By Dominique Jando
Omar Liazeed was born in Germany of a Moroccan father and a German mother. His father was the head of a troupe of Moroccan tumblers, the Bombay Troupe, in which as a child Omar made his circus debut. At the same time, he worked on a hand-balancing act, which he eventually debuted at Circus Knie in Switzerland in 1973. Later, Omar partnered with his sisters, Aïsha and Afsha, and the first Liazeed Trio was born.
Then, Omar Liazeed married the famous Italian aerialistAny acrobat working above the ring on an aerial equipment such as trapeze, Roman Rings, Spanish web, etc. Ketty Jarz, who, in the 1970s, became the fourth female flyerAn acrobat that is propelled in the air, either in a flying act, or in an acrobatic act (i.e. teeterboard). in history to complete a triple somersault on the flying trapezeAerial act in which an acrobat is propelled from a trapeze to a catcher, or to another trapeze. (See also: Short-distance Flying Trapeze), and he became a member of Ketty Jarz’s flying actAny aerial act in which an acrobat is propelled in the air from one point to another.. Together, Ketty and Omar had a daughter, Zaida, who, under the tutelage of her father, became a hand-balancing expert at the early age of ten. Omar eventually developed a hand-balancing duet with his daughter, which debuted in Spain in 1979.
From the Liazeed Duo to the Liazeed Trio
The Liazeed Duo had a brilliant international career, and appeared in Europe’s leading circuses and variety theaters. As a hand balancer, Zaida also won several awards, the first of which in Spain when she was ten; the list includes a Silver medal at the Golden Circus Festival in Milano, Italy, and the Golden Artist Award the Enschede International Circus Festival in the Netherlands in 2001. Zaida was also proud to be the first female hand balancer featured at the Bal du Moulin Rouge in Paris.
The Liazeeds made their U.S. debut in 2002 with Universoul Circus, the celebrated African-American show. It was there that Zaida met Francisco Arano Aleman, a trapeze artist from Cuba who was a graduate of Cuba’s National Circus School (a very successful circus school built on the Russian model). Francisco soon began working with Omar and Zaida and, by the end of 2003, the Liazeed Trio was reborn in the form that it is today.
The trio returned to the Universoul Circus in 2004 for a second season, and in 2005 they accepted an invitation to perform at the International Circus Festival of Monte Carlo, where they received the Horse of Liberty award from Moira Orfei. In 2006-2007, they were featured in the Big Apple Circus production of Step Right Up! They have appeared on several television shows, notably in the hit TV show Le Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde in France, and on ABC’s Regis and Kelly in New York City.