Aurelia Cats

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Aerialist, Contortionist

By Dominique Jando

Aurelia Cats was born on July 12, 1979 in Ares, France. Her mother was a schoolteacher, her father, a mechanic—nothing much to do with the circus. At age eight, however, Aurelia enrolled in the children's program of Annie Fratellini’s Ecole Nationale du Cirque in Paris. There, she found her true vocation. By age ten, she had already won the K d’Or (first prize) at the Festival Première Rampe in Monte Carlo, the youth circus version of the International Circus Festival of Monte Carlo.

Aurelia was trained in every discipline related to the circus—from acrobatics to horse vaulting—by a series of brilliant circus instructors, including Enzo Larrible, Davis Bogino, Claude Victoria, Lucio Nicolodi, Manolo Dos Santos, Enzo Cardona, and Domenico Caroli. It was Pauline Palacy and Sacha Dubrovsky, however, who made her into an aerialistAny acrobat working above the ring on an aerial equipment such as trapeze, Roman Rings, Spanish web, etc..

Aurelia made her professional debut in 1993, when she was fourteen years old. Two years later, her trapeze act was featured at the Lido, the legendary Parisian cabaret. In that same year (1995), she participated in the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris, where she won the Gold Medal in the Cirque de l’Avenir category (for performers sixteen years old and under); she also won the Silver Medal at the Festival of Riva del Garda in Italy. The following year, she won the Gold Medal at the Festival Cirkus Princessan in Stokholm.

These early successes were just the beginning of a brilliant career, one that took her from circus to theater, from varieté(German, from the French: ''variété'') A German variety show whose acts are mostly circus acts, performed in a cabaret atmosphere. Very popular in Germany before WWII, Varieté shows have experienced a renaissance since the 1980s. to television. Aurelia has been featured at Cirkus Scott in Sweden; in Paris at the Cirque d’Hiver-Bouglione, the Casino de Paris, the Olympia Music-Hall, and the Lido; in Germany at TigerPalast, Wintergarten, Apollo, and Palazzo; in Seattle and San Francisco at Teatro ZinZanni; and in special events for Cirque du Soleil. She has also appeared in several European TV shows, including Mireille Dumas’s Aurelia Cats in France, and in 2008, she was a judge on the NBC TV series Celebrity Circus, in the United States.

Aurelia Cats resides in Switzerland. Although she continues to perform, she also manages a production and talent company, Art Vision, with Viktor Kee, Alexandre Grimailo, and Oleg Izossimov. In addition, she has sat on the juries of the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain (2005) and the International Circus Festival of Monte Carlo (2008).

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