By Dominique Jando
Born in Milton, Pennsylvania (United States), Nathalie Enterline began her dance training at age three at the Enterline Performing Arts Center in Milton and with the Williamsport Civic Ballet, which were both owned and operated by her parents. She also became a baton twirler, and competed nationally and internationally in the 1970s, winning the World Championships in 1978.
She then moved to New York City to further her dance training at the New York School of Ballet. At the same time, she was performing a baton-twirling act, and in 1980, while appearing in Montreal, Canada, she met the legendary juggler Francis Brunn (1922-2004). This was the beginning of a life-long romance and collaboration that lasted until Brunn’s death, in 2004.
She became Brunn’s all-important partner, feeding him props at lightning speed during his amazing fast-tempo act. Meanwhile, Brunn helped Nathalie develop a remarkable hat-and-cane juggling act in which she could use her unique talents as both a dancer and a baton-twirler.
She premiered her act professionally at the Big Apple Circus in New York in November 1983, where she shared the bill with Francis Brunn. It was an immediate sensation, and Paul Binder, the circus’s founder and artistic director, decided to send her in January 1984 to the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris, to represent the Big Apple Circus. To Brunn’s surprise and delight (and Nathalie’s), she won a Gold Medal.
Nathalie’s long career, which has often paralleled that of Francis Brunn, took her to some of the world’s most prestigious nightclubs, 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. theaters and circuses, including the Lido of Paris; TigerPalast in Frankfurt; the prestigious Bal de la Rose in Monte-Carlo, where she performed for Prince Rainier III of Monaco; Circus Scott in Sweden; Circo Tihany in Mexico; Salto Natale in Switzerland; Incognito Flamenco, a show conceived by Francis Brunn, in Frankfurt, Germany; and more recently, Paris’s Cirque d’Hiver-Bouglione.
- Video: Nathalie Enterline, Hat and Cane Juggling at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris (1984)
- Video: Nathalie Enterline, Hat and Cane Juggling in the Big Apple Circus production of Twenty Years! (1997)