The YOUNG STAGE festival brought together the young circus elite from all over the world. 13 acts presented the entire spectrum of circus, from traditional to contemporary. 634 artists from 57 nations applied to take part. The audience was able to enjoy performances that were very innovative, surprising and modern, those that were very traditionally staged and many that were in between. Under the motto “Innovative between modernity and tradition”, the show was very diverse, of high quality and also very emotional. After all, all the artists live for their very big dream and some of them brought their very personal life stories to the stage.




Emilia Dawiec (POL)

Emilia Dawiec will graduate from the «École Superieure des Arts du Cirque» in Brussels in June 2024 and will present a very old and traditional circus discipline here in Basel, which she interprets in her very own way. She love to touch people with her art and encourage them to feel more and have more fun. Emilia dares to be 100% herself on stage. And away from the stage, she loves cats, black coffee and lazy Sundays.


Mateus Torquato Pereira & Lucas Guilherme de Aquino (BRA)

In developing their performance, Lucas and Mateus explored the theme of monotonous, exhausting work, which is particularly relevant in today’s culture and society. The result is an exciting mix of juggling, dance, acting and acrobatics. Both artists are currently studying at the national circus school in Rio de Janeiro. Both artists dream of performing all over the world, because they feel deeply alive and at home on stage.


Anton Manaharov (UKR)

Anton is at home on stage. His mother, who was a prima ballerina, instilled in him the magic of the theater. The stage is his reality, the theater his fortress, where he wants to stay forever. With the powerful and world-famous piece «Boléro» by Maurice Ravel, he takes the audience into his very own world full of emotions. He says of himself: «Performing is the only thing I’m really good at». We dare to doubt that it really is the only thing. But he can definitely do it stunningly well.


Jesse Patterson (USA)

Jesse has opted for a very traditional circus discipline that is rarely seen these days. Her performance is a powerful homage to femininity and a challenge to society to rethink traditional gender roles. Jesse dreams of running a farm for artists after her stage career and promoting sustainable agriculture. With her open heart, she quickly makes friends all over the world. This artist not only loves the art of circus, but also the vision of a better, more sustainable world.


Quinton Lopez (USA)

Quinton takes the audience on a journey of self-reflection. In creating this performance, he has realized that it takes not only physical strength, but also mental strength to face one’s own fears and challenges. But Quinton finds in art a way to overcome these obstacles and shares his story with the world. It’s not just a performance, but a personal journey that invites everyone to explore and overcome their own inner struggles.


Fenja Barteldres (GER)


Fenja’s performance is a tribute to surrealism, a revolutionary artistic movement of the 20th century that sought to uncover the depths of the unconscious. What at first glance looks like a disaster often turns out to be a gateway to unexplored and breathtaking possibilities in surrealism. The music for this creation was specially created by a music student who, like Fenja, studied at «Codarts» in Rotterdam. Fenja’s dream of touring with renowned circus ensembles and founding her own circus company shows her determination and passion for the art of circus.


Yinchuan Arts Theater (CHN)

«Unicycle with Bowls kicking» is a great art and a discipline that has a centuries-old tradition in China. The artists have trained hard for many years to coordinate all the necessary elements perfectly. They have a vision of becoming big stars one day and are prepared to undergo a demanding daily training routine to get closer to this dream. The troupe is part of the «Yinchuan Arts Theater» in the capital of the Ningxia Autonomous Region.


Danielle (CAN) & Kellin (USA)

Thanks to «YouTube», Danielle discovered her true calling in artistry at the age of 16. And Kellin? Well, he was practically born into the circus. Incredibly, «hula hoop» is not their main discipline, but they both have so much fun with it because it offers endless opportunities for fun tricks. And the hardest thing about their act? Quote: «The hardest part is getting our butts in the right position to hula hoop around it.» Well, we’re in for a real spectacle!


Storm Hovan (USA)

This is a real and very personal story. Storm’s performance on the vertical rope deals with the subject of suicide. It is a touching and profound portrayal of the often unheard cries for help. It addresses what unfortunately often remains unspoken. The carefully selected music reflects Storm’s feelings and forms the basis for his emotional performance, in which the artist reveals his deepest fears. To do this in front of such a large audience takes an enormous amount of courage. Thank you Storm for sharing your story with all of us and encouraging us to speak openly about dark thoughts.


Aleksei Teslin (White Flag)

The invitation to YOUNG STAGE is the fulfilment of a long-standing dream for Russian-born Aleksei. «Soldier of Love» was created three years ago with the aim of creating a unique, modern number with lots of positive vibes that deals with stereotypes, love and authenticity. Because Aleksei wants to make the world a better place. And you know what? Aleksei’s performances are never identical. The multi-talented artist loves being free on stage and giving free rein to his creativity, because he detests nothing more than robotic repetition.


Lucas Chacon Rodriguez (ESP) & Natalia Koskela (FIN)

Is that acrobatics? Are these two clowns? Decide for yourself! Lucas and Natalia took the inspiration for their duo from Mexican wrestling. The name «El Rudo» is derived from Mexican wrestling terminology and stands for the «bad guy». The two play on the public’s predilection for hating the antagonist and take great pleasure in breaking the rules. We are very excited! One thing is certain in any case. These two are definitely unique and different from many others!


Katharina Waigmann (AUT) & Johann Prinz (GER)

Katharina and Johann harmonize wonderfully as a couple both on and off stage. With loving attention to detail, the two have created an innovative and very sophisticated performance in which male and female energies harmonize. Every little movement is perfect and even the music was composed especially for it. «Level Straps» means that the duo works on two straps of different lengths. And take a look at how often Katharina touches the floor during the performance.


Trio Inshi (UKR)

This is an exceptional juggling performance. Inspired by Bosch’s paintings, it bears the title «La nef des fous», which translates as «the ship of fools». «Trio Inshi» humorously and dramatically transforms the diversity of Bosch’s paintings to the famous music «Danse Macabre» by Camille Saint-Saëns. The greatest challenge for the artists is to harmonize the rhythm of the demanding choreography with the juggling. The troupe’s big dream is to become successful artists worldwide, because despite the current challenges in their home country, they appreciate the opportunity to live out their passion.



YOUNG STAGE unites the world’s elite of young circus artists, who present their great skills to an enthusiastic audience in a versatile, spectacular and emotional stage show. In a targeted selection process, hundreds of applications are sorted each year in order to finally invite the most talented and innovative artists to Basel. Every year in May, six breathtaking shows take place in the Event Hall of Messe Basel.

The show lasts around 2.5 hours and includes an intermission. On the final evening, the prizes are awarded directly after the show as the highlight and conclusion of YOUNG STAGE 2024.


Violinist Ola Sendecki and pianist Mischa Sutter have been friends since childhood. This year, the two will play a key role in the YOUNG STAGE show opening. Together with our live band ÄL JAWALA, they combine the emotional world of music with world-class artistry and at the same time the internationality of the festival with its regional roots.


No YOUNG STAGE without Max! Also in 2023 Max Loong is the voice and one of the old familiar faces of YOUNG STAGE. He is live presenter, entertainer and coversation partner in one and the connecting element in the festival show.


ÄL JAWALA – Arabic for “the hikers” are exceptional musicians, on the road in terms of Balkan brass and hot beats. The Äl Jawala message is clear: “We are one, everyone belongs together, so dance together. Diversity is richness, let’s celebrate it.” With this attitude, the band is a perfect fit for YOUNG STAGE and has been thrilling audiences for several years now!


Nobody can do it better! Nadine Imboden and Dimitri Lavrynenko are once again choreographing a wonderful show opening this year. And festival director Nadja Berger is responsible for the overall direction together with Nadine Imboden. This team has been working together for years and complements each other perfectly.