Mike Hirschbach (Director)
has been a circus artist for 35 years. He performed from 2001-2003 with the Cirque du Soleil’s touring show “Dralion.” From 2003 – 2005 he was a Master Trainer with the Cirque’s social outreach program, Cirque du Monde. As such, he traveled the world training the trainers in the existing Cirque du Monde programs, upgrading their circus, social and teaching skills in Orlando, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Montreal, Toronto, South Africa and Burkina Faso. Since 2005 his full time work has been directing the Halifax Circus school and the outreach programs of Circus Circle.
Before performing with the Cirque du Soleil, he toured his solo theatrical-circus shows for many years. These performances were seen across Canada, the continental U.S., Europe, Asia, India, the Yukon and Alaska in venues such as the Calgary Olympic Games, the Canada Summer Games, the International Mime Festival in Montreal, the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris and the Singapore River Festival.
Said Debbach (Head of Acrobatics)
has been performing with circuses for 30 years all over Europe, North America and in the Middle East. He performed as leader of the Aladdin Troupe of Moroccan acrobats in such circuses as Circus Mondial (Spain ), Ringling Brothers (USA), Circus Offi (Italy), Robert Brothers (UK), Cirque Surreal, and the International Circus. He also performed acts on the rings, the cradle and flying trapeze. Over the last 10 years Said has trained performers to do a number of aerial and acrobatic acts, such as the web, the straps, and static, swinging and flying trapeze. He also regularly brings new acrobats and performers from Africa and Eastern Europe to train up for Gandey’s yearly productions in England.
Said worked as master trainer on a reality TV show in England, ‘Cirque de Celebrite’, where celebrities are trained to perform different circus acts every week over a 10 week season,. He also appeared in the James Bond film, ‘Octopussy’ with the Moroccan troupe.
Kristin Langille ( Head of Aerials)
Kristin’s training in aerial arts includes trapeze, silks, lyra, cloud swing, hammock, triple trapeze, and corde-lisse. She studied at the Circus Space in London UK and at the New England Center for Circus Arts. She also practices fire: poi spinning, torches and contact fire, fire fans, fire fingers and flaming devil sticks.
Kristin graduated from the Dalhousie Acting Program, and has 12 years of dance training. She has been a member of The Irondale Ensemble Theatre Company from 2000 on, and worked with them for a month intensive at the Dell’Arte School in Blue Lake, California. In 2011 she performed with Mike at the International Clown Festival in Mumbai and Goa, India.
Laura Merdsoy (Acrobatics)
Laura is an NCCP certified instructor in artistic gymnastics and trampoline. She has seven years of coaching experience in competitive, recreational and performance-based gymnastics in Toronto and Newfoundland, and performed as a member of the Cygnus Display Team in St. John’s for five years. These days she features as an aerialist and acrobat with Halifax Circus, performing at private and public events from Nocturne and Hal-Con to Casino Nova Scotia. Laura continues to train at HC in aerial arts, hand balancing, and acrobatics, and in 2012 completed fabric teacher training at the New England Centre for Circus Arts.
Zack Collins (Aerials)
is a senior aerial instructor at Halifax Circus, and is also recognized as one of the best diabolo performers in Nova Scotia. Zack performs fire with Incendia Motus, the pre-eminent fire troupe in the province, and is an accomplished stilt walker.
Zack has performed in theatre shows, and festivals such as the Festival Acadién de Clare, Halifax Jazz fest, and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia annual fundraiser.
Alysia Boudreau (Aerials)
trained in competitive Rhythmic Gymnastics, and also in theatre improvisation where she competed regionally and attending the 2011 CIG National Improv Championships. Currently she is an aerial instructor at Halifax Circus and one of the performers in the HC Company, specializing in aerials, acrobatics and hand balancing. Alysia recently directed and performed in the main stage show Halifax Circus presented at HalCon, the Halifax Comic Convention, and performed the Spanish Web on national TV as a main performer on the Candy Show.
Sherry Lee Hunter (Physical Theatre)
was the founder and Artistic Director of Jest in Time Theatre, a nationally recognized Physical Theatre ensemble, which toured across Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan for over 20 years. Jest received two Merritt Awards, and created and starred in three CBC television specials.
Sherry Lee Hunter studied for years with Tony Montanaro, one of the great mine artists of the 20th Century, and she brings more than 25 years of experience as a physical-theatre artist in creation and performance to her classes.
Marty Burt (Stage combat)
Marty Burt has performed with Two Planks and a Passion Theatre, Festival Antigonish, Theatre Nfld and Lab, Live Bait Theatre, Neptune Theatre, Mermaid Theatre, The Irondale Theatre Ensemble, and OneLight Theatre. Marty spent three years in Japan studying Daito Ryo Aikijujuitzu, completed his basic stage combat training with Robert Seale, and received his intermediate certificate from Rapier Wit in Toronto. He has acted as fight captain on Peter Pan at Neptune Theatre, and was the fight director for West Side Story and The Jungle Book also at Neptune Theatre.
Drew Moore (Break dancing)
As a dancer, Drew has learned from some of the top teachers in Canada, including Lenny Dela Pena, Mariano Glizzi Palomares & Savio Puzzles Suen, as well as one of the most respected bboy instructors in the world, Poe One. Drew is the Director of Concrete Roots, an organization involved in youth engagement work through Hip Hop, specifically dance. Their goals are to provide physical activity, creative and leadership opportunities to youth while developing the urban dance community in Atlantic Canada.