Kiebpoli Calnek is an actress, aerialist, and founder/artistic director of Black*Acrobat- a social enterprise that empowers fringe communities through the vertical world of aerial acrobatics and with devised theatrical performances. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and of Actors’ Equity Association. Her works received generous funding and support from Elizabeth Streb, Astrea Foundation, Asian Arts Initiative, and The New York Foundation for the Arts.
She trained at the Circus Space in London and with Kevin O'Connor in NYC. Kiebpoli taught and held aerial theatre performances at Aerial Arts NYC, Big Sky Works, The Muse Brooklyn, Dixon Place, The Kitchen, LAVA, The Skybox, STREB, The Zipper, P.S. 122, The Red Lotus Room, Irondale Center, 3-Legged Dog, La MaMa E.T.C.
Kiebpoli is thrilled to be teaching classes at SF Circus Center, coaching students utilizing constructive feedback, motivation, and patience while focusing on technique, form, and dramatic flourishes.
Born in Murom, Russia, Elena Panova is a graduate of Moscow's Circus and Variety College, where she specialized as an aerialist. Under the guidance of the famous training tandem of Tereza Durova and Viktor Fomin, she created a groundbreaking swinging trapeze act that redefined swinging trapeze as it is performed today all over the world. Elena won a gold medal and the Ministry of Culture award at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris in 1987, and the gold medal at the 1988 All-Union Circus Artists Competition of the USSR. For over twenty years, she has performed in major circuses and variety and theater shows on four continents, including the Moscow Circus, Circus Knie, the Cirque d'Hiver-Bouglione in Paris, Circus Carré in Amsterdam, the Victorian Arts Center in Melbourne, and the Big Apple Circus. She has also been a judge several times at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris. Elena moved to the United States in 1991. She started teaching at Circus Center in 2004.
Specially created for new students, Intro to Mixed Aerials: Level 1 introduces participants to the basics of Aerial performance. This 90-minute class combines strength and technique training on Static Trapeze, Rope, and Tissu to develop the fundamentals of movement on Aerial apparatus. People of any age and fitness level can start Intro to Mixed Aerials: Level 1 at any time. Session enrollment is encouraged.