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ANZCA is run by a steering committee of passionate individuals within the circus landscape of Aotearoa. Becoming part of the steering committee happens via nominations and voting during ANZCA Annual General Meetings. It is an entirely voluntary position, and we are so grateful for the passion and work that this team puts in. Meeting regularly to continue their work on growing ANZCA's capacity.

Eve Gordon (Acting Chair)

Founder and Director - The Dust Palace Circus Theatre Company

Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts

Eve is the creator and company director of The Dust Palace and has choreographed all of their works to date. After being introduced to physical theatre by Beth Kayes at drama school in 2001, 'Circus Theatre' became Eve's vocation and main drive in life.

Eve graduated with a Bachelor of Acting in 2002 and has been working as a physical theatre and aerial circus performer, producer, actor, experimental filmmaker and costume creator for the last 15 years. Eve began The Dust Palace as an umbrella to encompass all the plays, physical works, events and films she creates which have ranged from experimental film festivals; to one off art and music events, to cabaret/burlesque shows; to script based theatre.

She has been teaching circus, physical theatre and drama since 2003 and has taught at Auckland University, The Performing Arts School of NZ, MIT, TAP, The John Bolton School and The Dust Palace Circus School.

Imogen Stone (Deputy chair)

Co-Founder and Managing Director of COLOSSAL Productions

Co-Director/Performer of award winning ‘Laser Kiwi Productions’

Imogen is an experienced show creator and circus artist based in Wellington, New Zealand.  COLOSSAL is a circus production company with deep roots in Aotearoa. Passionate about inspiring new audiences and creating opportunities for artistic collaboration. Established in 2015 we have built a broad repertoire, exploring and elevating circus through mixing genre, comedy, design and technology. 

Imogen’s career has taken her around the world, and more excitingly, all over Aotearoa. She has also been a tutor at the Wellington Circus Hub, and a trainer on the Whitireia/Te Auaha Circus/Dance diploma, and is now a full time performer/producer.

A huge advocate of the New Zealand circus industry, she is excited to be part of its future.

Rosalie Ducharme (Secretary)

After graduating from the National Circus School of Montreal in 2009, Rosalie was invited to take part of the creation of Cirque du Soleil's Totem, where she performed her duo trapeze act until 2012. Co-created with Louis-David Simoneau (Duo Waz’O), their act has been greatly noticed for bringing a whole new style to this discipline, blending high level technique and surprising transitions with flowing choreography and acting.

She has been teaching workshops, masterclasses and private lessons in over 30 circus schools around the world, including at Montreal’s National Circus school, and Melbourne’s National Institute of Circus Arts.

Now the Manager of the Wellington Circus Hub, she has also been the Head trainer of the Wellington Circus Hub and tutor at the Whitireia Circus-Dance diploma.

Damian Gordon

Damian Gordon is a leading member of the family that own and operate Circus Aotearoa. Circus Aotearoa is the only surviving New Zealand owned circus that is still actively touring the country, with their big top.

Damian has over 20 years experience in the circus arts, he was trained at CircoArts, at C.P.I.T. He then went on to work as a street performer, both here in New Zealand and in Europe, where he met his partner. He now has a family and business with her. After three years touring together with Whirling Bros they concentrated their careers around corporate aerials and a family circus called Artfool. They then took on the challenge of touring their own show with Circus Aotearoa when the bigtop from Whirling Bros went up for sale and have been touring for 10 years now.

Damian is honoured to be a part of ANZCA, and is excited for its goals for the future and the future of the wider circus community in New Zealand.

Michael Armstrong

Michael has been performing and teaching circus for the last ten years since running away from law school to join the circus, or to more accurately state it, attending CircoArts for two years before running away with the circus. He spent four seasons touring with Circus Aotearoa while finishing his law degree, teaching circus at summer camp in America and traveling to England to perform with Unismart, an entertaining survival guide for Universities.

Since then he has created two solo shows, his street show starring Craig the stunt carrot, which he has performed around the world from the Edinburgh fringe festival, Canada, Australia and at the World buskers festival in Christchurch. He also has his stage show Blown Away where he plays a conductor in a show that goes out of control. He has performed this with the Tauranga Symphonia, around NZ and at the Western Australian Circus festival. As well as this he has spoken at TEDx Wellington and started performing on cruise ships around the world.

Evelyn Coulson

Circus has been a part of Evelyn’s life for the past decade alongside a parallel life of attaining a Bachelor of Science in psychology and applied statistics and working for many years in government. In 2015, she quit her job, left Wellington and ventured out to Montreal to train full-time in circus and test out a different way of life. She has since performed and taught circus in Canada, Central America, Indonesia, Australia and of course back home here in New Zealand.

Now based in Auckland, New Zealand she currently works for several circus companies as a teacher and performer. She is also working in collaboration with artists from other disciplines (music and theatre) to help bring stories to life for educational children’s shows currently touring around Auckland.

Evelyn is honoured to be a part of the ANZCA committee and is motivated to utilise her research skills to support the New Zealand circus community to grow and understand itself better. Most recently she has been busy with the ANZCA Circus Census, collating all the responses and making those results publicly available to the community.

Jenny Ritchie

Jenny is a visual artist, aerial circus performer and aerial choreographer.  

Over the last 20 years she has worked for contemporary circus companies and various shows both in NZ and overseas where she often finds herself in a diversity of roles; as a performer, apparatus designer and aerial choreographer.

After graduating from a Diploma in Performing Arts (Circo Arts) in 2003, she co-created a performance company in New Zealand and worked as an aerial performer and choreographer until 2010.  Jenny then moved to Montreal to become part of larger international projects. She has worked for Ex Machina, Robert Lepage’s interpretation of Das Rheingold for the Metropolitan Opera of New York and has toured internationally as an aerialist in Cavalia’s Odysséo. Jenny was also a choreographic collaborator and performer for experimental aerial apparatus in the international touring show Rigolo.   

Jenny has recently completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts (1st Class Hons) at Ara Institute of Canterbury, 2019, with a focus on ceramic sculpture and set design. Since returning to New Zealand in 2016, she has collaborated with Movement of The Human and The World of Wearable Arts as aerial choreographer and performer and has continued to teach circus, training performers in aerial apparatus, most recently working with students on the Whitireia Dance and Circus degree for Te Auaha Creative Institute and the Circus Hub in Wellington.   She has also recently started training in film stunts and stunt rigging, a field with complimentary practices and crossovers with circus that feed into her choreographic and apparatus design work.


Founder and Director of circability trust. Thomas brings 30 years experience of community & social circus into the NZ circus “arena.”

As the founder & Director of “Circus Fantasia” in Germany, he was from the beginning focused on the inclusion of people with disabilities, operating the summer seasons in a circus tent setting, followed by annual european tours.

After his arrival in Aotearoa / New Zealand 2001, he followed his passion of applied circus arts and started Circus Kumarani in Dargaville. Facing a growing demand for community circus programmes in Northland, Thomas facilitated a year long Community Circus - Teacher training course. Based on that he formed the Northland Stars network group - initiated the Cirque du Soleil partnership - co-organised 4 national CCConventions and the annual Northland Circus and Northland Buskers Festivals. 

To evaluate the status of community circus in New Zealand and gather information from international community circus leader's, Thomas initiated the 2 year Research project “Developing Community Circus in New Zealand / Aotearoa”.

Now working with Circability trust in Auckland, who received two Arts Access Aotearoa awards: 2013 “Partnership award” and 2016 “Creative space award” - Thomas would like to be part of developing the social & community circus scene here in New Zealand through the ANZCA network. 

Matthias goed

Assistant Director - Circus Aotearoa

Matthias was born into the circus life and started his performing career at 9 years old with Whirling Bros. Circus. He has been performing with his family's circus Circus Aotearoa since its founding in 2008 and has taken on some more managerial roles in the more recent years.

After finishing high school in 2013 Matthias made circus his full time career. He moved to Iceland to help establish Sirkus Island’s summer tour and train their tent boss with their brand new Big Top.

After spending the last 5 years travelling through Europe during the summers, performing in Big Tops, Theatres and Street Festivals, Matthias is excited to be home and have the opportunity to apply his experience to the New Zealand circus industry.



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