Virgile Peyramaure

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By Dominique Jando

Born February 18, 1971 in Châteauroux, France, Virgile Peyramaure grew up in show business. His father ran a small circus company; his mother was a wardrobe mistress. For a time, Virgile considered a ballet career, but he eventually opted for the circus and, at age fifteen, entered the Centre National des Arts du Cirque, the French state circus college in Châlons-en-Champagne. There, he developed a hand-to-hand balancing act with another student at the Centre, Sophie Ferrero.

When their act was ready, Sophie and Virgile embarked on a brilliant international career that took them to such prominent venues as Circus Knie in Switzerland, Circus Roncalli and Berlin's Wintergarten in Germany, and Cirque du Soleil in Canada. In 1995, they won a Gold Medal at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris. They first performed their remarkable act at the Big Apple Circus in the U.S. in 1996-97 and returned there in 2000-01 for their farewell season—after which Sophie decided to retire from performing, in order to start a family.

Virgile remained at the Big Apple Circus as Assistant Performance Director. He became a member of its resident company and has since performed there in a variety of acrobatic acts, including hand-to-handAn acrobatic act in which one or more acrobats do hand-balancing in the hands of an under-stander. balancing acts with Andrey Mantchev.