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.
THOMAS HINZ (Chairperson)
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.
EVELYN COULSON (deputy Chair)
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.
Regina hegemann (Secretary)
Info to come.
Kahurangi Marino Aroha Bronsson-George (treasurer)
Kāi Tahu, Kāti Mamoe, Waitaha, Ngāti Porou, Scotland (Clan Henderson)
He has trained in Mau Rākau with Te Whare Tū Taua o Waitaha for 4 years, and is currently a pou tahi. He is currently working on his solo Māori Circus Theatre solo show, “Iti Kahurangi”, and is enjoying where the combination of circus disciplines with te ao Māori is taking him. He is passionate about growing a stronger presence of te reo, tikaka, toi, mātauraka and whakaaturaka Māori in the Circus industry of Aotearoa.
Ōtautahi-born Kahurangi Bronsson-George has always been surrounded by creativity, coming from a musical whānau, with Te Kotahitanga Kapa Haka, Suzuki violin and Rudolf Steiner school forming the eclectic triangle of his learning foundation. At age 16, he joined the Circus (without needing to run away) at Circo Arts (2006-10), and there was no turning back.
Fast-forward through a decade bookended by earthquakes and a global pandemic, he has trained and performed in many spaces, including the Wellington Circus Hub (2012, 2016-17, 2019), the Dust Palace (2013, 2015, 2017), Spin Circus Academy in Melbourne 2013-14), and has now become one of the few Aotearoans to hold a degree in Circus, from the Whitireia Circus and Dance Course at Te Kāhui Auaha in Te Whanganui-a-Tara.
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.
danny lee syme
Danny is a sixth-generation Canterbrian of Germanic/Scandinavian and Scottish descent. He identifies as Tangata Tiriti. He is a director, performing artist, teacher, producer and choreographer with extensive experience in circus, martial arts, physical theatre, acting and dance. He was a founding member of the Christchurch Circus Trust, The Loons Circus Theatre Company and Circotica. Since his youth he has trained in various martial arts and is an Oceania Gold Medalist. He holds a Diploma in Circus Arts, a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies, and a Masters in Performing Arts. Danny is a trailblazer and has recently established Cirko Kali as a continuing framework to develop circus arts in Aotearoa.
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.
Lizzie Tollemache is a sideshow stuntwoman, theatre maker, and the Creative Director of Rollicking Entertainment Ltd.
With a background in directing and tutoring young people, she also spent six years improvising with New Zealand’s longest running comedy show, Scared Scriptless as a member of The Court Jesters. Lizzie trained and performed with The Loons Circus Theatre Company from 2011 to 2014, and began work as a street performer during this time, moving from her Coin Operated Girl installation through to the Super Duper Girl circle show.
In 2014 Lizzie co-founded Rollicking Entertainment Ltd to make carnie-infused theatre which weaves together circus, illusion and sideshow to tell New Zealand stories, and has created, produced and toured nine original shows with the company to date. Performing at theatres and arts festivals throughout NZ, Australia, Canada, the UK and the UAE, Lizzie remains the company’s Creative Director and has led the children’s theatre, cabaret, adult circus theatre and outdoor theatre branches of Rollicking Entertainment’s activities.
As a circus performer, she specialises in aerial escapology, MC-ing and sideshow stunts. As a maker, Lizzie directs funny, fast paced, physical ensemble work with heart, and a dollop of queer feminism. She is building a reputation for warm and astute dramaturgy and is beginning her intimacy direction training with a special focus on physical and circus theatre.
Lizzie became the Associate Director of Centrepoint Theatre in February 2020.
Nick (taz) davies
Nick Davies AKA ‘Taz’ is an Auckland based Circus Performer. Born in Auckland and raised in Tasmania, he developed a love for both dance and the outdoors in his earlier years. He returned to Aotearoa in 2003 where he enthusiastically pursued a career of outdoor adventure and adventure therapy facilitation.
In a surprising turn of events in 2011, Taz found circus and rediscovered his love for movement, arts and community. Over the past 8 years he has toured with big top circus, festivals, theatre and street performance. Taz has worked as a trainer with The Dust Palace, The Wellington Circus Trust, Slipstream Circus (Tasmania, Australia) and Kapiti Circus (Kapiti, New Zealan). Alongside circus he brings skills in safety management, facilitation and leadership education reflected also in his Bachelor of Education and Masters in Social Work.
He feels blessed to be a part of this great community and having rejoined ANZCA in 2021, is looking forward to building the industry and art form.
Growing up in Germany, Regina started circus at a young age and has trained and performed many different disciplines over the years and worked with amazing coaches from around the world.
After moving to New Zealand, completing an Honours degree in Psychology and PhD in Neuroscience, she settled in Wellington and quit her job to fully immerse herself in the circus industry. She is now a performer, teacher and operations manager of the Wellington Circus Trust.
Regina is passionate about circus and hopes to use her diverse experience to help ANZCA grow and support the New Zealand circus community.