Performers at ICC 2016

Great Contortionists on Stage
Alina Ruppel/ELIZA

ELIZA (Alina Ruppel)

ALINA RUPPELis internationally renown for her so called Ruppel Backbend, which she created herself.
Up to now she is the only artist worldwide who is able to perform this extreme pose!
Since her performance at ICC 2013 when she was still a teen ALINA has grown into a beautiful young lady with an amazingly elegant performance style combined with most extreme and most demanding acrobatic poses.

For ICC 2016 ALINA RUPPEL as "ELIZA" has created a new show, which will premiere at the International Contortion Convention 2016 in Las Vegas.
Her brand new act "Contortion is a Cabaret" is an homage to the wonderful artist Lisa Minelli, one of Alina's all time favourite show stars.

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Jim Pickles

Jim Pickles

Our longtime friend and supporter of our events, Dr. Jim Pickels, has prepared a comedy contortion show act for ICC 2016. Jim is a wonderful example of how enthusiasm and the love for the art of contortion can keep you young and happy. He is a great inspiration for all of us.

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trio-otgo

Trio Otgo

Trio Otgo Otgo will also bring another show of 3 lovely girls (Anya, Kristi & Kanako) and students she is currently coaching. For ICC 2016 this young Trio will create a special act. We are very honored and excited to be part of this new creation!

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kristinaKK

KristinaKK

Angelique Echimeg, our ICC coach (longtime contortion trainer of several CIRQUE DU SOLEIL shows in Las Vegas) and famous former contortionist, will present KristinaKK. Kristina is 13 years old. We can be sure, that Kristina, like so many other young talents from Angelique who performed at our former ICC shows will be fabulous.

Adrienne

THE LINDLEY LOPEZ PRODUCTIONS

THE LINDLEY LOPEZ PRODUCTIONS is donating two shows to our event.
One Solo Contortion Act with Adrienne and a performance with several young ladies (trio performance) from her academy and her circus productions.

For more information about Cheryl aka Columbina and her shows and productions, please go to: This Website

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Sofia Venanzetti

Sofia Venanzetti

Sofia Venanzetti Sofia, a former student of Otgo Waller is a Contortionist, Pole Dancer and Fitness Model. She started out as a ballet dancer and later found her love for contortion. Sofia has been performing in various shows and TV productions as a dancer and atmosphere/contortion Performer such as Wonderland Group at Marquee, Lavo and other venues in Las Vegas.

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Anna Venizelos

Anna & Olga

Anna & Olga Anna came to circus from a background of both gymnastics and dance.
After studying dance education at NYU she settled on pursuing her love of contortion, aerials, and acrobatics.
She toured with Cirque du Soleil's production of Quidam from 2004-2007, performing both the aerial hoops act (a trio) and then the contortion in silks, as a soloist.
She has performed with Montreal based circus companies, Les Gens d'R and Cirque Eloize as well as doing numerous events at NYC venues such as City Center, Symphony Space and the Big Apple Circus tent at Lincoln Center.
Anna has also contorted for film & tv and is a member of sag/aftra.

In the past Anna has performed a Duo Contortion Act with her sister Emily.
Now she has formed a new Duet with Olga, which they will present at ICC 2016.

Olga is a professional ballet dancers, acrobat and acrobatic pole dancer. She is a US Champion and two-time Pan American Champion in Rhythmic Gymnastics.
Official Olympic Alternate Athens, Greece. Presently she is graduating a B.S. in Applied Psychology at New York University this May.

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Valerie SPRINKEL

Valerie Sprinkel

VALERIE SPRINKEL Her biography is rather unusual. Valerie is a dolphin trainer by trade, and practices contortion as a hobby. She tries to incorporate contortion when possible at her work.
Valerie is 38 years old and has worked as a marine mammal trainer for 14 years.
She is from Auburn, California and went to college at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo where she studied Psychology. She was a high school and collegiate cheerleader, and has always been flexible, but just started seriously practicing yoga and contortion about 12 years ago. Preview of the Performer

Shiryuan Ana Velasco

Shiryuan Ana Velasco

Shiryuan Ana Velasco Ana originates from Bilbao, Spain. In early childhood she started her acrobatic career as a gymnast and became a contortionist at the age of 14. Ana was already performing at ICC 2013 in Germany, but since then her life and career has changed quite a lot. She has worked hard to become a professional contortionist and has been traveling the globe in the recent year. One of her most favorite engagements was in September 2014 when she had the chance to work with Pastelito and Tachuela Chico's circus during high season as solo contortionist in Santiago di Chile. Anas' goal ist to work with a big circus or variety show somewhere in Spain, Chile or anywhere in the world..... Maybe in the USA after her performance at ICC 2016?

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Samantha Halas

Samantha Halas

Samantha Halas The Canadian born artist started contortion at an age many believe too late to begin this art form because of it's physically extreme nature: At 21 years old she traveled to Beijing International Art School to train in this circus school of mostly children. Falling in love with Mongolian contortion techniques she continued her path by joining San Francisco's Circus Center's professional program to train with the world renowned Mongolian contortionist Serchmaa Byamba. Serchmaa later brought her to Mongolia to train these techniques in the land where they originated. Samantha's performance highlights include Vancouver's Underground Circus, Labrador Creative Arts Festival, Luna Cabellara's Equestrian Circus in Quebec, with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra as well as with Red Sky Indigenous Contemporary Dance company in Banff. Samantha also produces her own shows in Winnipeg where she resides. Her most unique performance experience was doing hand-balancing for an audience of Beluga Whales as part the art project "Whale" in Churchill, Manitoba. Samantha teaches contortion and hand balance to children and adults across North America.

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Tori Kubick

Tori Kubick

Tori Kubick is a professional contortionist, dancer, and aerial artist. She has always enjoyed bending and contorting. Her background stems from a strong dance base of ballet, jazz, modern, and acrobatics. She studied and competed since the age of 5 for Artists In Motion in Princeton, NJ. While studying dance performance at East Carolina University Tori fell in love with of contortion. She studied contortion, silks, and lycra at Cirque de Vol, Philly School of Circus Arts and Circus Warehouse. After some intense training, she began performing for Elevate performance company. For the past few years she has been traveling the globe and performing a contortion act and trapeze act for Celebrity Cruises and Poet Productions but contortion has always been her true love because it filters into her aerial work, acrobatics, and dancing so seamlessly.

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Natdja Vasina

Nadja Vasina

Nadja Vasina Nadya is a former Ukrainian gymnast (rhythmic gymnastic)and was part of national team of Ukraine 2002 - 2008. She holds the title of the international master of sport, champion of World wide Universiade and champion of World wide Gymnasiade. After finishing her gymnastics sport career Nadya started her artistic acrobatic show career and from 2008 - 2009 Nadya performed in Cirque du Soleils' famous show "OVO" After the death of her idol Michael Jackson Nadya created her renown act as a tribute to his childhood song "Who's loving you". In 2010 Nadya took part in a big TV project called "Minute of glory" in Moscow, a talent show competition originating from the Got Talent series. Nadya is touring the glove with various shows and projects and we are excited to welcome her at our event.

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Jonathan Nosan

Jonathan Nosan

I (Ska) have always been a great fan of Jonathan Nosan and I was extremely pleased to hear, that Jonathan has agreed to not only give his highly recommanded! workshops, but will also present his famous show called: Mirror Man This performance has been featured in film and on stage. It was created in 2002 as a performance art piece -featuring 5,000 glass mirrors- which has been incorporated into events for major brands including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Lady Gaga, Mercedes Benz, Vogue magazine, Coca-Cola and the NY Festival of Light. He continues to produce avant-garde pieces, which he performs around the world.

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Passion to Balance

Passion to Balance

PASSION TO BALANCE / GOULIA & NELSON Pivaral It is with great please to announce that the world renown Duo Passion 2 Balance will be performing at our event in 2016 again. Goulia & Nelson Pivaral performed with great success at one of our ICCs a few years ago and we are now lucky to have them back again. Nelson started training as a hand balancer at the age of 12, traveling with Fuentes Gasca Circus. He also trained the flying trapeze and unicycle at a young age. Nelson met Goulia, a then gymnast, over 21 years ago and they immediately fell in love and married and the Pivarals have performed together and traveled the world ever since. Have a look at their wonderful performance at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyAoqHa9r58

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Josiah Grant

Josiah Grant

Josiah Grant is a world renowned pole artist who is gifted with an amazing talent on the pole. By the time Josiah was seven, the fantasy had begun. He would often sneak away from his scheduled gymnastic assignments to experiment with an unprecedented routine all on his own. By 16, he was hooked on the idea of becoming proficient, and he secretly purchased his own vertical, retractable pole for his bedroom. He practiced this obsession in secret, having no mentor to guide him. He knew his artist flow was taking him where no male before him had gone, and he was nonetheless undaunted. For the next three years, he studied insatiably to improve his craft. Hip hop, gymnastics, ballet, and contortion lessons filled his high school roster of events, before and after class hours.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT JOSIAH PLEASE GO TO: WEBSITE

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Manuelle

Manuelle

Beautiful contortionist MANUELLE also had her first ICC performance in 2013 after she had just moved to Germany. In the meantime MANUELLE has developed into a globe trotter travelling around the world with her new shows working in India, Japan, Korea and all over Europe. Her performance has the highest acrobatic level and a unique finale shooting a balloon in a contortion pose with all her body being locked in a so called ‘mouth-stand’ also known as the Marinelli Bend’. It’s a pose hard to describe…. You just have to see it!!!

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Betsy Shuttleworth

Betsy Shuttleworth

Betsy Shuttleworth Director / Co-Owner of DEPAC Dance Extensions Performing Arts Center Betsy has been teaching for 25 years. She started taking dance at the age 9 at the Sally Miller Dance Company in Washington, PA. Betsy taught at various places and schools and attended Point Park University. In 1996, Betsy opened Betsy Wray's Dance Extensions, now Dance Extensions Performing Arts Center. In 2001, Betsy became intrigued by the art of contortion. While ballet was where she had the most experience, she felt the desire to experiment with acrobatics and contortion, and soon many students were training in it. Through contortion agent and trainer Ska von Schoening, she learned the proper techniques for teaching this unusual art safely. Every year she travels with promising students to train in Las Vegas and is a annual participant in the International Contortion Convention, where her students get to work with fellow contortionists from around the globe. DEPAC students have auditioned for Cirque du Soleil, AGT, SYTYCD and Paula Abdul. Her students were featured on morning talk shows for their contortion as well as Fox Tv and have been filmed in a Powerade commercial and on tv in England through Silver River Productions. Betsy has also had years of judging experience in various dance competitions. Recently, one of Betsy's students was hired professionally by the Hanneford Circus & Seyranyan Family Circus, as well as traveling to NYC to shoot a Nike Ad. DEPAC is now working often with Alixa Sutton, Creator of the "Mystic Pixies" and Le Petite Cirque in California.

Betsy will be presenting her lovely girls in various combinations & showcases PREMIERING at ICC 2016

Bella Gantt, 9 years old, resides in Pittsburgh, Pa, where she trains extensively under Betsy Shuttleworth. She is in her second year of study in the art of contortion and the performing arts. Bella has participated in numerous showcases and performances throughout the Pittsburgh area.

Abby Richertis an eleven year old contortionist living in South Western Pennsylvania. She studies at Dance Extensions Performing Arts Center in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania under the direction of Mrs. Betsy Shuttleworth and Ms. Dawn Churney. Abby also takes acrobatic and strengthening classes with Mr. Mark Freeman and aerial classes with Ms. Kelsey Keller. In June of 2015, Abby traveled to California to train with Le PeTiT CiRqUe and in December of 2015, performed in Le PeTiT CiRqUe de Noel in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. In September of 2015, she attended workshops at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts. Abby is a straight A student in 6th grade, sings in the school chorus and an active Girl Scout receiving her Bronze Award. Abby dreams of performing with Cirque du Soleil someday.

Alexa is a 13 year old contortionist who has been studying with Betsy Wray Shuttleworth director of Dance Extensions Performing Arts Center (DEPAC) for about a year and a half. Alexa also trains with Mark Freeman, owner of Freeman Technique and previous performer with Cirque de Soleil's Totem. Alexa has performed at various local venues with her studio and most recently in December her group was a guest performer with Le Petit Cirque to a sold out crowd. Alexa will also be auditioning for Washington's Got Talent with her trio act as well as one of her solo acts. Alexa has set a goal to audition for America's Got Talent in the future. Alexa attends Commonwealth Connections Academy Cyber School this allows her additional time to pursue training for contortion with the ambition to perform with Cirque De Soleil and open her own studio someday. Alexa love and passion is contortion but she also studies ballet, pointe, lyrical and hip hop. Alexa is the youngest of 5 she resides with her parents Marcia and Dan Siksa and has 3 sisters and 1 brother..

Shelby Miller is a 15 year old dance student with Amber Terreta Dance Company of Brownsville PA since 2013 studying various aspects of dancing. She started contortion training with Betsy Shuttleworth from DEPAC in Canonsburg PA this year. Dancing and bending has been a love of hers since she was 2 years old but she discovered her affinity towards contortion through her acro class. She has won numerous awards at dance competitions including one special judges award for "extreme flexibility". Her long time goal is to continue to grow as a contortionist and dancer.

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Bella Quatre was first put together under the direction of Betsy Shuttleworth fall of 2014. Bella, Abby, Anita and Alexa had just started training contortion that summer and Anita was in her second year. The group had a very successful 1st year and was honored to be performing with Le Petit Cirque December of 2015.

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Alaina Description coming soon.....

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Helena Moon

Helena Moon

France

Helena Moon Helena Moon comes from the world of ballet dancing and theater. She was introduced to contorsion by fellow artists who saw her training in a cabaret in 2009. Since then, she performed in plays directed by Nicolas Patout-Tcherkasov or Jean-Luc Palies, and worked in advertising for brands such as Kenzo and many more.

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Contortionsisters

Contortionsisters

GANBAATAR SISTERS

We are very happy to announce, that the amazing Contortions Sisters will be joining us at ICC 2016 again.

The couple originates from Mongolia and made all their way to the United States, where they are now living and operating from. They are considered as one of the most successful and most beautiful Contortion Duet worldwide travelling the globe with their extraordinary shows.

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Katarina Danks

Katarina Danks

Pole Dance

Katarina is a world-class professional performer trained in contortion, jazz and contemporary dance disciplines. She began her training at age seven and grew to the professional level during her high-school years. Katarina is trained by owner and director of Dance Extensions Performing Arts Center, Betsy Shuttleworth, of Pittsburgh, PA. Continuing her studies, she was regarded by Ska von Sch�ning and began her performing career from then on.

Katarina has won numerous achievements in various recreational and professional competitions for her performance, technique, stage presence, choreography, and difficulty. Her performances are remarkable and capture the story each routine is telling. She combines her jazz and ballet training with the art of contortion to create works that showcase impressions of the music and movements.

In the past, Katarina has performed at the 2006 and 2009 ICCs as well as for Showbiz Productions, National Geographic's NatGeo Amazing!, Royal Hanneford Circus, and more recently, at the 10th Annual Festival International de Cirque in Canada. Katarina also teaches a contortion program in Cape Coral, FL where she focuses on the importance of stretching safety.

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Phoenix Kazree

Phoenix Kazree

Pole Dance Artist

One of the most renown pole acrobat of the United States will join us for the event: Phoenix Kazree is native of Los Angeles, CA. She is a former gymnast and is trained in classical, contemporary and ethnic dance styles. Her latest accomplishments are earning the title of Female Elite Champion of Pole Art Italy 2015 and Vice Champion of the female professional division of the PanAmerican Pole Championships 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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MARIA PUCCIARELLI

MARIA PUCCIARELLI

Contortionist

We are always searching for young talents who we specifically like to promote and to encourage. It is always wonderful to see that the art is enjoying a great interest in young artists, more than ever before. A young lady from the United States has approached us and we are very happy to announce that she will be performing in one of our shows. Her name is MARIA PUCCIARELLI. MARIA is specialized in Mongolian style contortion.Maria was born and raised in New York City. She discovered her love for contortion at the age of 14 and is now a professional artist performing in venues all across the United States. Welcome to our stage, Maria!

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Cheryl Lindley Lopez

Cheryl Lindley Lopez

Cheryl Lindley Lopez
Another highlight of our convention will be the participation of The Sophia Isadora Academy of Circus Arts, Cheryl Lindley Lopez and some of her performers, (which we will introduce in more detail soon)!
Cheryl is offering workshops of a very different and most interesting kind for young talents and performers, who want to improve their actual stage presence and/or want to learn how to present their shows in the very best ways.
Cheryl Lindley explored commedia dell' arte in the
1980s and was a member of the Fern Street Circus for 14 years; where she directed the 2004 "Alice in Circusland" and 2005 "Through the Looking Glass" annual showcase productions in San Diego's Balboa Park. She is the star clown for Imagination Entertainment's iL CiRco, an award winning special events circus show. Cheryl also created a new act for the 2007 Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.
We will give you more detailed information on Cheryl's workshops in our next update.
This goes also for the new performers who we are going to announce. Our friends from Mongolia will bring some great performers (including acts from shows of Cirque du Soleil :. Preview of the Performer coming soon