Biography

 

 

 

Professional Experience (Brief Summary)
  • 8/90 - 12/90: Moscow Circus, St. Petersburg Circus
  • 1/91: Paris, France (Festival Mondial Du Cirque De L'Avenir)
  • 2/91 - 10/91: Moscow Circus, television appearances, theater
  • 11/91 - 2/92: New York- Gershwin Theater, and Atlantic City, N.J. (Valentin Gneushev's Moscow Circus-Cirk Valentin)
  • 3/92 - 2/93: Russia- television and theater appearances (Russia Palace, Orlyonok Children's Theater, Presidential Ball at Kremlin)
  • 2/93 - 3/93: Vienna, Austria (Circus of the Stars)
  • 4/93 - 6/93: Performances in Moscow Theaters and Television Programs
  • 7/93 - 8/93: South America- Moscow Circus
  • 9/93: Buttrop, Germany (Tiengelmann’s 100th Anniversary)
  • 10/93: Warsaw, Poland (European television "Face of the Year")
  • 2/93: Cologne, Germany (TV/Cinema Awards Program "Telestar")
  • 1/94 - 4/94: Russia- Ekaterinburg, St. Petersburg, Moscow performances
  • 5/94 - 8/94: South American Tour- Santiago, Buenos Aires
  • 10/94 - 5/95: Russia- television and theater performances
  • 9/95 - 12/95: U.S.- exhibitions
  • 12/95: Bolshoi Theater and Kremlin performances, Moscow
  • 12/96: Orlyonok Theater, Moscow
  • 4/97: Olympic Coliseum, Athens, GA- UGA/Michigan gymnastics competition
  • 9/97 - 4/98: Cirque Ingenieux Tour- U.S. and Canada
  • 3/98: ABC Special: "Christopher Reeve- A Celebration of Hope" (performance with Tom Scott)
  • 5/98: NBC program with Diana Ross in Los Angeles, not broadcast
  • 6/98: Special Cirque Ingenieux Performance, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • 7/98: Cincinnati Pops Orchestra anniversary performance (Ohio)
  • 7/98 - 9/98: Atlantic City, N.J. (Neil Goldberg's Cirque '98)
  • 2/99: Cincinnati Pops Holiday “Love Is In The Air” (PBS- recorded 10/98)
  • 7/99: Cincinnati Pops Orchestra Fourth of July Extravaganza
  • 12/99: Naples Philharmonic Orchestra- New Years Eve
  • 2/00: Cirque Productions – Daytona 500 Special, Florida
  • 6/00 - 7/00: Cincinnati Pops Orchestra Holiday Shows (PBS- live nationwide)
  • 7/00: Chicago, Illinois- private corporate show
  • 8/00: Performances with Cirque Productions show near Memphis, TE
  • 10/00: Chicago, Illinois- Special Show for Charitable Causes
  • 11/00 – 12/00: Alabama Symphony Orchestra, 2-week engagement, Birmingham
  • 1/01: Russian Palace Theater in Moscow
  • 2/01: Performance for President Putin, martial arts competition, Krasnoyarsk, Russia
  • 3/01: Performances With Circo Mosima in Rome, Italy
  • 6/01: Television program on Sasha's life and background in Russia on ORT network
  • 7/01: Space Program- Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
  • 8/01: Theater Production "Oscar Schlemmer" in Riga, Latvia (city's 800th anniversary)
  • 9/01: Television documentary on Sasha's life on Russian ORT network
  • 9/01: Hawaii- Cirque Productions Performance
  • 11/01 – 12/01: Theater of New Opera in Moscow, Russia
  • 12/01: Television program "Forever" on ORT, performance with pop star Anna Reznikova
  • 01/02: Naples Philharmonic Orchestra
  • 02/02: Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
  • 05/02: Chicago- Corporate Show
  • 06/02: Cirque Productions- Philadelphia, PA
  • 07/02: Cirque Productions- Detroit, MI
  • 12/02: Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra “Yuletide Celebration”
  • 02/03: Chicago- James Petrakis Productions
  • 03/03: New Orleans- Mardi Gras performance
  • 05/03: Kentucky Derby special performance
  • 05/03: Corporate Shows in Orlando, Pennsylvania
  • 06/03 - 08/03: Performances at Busch Gardens, Virginia
  • 11/03 - 12/03: Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra "Yuletide Celebration"
  • 02/04 - 05/04: Various Corporate Shows with Cirque Productions
  • 06/04 – 08/04: Performances at Busch Gardens, Virginia
    01/05: Performances in Orlando, Florida
    02/05: Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra, Michigan
    03/05: Corporate show, Columbus, Georgia
    07/05: Star Wars Special, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
    06/06 – 08/05: Performances at Busch Gardens, Virginia
    10/05 – 12/05: Various corporate shows in Florida

Personal and Professional Background

   Alexander (better known as "Sasha") grew up in Moscow, Russia. His father, Andre, a circus performer himself, started Sasha in gymnastics at the age of five, followed by training in aerial acrobatic routines known to veterans as a "strap act." Sasha's combination of natural strength, artistic expression, and grace set his performance apart from other circus acts, ascending to a level appropriate for the theater. Special music and stage arrangements provided a rich dramatic effect.

   At the tender age of 12, Sasha made his debut on the international stage in Paris, competing in the Festival Mondial Du Cirque De L'Avenir in January, 1991. Having only one previous public performance under his belt at the St. Petersburg Circus, it might have been expected that Sasha would wilt under pressure with the stiff competition in Paris, but he was awarded the gold medal after stealing the hearts of the judges and the local media.

There was no rest for Sasha after Paris. Multiple performances at the Moscow Circus, the Russian Palace, the Children's Theater, and the Kremlin firmly established Sasha as a professional. The Minister of Culture called him one of Russia's top three new young artists.  

 

While still just 12-years-old, he was invited to participate in Valentin Gneushev's "Moscow Circus - Cirk Valentin," a 10-week engagement in New York's Gershwin Theater on Broadway. Gneushev, who choreographed the ballet aerial act for "Cirque du Soleil," saw in Sasha "a clean ideal filled with harmony." Gneushev described Sasha's performance as "creating an ethereal vision of peace and tranquility," as he soars from the ceiling. It was Gneushev that helped dub Sasha with the name- "Angel." Sasha was the featured performer of the New York show, produced by Pavel Brun, future artistic director of Cirque du Soleil.

 

   After New York, there were performances in Atlantic City, Providence, R.I., before returning to Moscow, where Sasha was booked for engagements almost continuously. He was twice invited to perform at the Presidential Ball at the Kremlin, first for Gorbachev, and then for Yeltsin.

 

   In September of 1992, Sasha returned to America for a special tour.  By January 1993, Sasha's reputation had spread across Europe, and he started a month-long engagement in Vienna, Austria.  Television commentaries lauded his performance with interviews and video clips.

  

During the summer of 1993, Sasha began a tour of South America. The frequency of performances demanded during the tour helped mold Sasha's act into perfection.

After South America Sasha returned to Europe, performing in Germany for the 100th birthday celebration of the Tiengelmann Company. A month later he was summoned to Warsaw, Poland, for participation in the European program "Face of the Year." In December 1993, he returned to Germany for the annual "Telestar" event in Cologne, Europe's equivalent to a combined Academy Awards and Emmys. His performance earned him a standing ovation from an audience full of producers, directors, and artists.

   Holiday performances back in Russia peaked with five performances on New Year's Eve at the Russian Children's Theater, The Russian Palace (for television), and the Presidential Ball at the Kremlin. From May through September of 1994, Sasha returned to South America for extended stays in Santiago, Chile, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Back in Moscow at the end of the year, the Minister of Culture proclaimed Sasha as "the most important new rising artist in the country."  

 

   In the spring of 1995 Sasha graduated from high school and decided to return to America to attend the University of Georgia. He also worked with coaches and choreographers to refine his program with more challenging acrobatics. In the spring of 1996 Sasha's new program was released to the public in spectacular form as the national champion University of Georgia gymnastics team was challenged by the University of Michigan. A sold-out crowd at the UGA coliseum was dazzled by Sasha's special performance before the meet.

 

   Neil Goldberg of Cirque Productions in Florida invited Sasha to join an upcoming tour, "Cirque Ingenieux," which would travel to most major American cities.  The tour offered Sasha an opportunity to work in some of the finest theaters in the country, backed by some of the best artists in the business, with spectacular props, lighting, and new-age music by Kitaro.  Working with nylon fabric instead of straps, Sasha's performance became even more graceful and dramatic.

 

   Intermittent with the tour were special television appearances, including a critically acclaimed, nationally televised performance on ABC, called "Christopher Reeve: A Celebration of Hope." This program, which aired on March 1, 1998, included such stars as Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson, and Stevie Wonder. Robin Williams jokingly referred to Sasha as "Leonardo DeCaprio with muscles." Sasha performed with Grammy award-winning saxophone player Tom Scott, and at the conclusion the cameras caught a stunned Christopher Reeve saying "Wow!" 

 

   In July 1998, Sasha performed before a live orchestra again for the first time since a special Christmas performance for Russia's President Boris Yeltsin at the Bolshoi Theater. The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, under the direction of maestro Erich Kunzel, featured Sasha in a special outdoor Fourth of July celebration. In August PBS televised Sasha's performance with Cirque Ingenieux, which once again exposed Sasha on national television. The program was seen on PBS nationwide, and many affiliates repeated the broadcast throughout the year.

 

    Sasha performed in Atlantic City for 8 weeks during the summer, as part of Neil Goldberg's "Cirque '98."  In October he returned to Cincinnati to film the PBS Valentine's Day special “Love is in the Air,” which reunited him with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.  The program has been broadcast nationwide each February on PBS through 2003.

 

   In the summer of 1999, Sasha continued his association with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra for a Fourth of July outdoor concert at Riverbend. Maestro Erich Kunzel invited Sasha to join him later in the year as a special guest with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra for a star-studded New Year's Eve program to ring in the new millennium.

 

   In February 2000 Sasha returned to Florida to star in a high-octane production associated with the world famous Daytona 500 stock car race. The show was a highlight event for visitors that swarmed this annual blockuster party. 

 

During the summer of 2000, Sasha returned to perform with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra for a special Fourth of July Celebration. The program was seen live coast-to-coast on PBS with an estimated audience of ten million viewers. Late summer engagements in Orlando, Chicago and Memphis preceded a return to Moscow in the fall, where Russians were once again saw their native star on television. After a return to Chicago in October, Sasha arrived in Birmingham, Alabama, to perform with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra for a special two-week engagement called "SouthTrust's Holiday Magic." Local television audiences were treated to a special segment, in which a local news anchorman attempted to learn the basics of aerial acrobatics from Sasha onstage.

 

    Sasha performed for New Years festivities back in Russia in January, 2001, including a special performance for President Putin in Krasnoyarsk. Sasha joined other international artists in Rome, Italy, in February, 2001, for a Europe-wide television broadcast of Circo Massimo. Russia's ORT television network featured Sasha in a 30-minute profile in June. In July he returned to America to perform in a special tribute to NASA and the space program. As Sasha performed with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, visiting astronauts had the unique experience of having someone fly over their heads.

 

   At the end of the summer Sasha performed in a stage production for the 800th birthday celebration of Riga, Latvia. In September, 2001, ORT television once again aired a documentary on Sasha. Then he flew to Hawaii for a special Cirque Productions performance. Back in Moscow he performed with the Theater of New Opera in Moscow in November, and then joined pop star Anna Reznikova for an ORT television special called "Forever."

   In January, 2002, Sasha moved to Athens, Georgia. he was busy immediately with shows in Naples, Cincinnati, and Chicago. Summertime collaborations with Cirque Productions included shows in Philadelphia and Detroit. In December he performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's "Yuletide Celebration."

   In 2003 Sasha performed at the Kentucky Derby in the spring, with additional shows in Chicago, New Orleans, Orlando and Pennsylvania. After spending the summer in Virginia performing at Busch Gardens, Sasha returned once more to Indianapolis in November to perform in the Yuletide Celebration with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

   The year 2004 was a year of exciting new programs and new venues for Sasha. A variety of corporate shows led to the return to a summer of performances once more at Busch Gardens.

   In 2005 additional television engagements and a few more performances with symphonies and pop orchestras in Michigan and other locations were added, along with corporate shows in Orlando and elsewhere. In the Spring Sasha decided to offer another act to his portfolio. He had a large titanium cube constructed, which he practiced spinning and tossing in a dazzling display of coordination and skill. During the summer of 2005 Sasha returned once more to Busch Gardens for the season, and it was here that he exhibited his new act to the public for the first time, along with an adaptation of his flying performance, which included a female partner. Also during the summer, Sasha performed in a special Star Wars extravaganza with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. The fall was filled with various corporate shows.


   In 2006 Sasha plans to continue working with symphony programs, but is already being considered for various television engagements and special events. Performances with pop singers and instrumental artists are on the board as well. Additionally, Sasha plans to add performances with ballet companies to his schedule, building on previous experience with the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. It should be an exciting year!

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