Alona Zhuravel

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Hand Balancer

Alona Zhuravel - Joya.jpg

‘’By Dominique Jando’’

Alona Zhuravel was born in Russia on May 30, 1991, in a family of circus performers: Her father, Vitaly, had won a Gold Medal at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in 1994 with his horizontal bars act. It is at about that time that the Zhuravels settled in Germany, where they were touring. Alona eventually became a German citizen.

She started her training under her parents’ tutelage at age five and developed in time a remarkable hand-balancing act. Her first contract of note was in with Circus Flic Flac in Germany, in the early 2000s, where she performed on a platform above a fountain, six meters from the ground… Later, she was presented an award by Princess Stephanie of Monaco at the Youth Circus Festival, at Circus Nikulin in Moscow. Then, she toured Germany with the show Feuerwerk der Turnkunst ("Fireworks of Gymnastics").

Her career was quickly launched. Over the years, she was featured in GOP Varieté in Bad Oyenhausen, EMO Messen (a major trade fair in Hannover), the dinner-show Spectavola in Mainz, and internationally she participated in 2007 in the Italian circus festival Cittá di Latina (today the International Circus Festival of Italy), where she was awarded the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey award, and then in the Wuqiao International Circus Festival in China, where she won a Bronze Lion.

The following year she appeared for the Holiday season at Cirque Pinder in Paris, France, and toured Finland with Sirkus Finlandia. She was featured at Hamburg’s legendary Hansa-Theater, toured Germany with the Das Jamie Oliver Dinner-Show, and even returned to Russia where she performed in the Circus Adrenalin show. She also appeared in the television shows Circo Massimo in Italy, Bellissimo in Switzerland, and in the very popular French television show Le plus grand cabaret du monde.

Then, in 2012, she joined the Cirque du Soleil company and was featured and performed her hand-balancing act as "La Promise," one of the lead characters in their production of Varekai. She toured with that show until 2016. From 2016 to 2019, she performed her hand-balancing act in another Cirque du Soleil production, the dinner-show Joyà, in Riviera Maya in Mexico.

It is when performing in Varekai that Alona met her husband, fellow acrobat Dmitriy Liubashenko, with whom she had a son, Maxim. Today, Alona shares her time between motherhood, teaching hand-balancing, and performing. In 2024, she participated in the third American CircusFest in Frisco, Texas, where she was presented with the Circopedia Award.

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