Meet Our Company
Abigail Munn, co-founder, executive director, Trapeze. Abigail is an accomplished dancer, choreographer, and aerialists. She holds a BFA in Modern Dance from UC Santa Barbara. She made her first appearance in the ring as a child with the Pickle Family Circus. She since has performed with Zoppe Italian Family Circus, New Pickle Circus, Cabaret Verdelet, Circus Cabaret, Tease-O-Rama, Va Va Voom Room, and The Velvet Hammer Burlesque. Abigail was featured in the New York Times for Alma Esperanza Cunningham’s work “princess”. She also co-directs the nouveau-vaudeville troupe Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, three-time Best of the Bay winner. Internationally recognized, the Kitties were very influential in the modern Burlesque resurgence.
David Hunt, co-founder, Ringmaster, Slack Rope. David began juggling at age 12, inspired by his father’s performances as an amateur magician. He holds a BA from Hampshire College with a concentration in Urban Political Economy (and a minor in fire eating). He has received formal training from Meret Ryhiner (acrobatics), Masha Dimitri (slack rope), and at the SF Circus Center. He has performed with New Pickle Circus, Zoppe Italian Family Circus, Circus Velocity, and is an original touring member of Bindlestiff Family Cirkus. His work on the slack rope was recently included in the film, Water for Elephants.
Demarcello Funes, Hambone Body Percussion. Demarcello is a multi faceted performer and visual artist from Oakland.He developed circus and performing skills at a young age with the Prescott Circus Theatre in West Oakland where he continues to serve now as a staff member. He attended Oakland School for the Arts where he continued to strenthen his skills as a clown and actor. He has performed across the Bay Area for reputable events including the International Body Music Festival.
Carlo Gentile, Foot Juggling / Risley. Carlo has been teaching, directing, and performing circus for the past 15 years. He is a graduate of the San Francisco Circus Center’s Clown Conservatory and trained multiple times in China where he worked with his wife, Orlene, perfecting their foot juggling act. He has performed with the Royal Lichtenstein Circus as a clown, juggler, unicyclist and diabolo artist. He has toured extensively with the Zoppé Italian Family Circus and has performed with St. Louis’ own Circus Flora. He and his family have most recently been living in Chicago and, with Orlene, has served as a Artistic Director of CircEsteem and the Chicago Youth Circus.
Orlene Gentile, Foot Juggling / Risley. Orlene has been singing and dancing since age 3. She cut her teeth as a variety entertainer on the streets of India, Vietnam and the back woods of Thailand. Orlene is a graduate of the San Francisco Circus Center’s Clown Conservatory and trained multiple times in China where she worked with her husband, Carlo, perfecting their foot juggling act. She has worked with Zoppé Italian Family Circus, Circus Monti, and at the Krystallpalast Varieté. She has most recently been living in Chicago and, with Carlo, has served as a Artistic Director of CircEsteem and the Chicago Youth Circus.
Gianluca “Gianni Magi” Gentile, Risley. Gianluca, age 8, is a clown and acrobat. He is inspired by the long history of acrobatic clown performers including Fumagalli and the Fuma Boys. He has studied trapeze, Chinese pole, tap and ballet. Performance credits include the Zoppé Family Circus, El Circo Cheapo and CircEsteem and the Chicago Youth Circus.
Giulia “Trixie Love” Gentile, Risley. Giulia, age 6, is an acrobat and aerialist. She has performed with the Zoppé Family Circus and other variety cabarets. Most recently she completed a training program for trapeze and other general circus arts at CircEsteem in Chicago. She enjoys painting, dance and spinning carpets.
Gioia Mei “Tatlo” Gentile, Risley. Gioia, age 3, started performing in the circus at the age of eight weeks with the Zoppé Family Circus. She’s had a love of performing ever since. Currently she’s training as a risley flyer and developing her headstands and handstands.
Rob Reich, Composer, Musical Director. Rob Reich is quintessentially what makes the San Francisco music scene a vibrant and vital mecca for independent music; he’s become one of its stalwart underground artists. Reich starting studying piano at age three. After graduating with a degree in Music Composition from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, he moved to the Bay Area, where he discovered the accordion, now his primary instrument. He is best known for his work with Tin Hat, Gaucho, and Circus Bella. His recent album “Shadowbox” was described by Downbeat Magazine as “an elegant quintet date that moves effortlessly between post-bop, jazz Manouche, and chamber-rock” “Whatever context he’s in, Reich transforms it into a creative hothouse where thousands of musical flowers bloom.” -Andy Gilbert, East Bay Express
Calvin Ku, Clown. From performing at the International WuQiao Circus Festival in China to clowning in Cirque De La Mer at Sea World, Calvin Ku continues to bring laughter to audiences show after show. Through the culmination of his many talents, Calvin performs his unique, theatrical comedy for various companies all over the Bay Area, such as, World Entertainment Services, Cedar Fairs, and the Medical Clown Project.
Dwoira Galilea, Contortion. Dwoira Galilea, a Coney Island native, trained in rhythmic gymnastics from age 9 through 13, and graduated from the Performing Arts High School of NYC as a theatre major. She specializes in contortion, aerial hoop and tissu, and has toured internationally with traditional and contemporary circus, cruise ships, night clubs and corporate events.
Natasha Kaluza, Hula Hoops. Natasha is a multi-talented performer. She graduated with honors from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Theater Arts and followed up with a graduate year of dance studies. She completed the first and second year of the Clown Conservatory at the SF Circus Center under Jeff Raz. Since 2003, she has been performing solo and ensemble works in theater, circus, music, and dance. Credits include: Sweet Can Productions, Circus Bella, Pickle Circus School Tour, New Pickle Circus, San Francisco Circus Center, Flynn Creek Circus, Circus of Sound, New York Clown Festival, and more. She is also one –half of the award winning clown duo Coventry & Kaluza.
Joel Baker, Show Director. As a much-loved clown performing worldwide, Joel Baker brings to the stage a unique style of physical comedy, acrobatics, and improvisation. He is a graduate of San Francisco’s Clown Conservatory and the San Francisco Circus Center, where he began incorporating acrobatics, handstands, and chair balancing into physical comedy. Joel launched his career as an acrobatic clown in San Francisco’s legendary New Pickle Circus. For over six years, Joel was a key performer—and additionally served as an Artistic Coach—in the award-winning Cirque du Soleil show LOVE on the Las Vegas Strip. Joel performed main clown roles in SOAP (Chamaleon Theatre) and LOFT by Les 7 Doigts de la Main (7 Fingers). His various collaborations as a director include the Nevada Ballet Choreographer’s Showcase. He has appeared on the national television shows The Night that Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles, The View, and America’s Got Talent and has performed under the direction of James Cameron in the film Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D. During the winter Variety season, you can find Joel performing in Germany with PALAZZO as the classic Bellhop who can’t stay out of trouble.
Chris Weiland, Costume Designer. Christina began costuming as a circus aerialist, creating her own costumes for performance and teaching herself the fundamentals of pattern making so that she could create whatever she imagined. Soon, other circus artists began commissioning her to make their costumes, and since then, she has been led down various paths, including musical theater, ballroom dance, ballet, opera and even science, collaborating with the Academy of Sciences to provide costumes and props for their educational programs. She has furthered her education by studying pattern-making at Apparel Arts, now in Oakland, and has been learning about all aspects of the fashion industry. She has worked in the professional costume shops of Teatro ZinZanni, ACT and Berkeley Rep and she is also part of Berkeley Rep’s wardrobe crew. She is constantly seeking new challenges to grow as an artist, and is delighted to return to her roots with Circus Bella.
Judy Finelli, Juggling Director. Judy Finelli co-founded the San Francisco School for Circus Arts (now Circus Center) in 1984. She was the Artistic Director of the Pickle Family Circus 1987-1990. She received a BFA in Theatre, Film and Television from NYU School of the Arts in 1970. She was the photographer for Circus Techniques (1976) by Hovey Burgess. Judy has performed in the Electric Circus, at Carnegie Hall, the Theatre for the New City, and taught at the 1974 International Mime Festival at La Crosse, WI. Other circus credits include Circus Vargas and the Pickle Family Circus. TV credits include “To Tell the Truth,” “Sesame Street,” the “Mike Douglas Show,” and a PFC documentary. She appeared as a physical comedian in Robert Altman’s “Popeye.” She taught at NYU School of the Arts, Juilliard Drama, ACT (SF) Summer Training Congress, The National Theatre School of Canada, Dell ‘Arte School of Mime and Comedy, National Theatre of the Deaf, Ringling Clown College, and the SF Clown Conservatory. In 1973 she became the first and only female president of the International Jugglers’ Association. Currently, she serves as the West Coast Correspondent for Spectacle magazine. She teaches juggling and object manipulation at Sons of Cayuga Circus Studios. She is the subject of Lisa Denker’s forthcoming documentary, “Still Me.”
Circus Bella All-Star Band!
Ian Carey, Trumpet
Michael Pinkham, Percussion
Rob Reich, Accordion
Alisa Rose, Violin
Jonathan Seiberlich, Sousaphone
Greg Stephens, Trombone
2016 Apprentices and Crew!