Education and Artistic Director
Co-founder of Circomedia, Bim has been a professional performer and director since 1978. He’s worked with the pioneering circus-theatre groups Kaboodle and Mummer & Dada. Bim’s devised work has won three Fringe First Awards at Edinburgh: Talking Pictures (1989), and Rejects Revenge (1995 and 1997). As well as a performer, Bim is one of Britain’s leading mask makers. He created the Bigheads in 2003, a provocative street theatre piece that toured around the world. His writing work includes his own Street Theatre (1992), Provocation in Popular Culture (2015) and chapters on Lecoq, Bouffon, Street Theatre and Sean Gandini.
Equilibristics and manipulation
Working across TV, circus, cabaret and variety all over the world, Rod has earned a well-deserved reputation for being one of the Europe’s most entertaining jugglers. His innovative approach to the art won him the accolade of being one of the few Brits to feature in the book, The Virtuosos of Juggling. Rod has taught Circomedia students since the very beginning, and specialises in club passing, Gentleman Juggling and juggling performance.
Equilibristics and manipulation
Sebastien’s background was in science, but after he came to Circomedia to study juggling and physical theatre he never looked back and his passion for circus has only kept growing since. When he’s not teaching, he tours the world performing innovative solo shows or collaborating with renowned companies such as Gandini. Seb co-founded Green Eyed Zero with Circomedia’s Rachel Pollard – a physical theatre company that combines contemporary circus, theatre and digital media. He is also a prop maker specialising in mechanical and animatronics apparatus.
Before becoming an aerialist, Mike trained in Cape Town as a classical ballet dancer. He studied trapeze with Keith Anderson before touring with Circus Benneweis, Circo Cesare Togni, and Billy Smarts. Mike is also a successful producer and choreographer, devising original work with his company Above and Beyond, as well as producing flying acts for the Brit Awards, Euro 96, Simply Red, Barnum & Bailey, Circus Knie and many more.
Jonathan’s career started in the cabaret, stand-up and live art scene in London. In 1995, he worked with Tim Vine on his Fiasco show, winning the Perrier Newcomer Award at Edinburgh Festival. After training here at Circomedia, Jonathan worked internationally as a performer and teacher – collaborating with NoFitState, Cirkus Cirko, Kompani Giraff, and Kecca Rocca. His own Swedish-based company Fan-atticks runs a circus outreach programme for homeless children in Senegal.
Mish started her career as an artist, before falling in love with teaching aerial in the early 1990s. A circus director, choreographer, and designer, her company Stumble specialises in making live performance and film. Her credits include An Evening of Instability, Bipolar Ringmaster, Box of Frogs, and Second Breath. Mish has taken her passion for aerial all around the world, teaching in Cambodia and Nepal as well as here in the UK.
Janine graduated from Circomedia and went on to form the UK’s only tipping hoop duo with her performance partner Helina Griffiths. She’s worked with a range of companies including Arcadia Spectacular, Above and Beyond, Impact Artists, and the Invisible Circus. Janine has gained a reputation for her strength and technique, and strives to motivate her students by pushing them out of their comfort zones so they can achieve their aerial goals.
Lisa’s studied acrobatics and aerial here at Circomedia, as well as gaining her Teacher Training Certificate with us. As a professional performer, she has toured the world and taken her skills and talent to countries as diverse as Myanmar, Israel, Turkey, the Czech Republic and Germany. Lisa’s career has included performing on TV, in adverts, at corporate gigs, festivals, galas, theatre shows and within traditional circus.
Dannick and his sister Marianne both trained together at the National Institute of Circus Arts under the expert tutelage of Moscow State’s Vasily Ivanov. In 2010, the pair took 14 young performers for a six-week tour of England and Germany. When the troupe landed in Bristol, Dannick and Mariane decided never to leave. They now both perform teeterboard and acrobatics for the Invisible Circus, and since 2011 Dannick has taught on both the BTEC and FDA courses.
Head of Movement and FDA course leader
Lex trained as a dancer, specialising in European Dance Theatre practice. She’s taught at all levels of education, from universities to primary schools to youth projects. As a performer, Lex has appeared on stage and in film, and worked with companies as diverse as Protein Dance, Double Barrel Films, FallingWide, Kit & Kaboodle, The Invisible Circus, and Swerve Dance Theatre. Lex recently joined the Mama Africa project which works within Bristol’s primary schools to develop and deliver a rich curriculum of African history through dance, music, research and spoken word.
Conditioning and Pilates
Mark started his career in the fitness industry – training as a sports therapist and fitness instructor. Deeply committed to pilates, Mark trained with Body Control Pilates and then went on to the study the method at a Masters level. As well as teaching at Circomedia, Mark has delivered fitness training at the UK’s top health clubs, including David Lloyd, Living Well, Esporta and Next Generation. Mark is involved in training pilates teachers, and is the Body Control Pilates Association council member for the south.
Devising, integration and professional context
Having graduated from Circomedia, Rachel teamed up with Sebastien Valarde to form Green Eyed Zero, a company that brings together physical theatre, contemporary circus and digital media. Green Eyed Zero has performed to critical acclaim at the National Theatre, The Lowry and Dartington Arts. Before Circomedia she was a First Class graduate from the University of Exeter, specialising in creative psychophysical performance and new media arts. Rachel also works internationally as a performer on the outdoor and indoor performance circuit and works as directorial guidance for several young companies. Before working at Circomedia she curated three shops in Bristol city centre as part of a cooperative, designing and producing textile based work. More recently she has also begun work in visual art as a designer and maker and as a curator for creative community events.
Street theatre performance
After graduating from Circomedia, Matt became the artistic director of PanGottic, an award-winning circus theatre company who have performed in countries as diverse as Holland, Latvia, Italy, Israel and South Korea. As well as his work with PanGottic, Matt comperes the Lansdown Cabaret, and recently performed in Beta Testing with the Circus Geeks.
Catherine worked as an actor for nine years before joining Circomedia to discover how she could integrate circus with physical theatre as a director. Cat now teaches physical theatre, movement and reflective practice here at Circomedia, alongside devising new and innovative work with her company Can’t Sit Still of which she is Artistic Director. Cat has also worked with Hubbub Theatre, New Street Theatre, and Travelling Light, and is a freelance Outdoor Arts producer for Devizes International Street Festival, PanGottic and Theatre Bristol.
Head of BTEC and Teacher Training
Kate trained with both the Laban Centre and Circomedia. Her impressive performance credits include Skinning the Cat, Roughhouse Theatre Company, and Cirque Bijou. In 2002, Kate became the Artistic Director of our outreach programme, and went on to set up our BTEC National Diploma qualification. Kate has an MA in Educational Research and was the lead tutor on our Teacher Training Course. As a freelance director, Kate worked with Cirque Bijou on Drawer of Dreams, a special production celebrating the re-launch of Bristol’s Colston Hall. She also works as a performance director for Tumbellina.
Aerial and conditioning
Piers started his career training in aerial at Circomedia, before travelling to South America where he spent several years working in Columbia with social circus. Piers is interested in fusing straps and corde lisse in a theatrical context with aerial conditioning. He also works with cyr wheel and video projection.
Handstands and flexibility coach
Gabby trained in Paris with renowned coach Ryzard Zaplata where she specialised in hand to hand. Her professional performance highlights include being awarded the Semi Pro Comedy Winner at Pole Theatre UK in 2014, performing for Ascot, UEFA, the Premier League and VW, and being part of the En Chemin performance at the Theatre de Chatelet.