For such a festival it is highly important that the jury consists of experienced and professional people. All jury member will be published here continuously.
L’Académie Fratellini is a continuation of the National School of Circus in France, which was founded more than 40 years ago by Annie Fratellini and Pierre Etaix. The academy trains world-renowned artists and puts France at the forefront of diversity and innovation in the field of Circus. Valérie Fratellini, their daughter has started her career in 1975 with the discipline trapeze. After a trapeze accident, she moved on to the equestrian circus art of Haute-Ecole. Later she slipped into the role of the well-known white clown, opposite to her mother Annie’s August clown. Since 2008 she has been Deputy Director and Educational Director at L’Académie Fratellini, the College of Circus Art.
Héloïse Bourgeois – Artist representing The 7 Fingers, Montréal
Héloïse graduated from the National Circus School of Montreal in 2005. From 2005 to 2016, Héloïse toured worldwide in 6 different shows of Les 7 Doigts with over 800 performances. She is well known for her duo act with the Chinese Pole. Héloïse also won several world-famous festivals.
Jan Daems – Artistic Director @ Codarts Circus Arts , Rotterdam
With a background in physical theatre, Jan Daems studied physical theatre at Mime Studio, dramaturgy at the Antwerp University and circus teacher at Ecole de Cirque in Brussels. He has been teaching in as well youth circuses as in professional structures and he founded in 1995 the first circus school in Antwerp. Jan coached students for 15 years in bachelor programs and directed young emerging circus companies. As an artist he has been touring in Europe with Cie Les Argonautes and he is a performer in location theatre projects of Bad van Marie. For many years social circus has been part of his trajectory which has lead him to Mexico and Morocco. He worked at Circuscentum in Belgium, where he still lives, and since 4 years he is Artistic Coordinator of Codarts Circus Arts in Rotterdam. In the work field he was a commission member for the circus grants of the Flemish Government and he participates in the reading commission for CircusNext.
Brigitte Scherrer – Acrobatic Casting Advisor @ Cirque du Soleil, Montreal
Brigitte is the Acrobatic Casting Advisor for Cirque du Soleil’s touring shows. Growing up as a gymnast, she always had a fascination for circus shows and later decided to make it a career. During her training at the National Circus School in Montreal, she trained and performed several acrobatic disciplines before creating her solo aerial act which lead to 11 years of performing internationally with numerous companies. Before joining Cirque du Soleil’s casting team as a scout in 2006, Brigitte had transitioned from performance to stage management. She had also co-founded and managed an artistic agency and a production company in Montreal, her home town.
Nicolas Boivin-Gravel – Head Coach and Acrobatic Designer @ Cirque ÉLOIZE, Montreal
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 – Casting Director & Project Development – Europa Park, Germany
Twice World Professional Pair Skating Champion and Former Olympic competitor. Ian has used his 25 years of experience as an artist to create more than 50 shows with varying styles for Europa Park. Ian has worked for 9 years as Europa Park’s ‘Director of Entertainment’, and now has the new dual challenge as Europa Park’s Director of Casting & Project Development and Creative Director of Blue Banana Entertainment. Blue Banana is the new show production company formed to present Europa Park shows around the world. The Young-Stage festival has provided a valuable platform for many superb artists to show their ability to combine artistry with creativity and physical excellence, and with more than 20 artists having gone on to show their talents at Europa Park, Ian will be looking to make sure this year is no exception.
Nadja Sieger – Actress and Stage Director
Nadja Sieger is an actress, singer, dancer, presenter, voice actor, writer, director, but above all it is Nadeschkin – the female half of the clown duo Ursus & Nadeschkin. In these two constellations Nadja is known in the German-speaking theatre and comedy scene for nearly 30 years and she is very popular: as well as in performances, playwriting or in connection with projects in which she sometimes takes the role of the presenter or producer. Nadja developed her talent and her skills in autodidact in over 3,000 performances. She lived in London, New York, Berlin, Melbourne, Sydney and she also spent one season at the Swiss National Circus Knie. The rest of the time she was and is on tour or at home, at the edge of her hometown Zurich.
Werner Buss – Managing Director GOP Varieté, Germany
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 heart, soul and creative head of the company. He is responsible for 25 different show productions in 8 theatres and various guest performances annually.