About the Show
ABDURAZAK RESHID ADEM (Lumberjack, Ornament) has recently toured Germany, Austria, Holland, England and Italy as a bounce juggler with the show Afrika-Afrika. Born in Nazareth, Ethiopia, he is one of the few jugglers in the world to dance and interpret music while juggling 9 balls. He is excited to show America his unique skills as the Lumberjack Juggler in Cirque Dreams Holidaze.
JEFFERSON ALEXANDRE (Train Conductor, Hurried Shopper) born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and studied at the Calvitti Filho School and Jaime Roxa Centre for Dance. He has choreographed and danced Ballroom, Latin, Brazilian and Jazz with the Bele Fusco Ballet Company and toured throughout Asia performing his Quick Change Illusions. Cirque Dreams Holidaze marks his U.S. theatrical debut.
YONAS ALEMU (Gingerbread Cookie, Ornament) is a member of the Children Youth Circus Association in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Also a member of the Ethiopia Gymnastic Federation and has studied cultural dance. Cirque Dreams Holidaze marks his U.S. debut.
YULIA BILENKO (Mrs. Claus, Ornament) comes to the U.S. for the first time from the Ukraine. Graduated Kiev State College Variety & Circus Arts School in 2002. Has performed air gymnastics, rope walking and acrobatic duets throughout Israel, France and Russia and is proud to be integrating her skills into the role of Mrs. Claus in Cirque Dreams Holidaze.
MATTHEW CONTI (Dickens) is an American Idol Season 5 semi-finalist, Philly Idol and graduate of West Chester University. Has performed in Forever Plaid, Curious George Live and Spelling Bee for which he received a Barrymore nomination. Love to my family, friends and lobster.
TARIKU DEGEFA (Gingerbread Cookie, Ornament) studied gymnastics at the Ethiopia Gymnastic Federation where he perfected his skills for the Icarian Games in Australia and New Zealand. He is excited to be in America for the first time with his acrobatic partner executing their unique flipping skills for which they are seeking a current world record.
LIN DENG (Twirling Bauble, Toy Cycler) hails from Liao Ning, China, where she attended the Shen Yang Acrobatic School in 2003 and the Beijing Acrobatic School in 2005. This is her third Cirque Dreams show, and she performed this past summer with Debbie Gibson in Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy.
YU DENG (Twirling Bauble, Toy Cycler) is proud to be touring in Cirque Dreams Holidaze in the U. S. with her twin sister Lin Deng. She graduated the Shen Yang Acrobatic School and trained at the Beijing Acrobatic School. This is her third season with Cirque Dreams.
VICTOR DODONOV (The Candelabra, Penguin) began honing his skills at the age of 14 at the Circus School in Riga, Russia, before attending the Moscow Circus School. He has worked with Cirque Dreams since 1999 developing and training new acts and balancing techniques. He is still one of the only artists in the world able to balance on nine cylinders stacked in opposite directions, which he performs on as a Penguin in Holidaze.
DMYTRO DEYNEKO (Scrooge, Flying Angel) is a European all around national champion of sports gymnastics with specialties in trampoline, cross-beam and aerial rings. He has performed aerial disciplines throughout Russia and Asia as well as with the Moscow Circus. Cirque Dreams Holidaze marks his American debut.
DENISE NICOLE ESTRADA (Ice Queen) studied at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. NYC theatre performances in Twist and Confessions of a Cuban Sex Addict. Regional theatre roles include Man of La Mancha, Hairspray and The Sound of Music.
MIKE FRY (Skipping Elf) has a goal to make skip roping an Olympic sport. He has traveled the world with Team USA and has competed throughout Belgium, Australia, Canada and South Africa. One World One Rope is a project he founded teaching jump rope to children in Tanzania and Kenya fostering teamwork, leadership and social ties. Cirque Dreams Holidaze marks his theatrical debut.
SVITLANA GURANCHYK (Tree Top Ornament, Aerial Angel) graduated Odessa State University of Economics in 2007 while studying circus arts in the Ukraine. Cirque Dreams Holidaze marks her American debut performing an aerial ballet of angels with partner and husband Dmytro Deyneko.
BILLY JACKSON (Skipping Elf) is a four- time grand national skip roping champion and member of the USA Jump Rope All Star Team since 2005. He appeared in the Disney movie Jump In and most recently was a finalist with the group Saltare on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew season five. This is his second tour with the company and first time presenting a group skipping production as part of Cirque Dreams Holidaze.
PETERSON JARDIM (Baker, Bell Conductor) grew up attending his family’s circus school in Brazil while touring South America and Asia. He performed with the Moscow State Circus before joining Cirque Dreams where he developed a variety of street style and vaudevillian sketches debuting in Cirque Dreams Holidaze.
JUDIT KOVACS (Skipping Elf) recently graduated the International Communication College in Budapest, Hungary, where she is a member of the Hungarian Rope Skipping Federation. She was awarded the Silver Medal at the World Youth Rope Skipping Tournament 2010 in the U.K. Cirque Dreams Holidaze is her first U.S. performance.
ANASTASIIA KRIUKOVA (Baker Lady, Hurried Shopper) studied at the Kiev State College of Circus and Variety Arts, Ukraine and the National University of Theatre, Cinema and TV. Together with her Quick Change Illusion partner, she has toured throughout Asia and is excited to be in America for the first time.
JOSEPH LAPAIRE (Ragdoll) comes from a long heritage of Swiss artisans, graduated the University of Massachusetts and pursued dance, theater, juggling and acrobatics. Upon return from service with the U.S. Army in Iraq, silly tricks and laughter added new meaning to his repertoire. Known as Rocco the Acrobat, this is his first tour with Cirque Dreams creating the mischievous role of the Ragdoll.
XAIOYU MA (Twirling Bauble, Toy Cycler) attended both the Shen Yang Acrobatic School and Beijing Acrobatic School and is now proud to be debuting her unique bicycling and manipulation skills with Cirque Dreams Holidaze.
Vladimir Malachikhin (The Dreams Engineer, Ornament) born in Ivanvo, Russia, he came to the U.S. with his circus performing family as a young boy. He performed in Neil Goldberg’s Cirque Ingenieux at the age of 11 as the young boy hand balancer. He is now married and living with his wife and seven-year-old son in the U.S.
VITALIY OSTROVERKHOV (Marching Soldier, Guard) returns to the U.S. from Kiev for his third engagement with Cirque Dreams. He has performed throughout the Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria and Germany and is a graduate of the Odessa Circus Studio receiving top honors as a low wire equilibrist, juggler and comic pantomime.
LEE REISIG (Skipping Elf) has competed in the U.S. National Skip Roping Championships since 2005. He has appeared on Ellen Degeneres’ Really Big Show and most recently a finalist with the group Saltare on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew season five. This is his second tour with the company and first time presenting a group skipping production as part of Cirque Dreams Holidaze.
HEFAN SUN (Twirling Bauble, Toy Cycler) born in Heilongjiang, China, she attended the Harbin Children’s Acrobatic Troupe of Heilongjiang Province where she graduated in 2002. She is the newest member of the Cirque Dreams Holidaze Chinese repertoire.
QIANG XIE (Ornament, Iceman) met his performance partner as a child while attending the China Hebei Wuqiao Acrobatic Art School. He taught acrobatics at The Academy of Circus Arts in the U.K. and performed with the Zippos Circus U.K. tour.
XIAOCHEN XU (Twirling Bauble, Toy Cycler) comes from Liao Ning, China, where she attended the Shen Yang Acrobatic School in 2000 and the Beijing Acrobatic School in 2005. Performing acrobatic group bicycling has been a lifelong dream that is now coming true in the United States.
JULIE WACKSMAN (Angel) is originally from Cincinnati with a B.A. in Theatre from Northern Kentucky University. She has performed in Titantic, Urinetown, Seussical and Beauty and the Beast for which she won a Cincinnati Entertainment Award. Thanks and love to my amazingly supportive family.
OLEG ZARUBIN (Santa, Ornament) originally from Ivanovo, Russia, where he was most recently art director of the Paradox Children’s Circus Studio. He has won the Silver Clown award at the Monte Carlo Circus Festival and has performed throughout Spain, Germany and China. This is his first appearance in the United States.
ANASTASIA ZARUBINA (Santa’s Helper) Born in Ivanovo, Russia, she is very excited to be in America for the first time in her life and surprise audiences with her unique balancing skills in Cirque Dreams Holidaze.
JIAN ZHANG (Ornament, Iceman) attended the China Hebei Wuqiao Acrobatic Art School before touring the U.K. with the Chinese State Circus. He taught acrobatics at The Academy of Circus Arts in the U.K. and is proud to be debuting his unusual hand balance and strength techniques in Cirque Dreams Holidaze.
NEIL GOLDBERG (Creator, Director) founded Cirque Productions in 1993 and developed the Cirque Dreams brand of shows for theaters, casinos, theme parks, cruise lines and Broadway. His Cirque Dreams shows have garnered critical acclaim from USA Today and the Associated Press to the New York Times, Washington Post and top theater critics. The Cirque Dreams franchise includes a growing number of popular cirque shows in cities throughout the country: Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, Cirque Dreams and Dinner, Cirque Dreams Illumination and Pop Goes the Rock, a new musical by Cirque Dreams. Additionally, Cirque Dreams Holidaze will debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. as part of two national tours spanning the country. One of Goldberg’s most renowned productions, Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, was nominated for an American Theatre Wing Best Costume Design Award and made Broadway history when it became the first and only cirque show to have ever appeared on Broadway. The show recently re-launched at the MGM Grand Theatre at Foxwoods, Conn., for a limited engagement starring pop princess Debbie Gibson in the title role of Mother Nature, marking the first ever cirque show to feature a celebrity as lead vocalist. A new year-round version of the show has been redesigned as the featured entertainment show at Busch Gardens Tampa along with productions scheduled to tour Europe and South America through 2012. Cirque Dreams and Dinner is a floating first of its kind theatrical dinner show experience onboard the new Norwegian Epic that has reinvented dinner theater and Gene Sloan of USA Today says “[Cirque Dreams and Dinner] is a show that is among the best, if not the best we have seen at sea.” Goldberg has designed and created productions for two Superbowls, the NBA, Disney, Busch Gardens, Six Flags, Miss Universe, NBC, ABC and CBS. He also produced corporate events and entertainment worldwide for Amex, IBM, Coca Cola, Microsoft, Sprint, FedEx and more. He has designed and directed shows with the Pittsburgh, Baltimore and New World Symphony’s, with Marvin Hamlisch & The National Symphony and the youngARTS program of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Goldberg created and directed Cirque Ingenieux for theater and PBS, and produced and directed Cirque Dreams shows for MGM, Harrah’s, Caesars, Ballys, Trump, Foxwoods, Hilton Hotels and casinos worldwide. Beyond Goldberg’s great career achievements, it’s really on the human level, touching one life at a time, where he has made his most powerful impact. In addition to his ongoing philanthropic activities, the stories of people’s careers he has jump started, lives he has touched, families he has assisted and talents he has nurtured are endless. Traveling the world as a representative of The Neil Goldberg Dream Foundation, he has engaged communities, cities, governments, talented young people and art schools with funding, training and performance opportunities.
JILL WINTERS (Music & Lyrics) has been musical director for Cirque Productions since 2004. She composed for the independent film More Than Friends, the holiday stage show Christmas Dreams and the title song “Breakthrough” for the NFAA’s off Broadway production as Cirque Dreams Musical Director. She has composed the score for five Cirque Dreams shows, created and performed the principal role of Mother Nature on Broadway in Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy and is collaborating with Neil Goldberg on a variety of future Cirque Dreams, entertainment and Broadway projects