Meet the Artists

Clan Destiny Circus Managing Partners

Creatrix Iz Web
aka “Ringmistress Iz”
(Partner, Managing Director & Producer, Ringmistress, Acrobatic Dancer, Hooper, Aerial Dancer, Fire Dancer, Choreographer, Designer, Character)

Creatrix “Iz” Web has been deeply involved in the world of Theatre her entire life, and the Circus Arts for over 25 years. She has studied circus arts at several major circus schools, including San Francisco Circus Center, London’s Circus Space, England’s Academy of Circus Arts, and more. She was the “Lovely Assistant” to a world renowned juggler, was a member of the professional dance ensemble Suhaila Dance Company and Bal Anat, was a founding member of The Accidental Circus, and was a member of Asheville, NC based performance art troupe The Surreal Sirkus. From 2005-2012 she was a soloist with Western North Carolina’s premiere fire arts troupe, Unifire Theatre. In 2011 she co-founded Clan Destiny Circus and is currently the company’s Managing Director and Producer. In 2011 she helped form a new Asheville chapter of The Vegetable Circus, where her passion for promoting healthy lifestyle practices was explored, and was an active member of that troupe through 2013.  A certified Ring 3 teacher of Circus Yoga, she enjoys bringing the joy and benefits of a Circus Arts practice to children of all ages. Iz is also a writer, multi-media artist, community organizer, and Film Maker. She is Head of Development for film production companies Social Construct and Convergent Media, and is producing a number of film and television projects.

 

unnamed (5)Jeff ‘Tree’ Anderson

(Partner, Troupe Director, Producer, Choreographer, Acrobatics Coach, Acrobat, SideShow Artist, Character Actor)

Tree began his professional circus career in 1998, when he co-founded Chimera Verite Acrobatic Theater with longtime collaborator Steven Seaberg. He later founded and was the director, choreographer and lead performer for Circus Equillibris. He is one half of’Seth and Impervio, a two man show featuring mentalism, side show, and magic. He has pioneered some of the most extreme and dangerous side show stunts ever performed.

He has a B.A. in Theater from Georgia State University. It was here that he studied mime, dance, anthropology, and bio-mechanical theater, all of which are incorporated into his unique style of acro.

He also conducts seminars and workshops on how to use acro-yoga as a performance.

He currently lives in Asheville with his wife Dawn.

 

Artists, 2016-17 Season

Evan WestbrookEvan Westbrook

(Director, Choreographer, Coach, Acrobatic Dancer, Aerialist, Handbalancer, Hand Magic)

Evan Westbrook is an accomplished circus artist working out of the southeast United States. He is a multi faceted acrobat who began his training at the age of fourteen, and graduated with a certificate of specialization from the New England Center for Circus arts in Chinese Pole and Aerial straps. Evan has helped create entire circus programs as a coach and choreographer, as well as full length theatrical circus shows and small scale performances. He has traveled far and wide seeking insight from different perspectives and amazing artists. His experience with nearly every circus discipline makes him a dynamic and unique performer, as well as contributing to his skill for choreography. In time, Evan hopes to push the boundaries of circus theatre and himself on the stage of life.

 

Mandy and EinsteinAmanda Phelan

(Acrobat, Character Actor, Dog Trainer)

Growing up Mandy was extremely enthusiastic about nature, spending most of her time alone in the forest connecting to the gifts that nature can bring — she loved to identify bugs and animals, always had a guidebook in hand, and would travel miles from home exploring and having adventures. She was also a little acrobat and boundary pusher that often caused grownups to worry, climbing saplings to the top and taking a lean all the way to the ground! As she grew older she discovered a new world of plants, and primitive skills gatherings. She started taking courses with Fox Mountain Guides to learn the craft of guiding people on rock climbing expeditions — then, in 2013, AcroYoga entered her life, and Mandy became a devoted practitioner of the acrobatic arts. She joined Clan Destiny Circus as an acrobatic flyer in 2015, and has most recently been developing an act with her service dog, Einstein (who steals the show every time). Mandy also facilitates regular educational forest retreats and classes for children,  supporting their connection to nature and helping kids to find themselves.

For more info about Little Feather Children’s Retreat: https://littlefeatherkids.wordpress.com/
For more info about Forest Floor Wilderness Programs: http://www.ontheforestfloor.org/

 

Gillian MauerGillian Mauer

(Principal Flyer, Acrobatic Dancer, Aerialist (tissu, sling))

Gillian Maurer is a modern dancer, aerialist, acrobat, and fine artist. She has been training with Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre in a range of dance styles from a young age, and now apprentices with their professional company, focusing on modern dance. She began training in aerial arts and acrobatics in 2014, and started working with Clan Destiny in Spring of 2016. She now works to fuse her dance training with aerial arts and acrobatics to create her own unique movement style. She has a passion for performing as well as visual arts, and is currently studying fine arts, in pursuit of a career in illustration (she is currently a high school student in her senior year).  Gillian is currently developing her portfolio, selling prints, doing commission work, and displaying her work around Asheville. Recent pieces can be viewed online, through her Instagram.

 

Niko NimbaNiko Nimba

(Acrobatic Dancer, Aerial dancer, Snake Charmer, Musician, Costume Design)

Niko Nimba is a multi-faceted artist devoted to travel, music, and everything circus. She is always searching for new doors to unlock the creative potential of the world around her and specializes in beautifying her surroundings to uplift and inspire the spirit. 

Niko Nimba is a singer/songwriter, painter, poet and aerial acrobat. Her songs pull at the heartstrings and speak to our inter-dimensional connection to the earth and stars. Some are folk love ballads, others a melodic cry for the well being of our planet. Niko Nimba transcends the line between sonic and visual art, creating custom painted instruments, feathered masks, felted dreadlock wigs, creature oriented costume pieces, and medicinal/herbal body products. She began circus arts while living in Haiku, HI and continued in Santa Cruz, CA, performing in the Santa Cruz Fringe Festival and private house concerts. Now a resident of North Carolina, Niko Nimba continues to expand her many talents to include Aerial Straps, Silks, Lyra, and group ensemble acrobatics.

Guest Artists & Instructors

Please meet some of the amazing artists that frequently work with Clan Destiny Circus as soloists and workshop instructors.

ananda-star-stilt-walkerSuperStar Stilts

(Stiltwalkers, Character Actors, Costume Design)

Ananda Star Springsteen and Althea Wilkins are the founding members of Super Star Stilts. They have been delighting audiences with stilt walking entertainment in the Asheville Area and around the country for ten years. Well known for their dazzling performance, unique costume designs, and amazing high kicks, they are favorites at the Lake Eden Arts Festival and Asheville’s Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival.

 

 

Cassidy Walpole ~ Art of AcroCassidy Walpole ~ Art of Acro

(Acro-Yoga Instructor)

Cassidy takes great care with creating an experience for students that builds self confidence and brings easeful mastery, knitting a tapestry of connections which can serve as a foundation for one’s own inspired practice. Formally trained in Restorative Yoga and Thai Yoga Massage, Cassidy’s attention carries a sensitive and compassionate presence that cultivates trust, comfort, and courage in her students. She is a Level 2 certified instructor with Acro Yoga Montréal, an immersive experience that has imbued her personal practice with a sense of creative exploration and mindful integration. Her passion for this practice is seen clearly in the light of her shared experience with her students.

 

Maurice Legendre

aka “Illumine Motion”

(Fire and LED flow Artist, Break Dancer, Acrobatic Dance, Event Producer, Stage Designer)

Maurice lives in Asheville, NC and has been dancing and performing for over ten years.  As a fire spinner and break dancer, Maurice has taken the stage all over the south east USA, Hawaii, south east Asia and Australia.  Performing at camps, weddings, private events and festivals that include LEAF, Floyd Fest, Kinnection Campout, Gratifly, Bonnaroo and Earth Dance Australia. Maurice developed the art of creative free form movement as well as group choreography and a passion for connecting with an audience.  Over the last ten years Maurice has been a member of Unifire Theater, the Hunab Kru, the Cinders, Clan Destiny Circus, and Trillium Dance Company, and been a guest artist with others.  Using his foundation in fire arts, dance and invention, Maurice is constantly tackling new skills in the circus repertoire as well as building new and original props and sets to offer audiences a unique and exciting experience. Most recently, he has been focusing on Stage Design through Illumine Motion Designs.

 

River in FocusIrijah Rivers
(River McDowell)
(Performing Artist & Flow Arts Teacher ~ Hoops, Staff, Poi, Rhythm Stix, AcroBalance & Slackline)

River has over 20 years’ experience with development, creation and spinning of flow-tools. He is a founding member of Clan Destiny Circus and is a regular guest artist. Currently River is teaching classes and workshops on Flow/contact Staff, Poi, and Hoop Dance through Full Circle Flow Arts. He has also taught classes on Slack Lining, Poi, Circus Theater Arts, Natural Healing and has assisted with teaching AcroBalance. He has performed on stage at many great festivals and gatherings including LAAFF, LEAF, Kinnection Campout, Gratifly, Gnarnia, Belle Chere, Organic Fest, Veg-Fest, and many more. He has hosted Playshops for kids, workshops, Summer Day Camps, and has worked and trained with many of Asheville’s great performing artists. In 2014 River and his wife Julia started flow arts company, Full Circle Flow Arts, which provides quality practice, performance, and fire flow-tools. They also host the “Flow Zone,” an Interactive Kinetic Arts activity area.

From 2008-2013 he was a member of the Asheville chapter of the Vegetable Circus (performing healthy lifestyle circus for kids). From 2011-2013 he served as regional director for the VC Asheville chapter on behalf of AWEN (a 501c3 non-profit). Despite his resignation from VC in 2013 he is continually doing everything he can to help move forward a revolution of healthy eating, living, and healthy thinking! He has a background in Holistic healing that includes a five year internship in Nutropathy (completed in 2006). He is an intuitive energy worker, and has also taken 1st degree Reki. River is also a dedicated father of three children, a Poet/Writer, Artist, Percussionist/Musician, Dancer, and a Community organizer. “I believe that we are all infinitely creative beings here to show our personal reflection of what love is.”

 

nicole silksNicole Silver
(Designer, Costumer, Aerial Acrobat, Partner Acrobatics, Dancer, Actress)

Nicole Silver has 16 years of experience in gymnastics, has been practicing yoga for the past 7 years, apprenticed under Daniella Miller of Royal Peasantry studying costume design, and has recently joined Asheville’s circus family. Nicole was born with the love to perform, she is able to draw upon her aerial, dance, poi, acrobatics, sewing, and hooping talents to create fun entertainment. Nicole has taught in Waldorf schools and coached gymnastics and cheer-leading. She is now a mother and enjoys sharing her skills with young children and their families. Nicole surrounds her life with art and aspires to make this lifestyle accessible to all types of people, feeling that creativity and beauty facilitate positive growth. Art inspires.  Making ideas come to life and being apart of the process is one the most empowering outlets we have as humans.

 

Rich Risbridger
(Ringmaster, Storyteller, Designer, Character Actor, Partner Acrobat)

A performer since childhood with a lifetime of experience in the physical arts, Rich Risbridger performs as an acrobat, clown, MC, ringmaster, dancer, fire breather, and storyteller. Whether using his booming voice, capable of speaking to hundreds of people without amplification, or the language of movement and facial expressions, Rich is a charismatic presence on stage.

Well versed in the German and Russian fairy tale tradition Rich leads and directs a storytelling stage show called Onkel Woland and the Black Forest Menagerie as well as telling stories to children and adults without the stage show. He is particularly fond of a special form of storytelling where he improvises stories and brings audience members on stage to perform with him. Newly arrived in Asheville, while living in the San Francisco Bay Area Rich performed with Copper Lantern Fire Theatre, Lucid Dream Lounge, and the Dreamtime Circus and traveled with the Dreamtime Circus to bring free circus shows and workshops to children in Peru.  In Asheville he serves as announcer and stage manager for the fire performance troupe Unifire Theater, and is a guest artist in the Clan Destiny Circus, in addition to his usual storytelling exploits.  Rich strives to ignite creativity by creating positive and playful ways to explore our humanity in a harmonious and non-consumptive relationship with nature.