Te komiti whakahaere o te wā
A founding committee was formed late 2015 made up of: Sam Hankins, Eve Gordon of The Dust Palace, Damian Gordon of Circus Aotearoa, Frances Kelliher of Circability, Larry Wong from Attitude Pole, Mary Weir, Michael Armstrong (Wazza), Achmed Abman of Circool Waipu, Pete Wyatt of HavaGo Circus, Chris Carrow of Christchurch Circus Trust and Anna Cruse of Silver Circle.
Since then, some changes have happened. So, lets introduce the steering committee now:
Tūtaki mai ki a mātou
Eve Gordon (Acting Chair)
Founder and Director - The Dust Palace Circus Theatre Company
Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts
Eve is the creator and company director of The Dust Palace and has choreographed all of their works to date. After being introduced to physical theatre by Beth Kayes at drama school in 2001, 'Circus Theatre' became Eve's vocation and main drive in life.
Eve graduated with a Bachelor of Acting in 2002 and has been working as a physical theatre and aerial circus performer, producer, actor, experimental filmmaker and costume creator for the last 15 years. Eve began The Dust Palace as an umbrella to encompass all the plays, physical works, events and films she creates which have ranged from experimental film festivals; to one off art and music events, to cabaret/burlesque shows; to script based theatre.
She has been teaching circus, physical theatre and drama since 2003 and has taught at Auckland University, The Performing Arts School of NZ, MIT, TAP, The John Bolton School and The Dust Palace Circus School.
Eve Gordon of The Dust Palace performing Handbalance for Metro Magazine. Photographer: Stephen Langdon
Sam Hankins as The Amazing Sven! Photographer: Lynelle Munns
Nick Creech (Deputy Chair)
Nick “retired” from university to go to Circo Arts where he spent 2 years (2002/03). It was here that his rock climbing and rope skills started to show themselves as “pretty useful”. After finishing there he worked less and less as a performer and more as a rigger, welder and rope access technician before joining Cirque du Soleil in 2008 on the show Corteo.
After establishing himself there he left to go to do the creation of Totem in 2010 where after a year he became the Head Rigger through until he took a sabbatical late 2015. Instead of relaxing he joined the New Zealand festival team as a production manager for the 2016 and 2018 festivals, before working again on the World of Wearable Arts helping with Rigging and Automation in 2016 and as the deputy Technical Director in 2017.
He then went on to project manage and mentor for different Cirque du Soleil shows before accepting the job of Rigging Trainer for the touring shows of Cirque du Soleil. Now he is lucky enough to be based in Wellington most of the time but still travels to teach and advise the rigging departments.
Nick is very excited to be part of the ANZCA steering committee and is looking forward to using his skills and contacts to help build the profile of Circus within Aotearoa
Rosalie Ducharme (Secretary)
After graduating from the National Circus School of Montreal in 2009, Rosalie was invited to take part of the creation of Cirque du Soleil's Totem, where she performed her duo trapeze act until 2012. Co-created with Louis-David Simoneau (Duo Waz’O), their act has been greatly noticed for bringing a whole new style to this discipline, blending high level technique and surprising transitions with flowing choreography and acting.
She has been teaching workshops, masterclasses and private lessons in over 30 circus schools around the world, including at Montreal’s National Circus school, and Melbourne’s National Institute of Circus Arts.
Since moving to New Zealand 3 years ago, she was appointed as the Head trainer of the Wellington Circus Hub until 2017, and is currently a tutor at the Whitireia Circus-Dance diploma.
Damian Gordon (Treasurer)
Damian Gordon is a leading member of the family that own and operate Circus Aotearoa. Circus Aotearoa is the only surviving New Zealand owned circus that is still actively touring the country, with their big top.
Damian has over 20 years experience in the circus arts, he was trained at CircoArts, at C.P.I.T. He then went on to work as a street performer, both here in New Zealand and in Europe, where he met his partner. He now has a family and business with her. After three years touring together with Whirling Bros they concentrated their careers around corporate aerials and a family circus called Artfool. They then took on the challenge of touring their own show with Circus Aotearoa when the bigtop from Whirling Bros went up for sale and have been touring for 10 years now.
Damian is honoured to be a part of ANZCA, and is excited for its goals for the future and the future of the wider circus community in New Zealand.
Damian Gordon, the Ringmaster of Circus Aotearoa. Photographer: Lynelle Munns
Co-Founder and Managing Director of COLOSSAL Productions
Co-Director/Performer of award winning ‘Laser Kiwi’
Imogen is a circus artist and variety performer based in Wellington, New Zealand. Seven years into her full time career which has taken her around the world, and more excitingly all over Aotearoa. Has been a tutor at the Wellington Circus Hub, and a trainer on the Whitireia/Te Auaha Circus/Dance diploma, and is now a full time performer/producer. A huge advocate of the New Zealand circus industry, she is excited to be part of its future.
Imogen Stone: Co-Founder of COLOSSAL Productions
Circus has been a part of Evelyn’s life for the past decade alongside a parallel life of attaining a Bachelor of Science in psychology and applied statistics and working for many years in government. In 2015, she quit her job, left Wellington and ventured out to Montreal to train full-time in circus and test out a different way of life. She has since performed and taught circus in Canada, Central America, Indonesia, Australia and of course back home here in New Zealand.
Now based in Auckland, New Zealand she currently works for several circus companies as a teacher and performer. She is also working in collaboration with artists from other disciplines (music and theatre) to help bring stories to life for educational children’s shows currently touring around Auckland.
Evelyn is honoured to be a part of the ANZCA committee and is motivated to utilise her research skills to support the New Zealand circus community to grow and understand itself better.
Michael has been performing and teaching circus for the last ten years since running away from law school to join the circus, or to more accurately state it, attending CircoArts for two years before running away with the circus. He spent four seasons touring with Circus Aotearoa while finishing his law degree, teaching circus at summer camp in America and traveling to England to perform with Unismart, an entertaining survival guide for Universities.
Since then he has created two solo shows, his street show starring Craig the stunt carrot, which he has performed around the world from the Edinburgh fringe festival, Canada, Australia and at the World buskers festival in Christchurch. He also has his stage show Blown Away where he plays a conductor in a show that goes out of control. He has performed this with the Tauranga Symphonia, around NZ and at the Western Australian Circus festival. As well as this he has spoken at TEDx Wellington and started performing on cruise ships around the world.
Michael Armstrong as Mr Wizowski performing Rola-Bola. Photographer: Big Mark Photography