For such a festival it is highly important that the jury consists of experienced and professional people. YOUNG STAGE puts special importance to the competence of it’s jury and selects every year 6-8 persons coming from the fields of circus, show, TV and professional sports.
This is the jury 2018:
At eleven, Isabelle desperately wanted to join a circus school. The Quebec-countryside girl was quickly placed into an intensive contortion program at the National Circus School of Montreal. After two years, Isabelle joined Cirque du Soleil as part of a contortion act with three other girls. The quartet received gold medals at the Festival de Monte Carlo and the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Domain de Paris, and many other awards. In 1997, Isabelle explored solo work and a new apparatus, developing a contortion act on aerial silks for Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam. Upon co-founding Les 7 doigts de la main, Isabelle co-staged Vice & Vertu (2016) codirected Loft and La Vie, and was featured in all of these shows. She also codirected Reversible (2016). Isabelle is the aerial coach on most of the 7 fingers productions and the link between the artistic directors and administrators of the company.
Pavel Kotov (Casting Director Cirque du Soleil)
Pavel is a former member of the Russian national team of Acrobatic Gymnastics and a silver medalist at the European Championships. At the end of his career as a competitive athlete, he graduated from the Russian State Academy of Physical Education, Sport, Youth and Tourism and spent a number of years assisting the ACRO Technical Committee of the International Gymnastics Federation at major world and continental championships. Having gained a vast experience in sports and also as the Russian Bars porter at the Moscow State Bolshoi Circus, Pavel expanded his career by moving into press relations, marketing and brand management. In 2004, he accepted an invitation from Cirque du Soleil to join the Casting team in Montreal as Acrobatic Talent Scout, and eventually as the Head of Casting for Touring Shows and Special projects. As the current Casting Director, Pavel leads the team of Talent scouts, Casting advisors and Coordinators, ensuring casting for new Cirque du Soleil creations as well as replacing artists in all existing shows worldwide.
Viktor Kee was born in Priluki, Ukraine. At four, he attended a children’s ballet school. Later, Viktor trained acrobatic, equilibristic, magic, clowning and last but not least: juggling. By the age of 11 Viktor was focusing more & more on juggling. Pioneering a new style with only three balls in which Viktor incorporated his juggling with contortion, acrobatics, drama and dance. He started to perform around the world in the most prestigious venues such as Moulin Rouge (Paris), Friedrichstadtpalast (Berlin), Pomp Duck & Circustances (New York), Mirage and MGM Grand (Las Vegas), Lido de Paris (Paris) and Cirque du Soleil in the production “Dralion”. Viktor is still one of the most popular and best skilled jugglers of the world.
NADJA SIEGER (Actress, comdedian)
After completing university studies in performing arts at Université de Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle, Pascal, over the course of ten years, developed a career as associate director for the opera. He then concentrated on costume and set design and artistic direction. The circus has long been a passion of his, and his interest for this singular form of live performance has led him to create costumes most notably Rainforest and Living Carousel for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Salto Natale for Rolf Knie, Au pays des clowns for Cirque Phénix and many more. Of late, working as an artistic scout and creative director, he contributed to the development of several projects for Dragone Entertainment Group. Furthermore, he was artistic director for Odyseo, the Chemistry of Dreams celebrating the 150 years of the Solvay group, and for the Dai Show for Dragone Entertainment Group in Xishuangbanna in China.
Alongside his work in design, Pascal acts as art consultant for the Européenne de Spectacles, artistic director for Cirque Phénix as well as for the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain. He is also lecturer in the history of the circus for the Montreal National Circus School and the Université de Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle.
MASHA DIMITRI (Professional artist, producer)
Masha Dimitri began her professional artistic training at the age of 15 at the National Circus School in Budapest, specializing in slack wire. After two years she switched to the Scuola Teatro Dimitri while continuing her slackwire training with Szilard Szèkely. Different engagements bring her all over the world: Pickle Family Circus, Cirque Gruss, Cirque du Soleil, Big Apple Circus New York, Swiss National Circus Knie, member of the Compagnia Teatro Dimitri. In Theater, Masha created two solos: “Sala di prova” and “Le Fil Rouge”; a duo production with Kai Leclerc, Upside Down, all directed by Dimitri. In 2003 she toured with Circus Knie together with Kai Leclerc.As a director, she directed, together with Dimitri Clown, the Circus Monti show of 2004, by herself in 2007. 2004/05/06/14/15/17 direction of the Variety of the Scuola Teatro Dimitri. Direction of the piece “Tacomitac” and “The Last Tree” for the Compagnia Teatro Dimitri.
NICOLAS BOIVIN-GRAVEL (Cirque Éloize)
Nicolas is the head coach, acrobatic scout and acrobatic designer for Cirque Éloize. In addition to his many works and collaborations, Nicolas also teaches at Montreal’s National Circus School and is one of the founders of the circus company THROW2CATCH. Nicolas was already dreaming of touring the stages of the world when he was just six years old. He began his studies at the École de cirque de Verdun, and after ten years of training and performing throughout Canada, he entered the National Circus School, where he specialized in juggling and clowning and perfected his general circus abilities. Since graduating in 2005, Nicolas has built a wealth of stage experience with Cirque du Soleil, The 7 Fingers, Cavalia and Cirque Éloize, whose production Rain he toured with for several years.
IAN JENKINS (Europa-Park)
Ian Jenkins – Casting Director & Project Development – Europa Park.
Twice World Professional Pair Skating Champion and Former Olympic competitor. Ian enjoyed a 25 year career as an artist in many shows including 13 years at the Lido du Paris. Ian has worked as Europa Park’s ‘Director of Entertainment’ since 2009, but has now changed his focus to Director of Casting & Project Development. Ian’s new responsibility will not only be casting artists for all the great and varied shows, but also to work on new projects to enhance even further the portfolio of Entertainment on offer for Europa Park. The Europa Park shows have won no less than 9 ‘Best Park Shows in the World’ and many other international accolades for show productions. Europa Park makes in excess of 800 artistic contracts yearly for artists from more than 30 countries around the world.
WERNER BUSS (GOP Varietés / GOP Showkonzept)
Werner Buss took over the management of the GOP Variety Theater in Hannover in 1993. At the same time, he laid the foundations for today’s GOP Entertainment Group, which is currently considered the most successful variety company in Europe. In his capacity as Member of the Board, he is the creative head of seven GOP Variety Theater and is responsible for more than 25 different show productions every year. Werner is still the heart and soul of his once created companies with approximately 500 performing artists.