-intensity daredevil acts called to him – before long, he was driving motorcycles across high wires, 13 stories in the air.

 Later, after a devastating accident stunted his daredevil career, he once again found his purpose in training man’s best friend to flip, jump and roll – something he hadn’t done since he was a boy. He decided he wouldn’t train just any dogs – he would work with “second-chance” dogs, ones that no one wanted any more. It would be a second chance for both Luciano and the canines.

Now, with a hoard of hounds ready to please, we invite you to sit back and enjoy the Anastasini Soccer Dogs!

Dolly Jacobs

Dolly Jacobs & Rafael Palacios

No one personifies the ethereal elegance and awe-inspiring allure of the freedom of flight quite like Circus Sarasota’s world-premiere aerialist and circus legend, Dolly Jacobs. She soars, she spellbinds, she glides through the air with a graceful enchantment and unbridled poise.

Jacobs’ passion for performance stems from a deep-rooted family legacy in the arts. Her mother Jean was a top New York fashion model and circus performer, and her father was the legendary clown Lou Jacobs – reigning king of clowns who brought joy and laughter to children of all ages on Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus for over 60 years. Born and raised in Sarasota, she trained at the renowned Sailor Circus and was taught the Roman Rings act by her Godmother, Margie Geiger.

Following in her father’s footsteps, she began her professional career with Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, where she mesmerized audiences and earned the undisputed title of “Queen of the Air.” Her career continued to take flight as she went on to star in The Big Apple Circus and later in worldwide performances alongside her now husband and CAC co-founder, Pedro Reis.

Jacobs has been awarded numerous accolades, including the Dame du Cirque and the prestigious Silver Clown award in at the International Circus Festival in Monte Carlo. She was inducted into the Circus Ring of Fame at St. Armands Circle in 1997 and to the Ringling Museum Hall of Fame as “Circus Celebrity” in 1999. Most recently, in 2015, Dolly became the first circus artist in history to be named a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow, which is the nation’s top honor in the Traditional and Folk Arts.

Dolly’s co-star and aerial partner, Rafael Palacios, was born in Sarasota to third generation trapeze artists. He began his aerial training at the age of two and was soon performing with his parents in Las Vegas. By the age of five, he earned recognition as “Youngest Trapeze Artist in a Public Performance.” Palacios and his family were also inducted into Sarasota’s Circus Ring of Fame and have performed for the likes of royal figures and leaders including Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco and Pope John Paul II. Palacios has also been awarded the coveted “Clown Award” for lifetime achievement from the Cirque d’ Monte Carlo.

You will be swept away by the magnificent beauty of Jacobs and Palacios as they lift your spirits with an entrancing love story that takes flight right here beneath the Big Top.

AJ Silver

AJ Silver

Born in The Bronx, New York, Angelo Iodice (aka AJ Silver) grew up fascinated with the Wild West and all of its wonders. At the age of eleven, after witnessing his first rodeo at Madison Square Garden, he found his calling – he would become a rodeo trick rider!

His initial training began when he worked with the professional rodeo couple Nick and Helen Panzella, also Bronx natives. Helen, one of the nation’s top trick riders, was so impressed with Angelo’s determination to learn that she agreed to mentor him. Nick, a blacksmith and rodeo competitor, taught Angelo trick roping and prepared him for life on the rodeo trail. Every day after school, while his friends were playing stickball, Angelo was practicing the cowboy arts with the Panzellas.

He put his career on hold to attend Pace University where he later found there was an equestrian program – and the perfect opportunity to train in many equine disciplines. He became the captain of Pace’s polo team and was selected as a participant in the school-funded Leadership Program.

After graduation, Angelo taught high school for one term but quickly gave it up for the rodeo trail. He was immediately hired by the Longhorn Rodeo Company – the world’s largest producer of indoor rodeos. He traveled across the USA, garnering much attention for his outstanding trick riding and roping skills and signature showmanship.

Within one year he was honored as the Act of the Year by the International Rodeo Association at The Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma and was accepted as a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association. Now, his focus is turned more towards a western variety act, combining trick roping, bullwhip artistry, and boleadoras. Under the stage name of AJ Silver, he travels around the world performing in a variety of entertainment venues – including the place where it all began, Madison Square Garden.

All the world’s a stage for the talented AJ Silver – sit back and soak in all of the skill, speed and surprise this entertaining Bronx boy has to offer!

Kris Kremo

Kris Kremo

KRIS KREMOJuggler extraordinaire Kristian (Kris) Kremo will dazzle you with incredible artistry at the speed of light!

Born in Paris, Kris is the son of Béla Kremo, a former icarist whose “Gentleman Juggler” act was world famous, and his wife Marianne (née Kalbitz), both Swiss citizens. Kris went to school in Switzerland, often spending his summer vacations with whatever circuses his father was touring with at the time. It was during these trips that he learned various circus disciplines, which prompted him to perform with other circus kids in amateur shows. His father soon began to train him as a juggler, going so far as to send his son written instructions by mail during the school year so that he could practice.

At fifteen, Kris began juggling in amateur shows. A few years later, he became a professional. In 1970, at age 19, he partnered with his father in an act in which the pair performed the same routine in unison and at dizzying speed. The act included a series of three objects (three balls, three hats, three cigar boxes…), which was his father’s trademark.

Kris’s began his solo career in 1975 when he signed his first circus season with Blackpool’s Tower Circus in England. His success was immediate, and he embarked upon a brilliant international career with an act reminiscent of his father’s, but significantly improved—notably with triple and quadruple pirouettes while juggling his cigar boxes.

Kris Kremo has performed in major circuses, nightclubs, and variety theaters all over the world, as well as for Queen Elizabeth II of England and King Carl Gustav of Sweden. He was featured for a record eleven consecutive years (1978-89) at the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas. Kris is now an American and Swiss citizen and is married to Russian hula-hoop artist Yelena Larkina.

Prepare to be amazed by the incredible speed and agility of juggling maestro Kris Kremo!

Smirnov

Vladimir and Olga Smirnov

Back by popular demand, quick change artist extraordinaires Vladimir and Olga Smirnov return to dazzle audiences at Circus Sarasota!

This husband and wife team are wardrobe wizards as they quickly switch from one costume to another right before your eyes!

Born in Kharkov, Ukraine to an actor, comedian and circus-producing father and a magician mother, Vladimir has performance running through his veins. He began training at the early age of 6 and studied many disciplines including acrobatics, juggling, dance, perch pole and most importantly, magic!

His lovely wife Olga was born in Barnaul, Russia and is also a second generation professional circus performer. At the age of 10 she began practicing gymnastics, low-wire and acrobatics. Her circus career blossomed and she later met her husband  while working side-by-side in the Russian State Circus company.

The Smirnovs are masters of their craft, having performed this act together since 1993. The Russian-style tradition of this act defies magic and instead combines color, choreography, and music to present an elegant, graceful and fun presentation that is both marvelous and mystifying. Don’t blink – you just might miss it!

Juju Tight Rope

Juju Tight Rope

Julia Figuière & Julien Posada (together known as JuJu) are astounding tight wire artists – and you won’t believe your eyes watching them suspended on a thin metal rope! They have held artist residencies in multiple circuses and performance groups around the world, and now they make their Circus Sarasota debut!

Duo KVAS

Duo KVAS

Vladimir Kostenko and Anton Savchenko are together known as the acrobatic duo KVAS. Their career began in 2004 at the Kobzov Circus in Ukraine – and from there, they have traveled the world. Notable appearances include Circus Festival in Monte Carlo in 2014, where they were awarded the Bronze Clown. In 2015, they shone in the Cirque Stiletto of Stardust Circus International. That year they were also guests of Circus Medrano, the Circus Sarrasani and more! Their act impressively demonstrates the power and the unprecedented possibilities of the human body. Each demanding performance requires daily intensive training, especially for the surprise final moments of the act. You will be astounded by the sheer strength, trust and capabilities of this unforgettable pair – join us in welcoming Duo KVAS!

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Circus Arts Conservatory Goes to Washington

By: Ilene Denton, Sarasota Magazine

It stars in the 50th anniversary Smithsonian Folklife Festival through July 9.

Watching the stars of Circus Sarasota perform under its wonderfully familiar Big Top on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.—and experiencing the roar of delight and appreciation from thousands of circus-goers from around the world—is a moment of civic pride hard to put into words.  More