Here you’ll find biographical info about Circo Zero artists.
The cast of our current shows are:
HOW TO DIE –
Jules Beckman, Seth Eisen,
SOL NIGER –
Emily Leap, Sean Feit,
Brett Womack, Seth Eisen,
Max, Keith Hennessy, BJ
Associated artists and friends from previous shows include:
Susan Voyticky, Maryann Brooks,
Jessica Robinson, Marc Kate,
Beckman is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, dancer and daring
physical performer. Formerly of San Francisco, Beckman lives with
his family in Marseille France where he is the co-artistic director,
with Fanny Soriano, of libertivore, an experiment in contemporary
circus, dance, and music. Since 1998, Beckman has toured extensively
in Europe and Japan with Cahin-caha, cirque bâtard, reinvigorating
and revealing a place for the clown in contemporary circus. In San
Francisco, Jules performed and composed with Contraband, directed
by Sara Shelton Mann, as well as featured performances with Anna
Halprin, Remy Charlip, Zaccho/Joanna Haigood, and Keith Hennessy.
Beckman is a featured artist in Animal, directed by Mark Thompkins/
Cie IDA, which is currently touring France and Belgium.
Seth Eisen is
a visual and performing artist. He has been coaching artists, teaching
visual and performing arts and operating thriving art studios with
people of all ages for fourteen years. His work is a hybrid of contemporary
forms (performance, installation, and found object) and the prehistoric
(ritual, community and fetish object). Seth has been exhibiting,
curating and collaborating with various artists in the Bay Area
since 1994 and prior to that in Philadelphia and Boulder, Colorado.
His performative installations have been featured at The Oakland
Museum of California, Theater Artaud, Zeum, Yerba Buena Gardens,
SOMARTS, Theater of Yugen, Bing Gallery and 848 Community Space.
Seth has also performed with Nina Hagan, Harupin–Ha, URO,
Ink Boat, Keith Hennessy and Circo Zero. Seth has a four-year certificate
in painting from The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, a B.A. in
Contemplative Interdisciplinary Arts from Naropa University and
an M.A. in Transformative Art from John F. Kennedy University.
Keith Hennessy is an award-winning performer, choreographer, teacher
and organizer. He lives in San Francisco and tours internationally.
His interdisciplinary research engages improvisation, public actions
and alchemy/shamanism as tools for investigating political realities.
Hennessy directs CIRCO ZERO, a contemporary circus, in intimate
spectacles for stage and street. He was a member of the collaborative
performance companies: Contraband (85-94), CORE (95-98), and Cahin-caha,
cirque bâtard (98-02). His work is featured in several books
and documentaries, including How To Make Dances in an Epidemic (David
Gere, Univ of Wisconsin: 2004), Gay Ideas (Richard Mohr, Beacon:
1992), and Dancers in Exile (RAPT Productions, 2000). Hennessy is
a co-founder of 848 Community Space/CounterPULSE a thriving performance
and culture space in San Francisco.
Recent awards include Alpert/MacDowell Fellowship in Dance (2005)
and SF Bay Guardian’s Best of the Bay for Circo Zero. Recent
commissions include Les Subsistances, Lyon (Homeless USA, 2005),
Les Laboratoires, Paris (American Tweaker, 2006), FUSED (French-US
Exchange in Dance), Centre Chorégraphique National, Belfort
(Sol niger, 2007), and Lower Left Performance Co, San Diego (Gather,
2005). Keith’s 2005-07 teaching includes JFK University, UC
Davis, University of San Francisco, improvisation festivals in Budapest,
Seattle, Stolzenhagen (Germany), Moab, the Aerial Dance Festival
(Boulder), plus grass-roots workshops in Arcata, Chicago, Toronto,
Victoria BC, Madison, and Earthdance (Northampton MA).
Emily Leap is an aerialist and dancer. She trained with Elena Panova
and Helene Turcotte on trapeze at the San Francisco Circus Center.
Emily studied modern dance at UC Berkeley and received a certificate
of dance from the Alvin Ailey School. She has been performing solo
trapeze work since 2003, including the 2005 Women on the Way Festival
and the American Circus Festival in 2005 and 2006. She was awarded
Best Aerial Act at the 2005 American Circus Festival. Emily has
performed with Alma Esperanza Cunningham Movement, Eat Cake Productions,
and The Spinning Yarns Dance Collective. She is currently a member
of Lizz Roman and Dancers and Circo Zero.
Feit is a classically trained composer and multi-instrumentalist
(piano, violin, voice, all strings) working in performance art and
movement-based theater. He studied music composition at California
Institute of the Arts (BFA, 1993) and Cornell University (Graduate
Fellowship, 1995-6). He co-directed RUJEKO Performance Collaboration
from 1997-2005 and produced six full-length pieces integrating dance,
live music, spoken word and site-specific performance. RUJEKO worked
toward a visceral theater language deeply informed by meditative
practice and the radical presence of Authentic Movement. In addition
to solo and directing work, Sean has danced or made music with Scott
Wells, Angus Balbernie, Bodycartography Project, Leslie Seiters
and Keith Hennessy. In the Bay Area he has performed in several
theatres, artist spaces, as well as in the streets and woods of
the Bay Area. He has practiced Buddhist meditation and Yoga since
1993 and in 2002 took monastic ordination in Burma. He continues
to be informed by the disciplines of meditation, improvisation and
Authentic Movement, as well as the Bhakti (devotional) and Hatha
paths of Yoga.
Brett Womack - born and raised in San Francisco - has spent over
half his life in the circus world. While focused on the aerial arts
of rope and tissu, he also has extensive training in tumbling, acrobatics,
jump rope, character and dance. Brett premiered as a soloist with
Make-a-Circus in 2003. In addition to performing with Circo Zero,
he has worked with The New Pickle Circus, City Circus and the raucous
Vau de Vire Society. He currently teaches at Acrosports and loves
performing on the spot.
Costume Designer Sol niger
BJ Bandy is a creative artist with more than a decade of experience
in theatre costuming, makeup, and crafts, including work as a costume
designer, cutter/draper, stitcher, wardrobe supervisor, tailor,
and milliner for the Solano Repertory Company, Sacramento Theatre
Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, ODC, California Shakespeare
Festival, Oakland Ballet, La Jolla Playhouse, and San Francisco
Opera, among others. Bandy holds a BA Theatre Arts/Costuming from
the University of California, San Diego, and continued her theatre
studies at UC Berkeley. She is the winner of two ARTY awards and
has been nominated several times for the Sacramento Area Regional
Theatre Association's Elly award.
Mary Ann Brooks is a dancer, vocalist and performance artist fascinated
with all aspects of ritual in performance and life. Brooks has performed
both solo and ensemble works at CELL Space, The Lab, Luna Sea, Zeum
Museum, Jon Sims, 848 Community Space, and Dance Mission Theater
in San Francisco; La Mama and Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York.
Brooks was a 2004 Artist in Residence at the Headlands Center for
the Arts and has collaborated with Circo Zero since June 2004. She
also sings with Samsara Acapella Singers and recently produced,
wrote and performed a solo multi-media performance event called
"Niggerati Story". Brooks received a BA in English Lit
with a concentration in poetry from Trinity College, Hartford, CT,
and has trained at the School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam,
Holland, and Moving On Center: School for Participatory Arts and
Research in Oakland, CA. She is thrilled to be a part of Circo Zero
and thanks Sara Shelton Mann for additional performance coaching.
(picture by Sally Ann Rodriguez)
For more information please visit www.maryannbrooks.com
Jade-blue Eclipse, born in Nagasaki, Japan, learned her survival
and performance skills in San Francisco’s seedy strip joints,
hip night clubs and alternative performance venues. Instead of engaging
in violence and drug use she studies Chinese acrobatics at the SF
Circus Center with Mr. Lu Yi, a master trainer from the Nanjing
Acrobatic Troupe. Specializing in hand balancing and contortion
allows Jade to focus her masochistic tendencies into fierce and
For more information please visit
Marc Kate has been creating electronic music and djing as Silencefiction
since 1999. He played synthesizer and engineered for I Am Spoonbender
from 1998 - 2004. He received his BFA in New Genres from the San
Francisco Art Institute in 1995. He currently dj's and co-promotes
"Jack", a weekly acid house party for those of us who
reject bourgeois lounge culture.
Max is a lighting and set designer, maker of masks, performer and
puppeteer. Her work has been presented in Japan, Eastern Europe,
France, and several cities in the US. Max is a member of Theatre
of Yugen, a Noh-inspired performance company. Max is frequently
seen designing lights for dance at CounterPULSE, Dance Mission,
and various sites around San Francisco.
Terre Parker is a dancer, teacher and arts administrator. She worked
as Anna Halprin’s Program Manager (2003-05) and continues
as a consultant. Terre was production manager and tour manager for
Halprin’s Paris tour (04) and the legendary Planetary Dance
(03-05). Terre has performed her own work and with Urban Bush Women,
One People One Voice, the Sea Ranch Collective across the US and
in Southeast Asia.
Jessica Robinson is the Executive Director of CounterPULSE
(formerly 848 Community Space) and Company Manager
for Circo Zero. She is a writer, performer, and political activist,
well as a freelance production manager, stage manager, publicist
grantwriter. She is an adjunct faculty member at the New College
California where she teaches courses in Community Arts, Arts
Administration and Cultural Organizing. She serves on the Executive
Committee of the Board of Directors of Alternate ROOTS, as well
as on the Selection Committee for the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards.
Jessica’s dance writing has been published in In Dance and
Always a physical performer, Susan began her studies in dance and
theater at an early age. Upon completing a degree in Science, Technology
and Society at Stanford University, she moved to Paris to study
movement theater at the Ecole Jacques Lecoq. Her studies expanded
to include classical dance, Capoeira, and aerial arts. To take her
circus talents to a professional level, she undertook the two-year
BA Theater Practice program at London’s Circus Space. In 2002,
Susan returned to the Bay Area to create innovative movement theater
in developing Circo Zero with Keith Hennessy. She has also performed
with San Francisco's venerable New Pickle Circus, taking on the
principal role in Circumstance, which played throughout the Bay
Area during the 2002-03 holiday season. Susan teaches aerial arts
at the Circus Center and will be touring Europe this summer with
the Caravan Stage production Vanishing Currents.
For more information please visit www.voyticky.com