Off Stage: Balancing Circus and Education with Anastasia Strizhanova

Circus News

Off Stage: Balancing Circus and Education with Anastasia Strizhanova

“Off Stage” is a 3-part, written series for the circus performer pursuing interests outside of the performing arts, or “off stage.” Our host and author for the series is performer, choreographer, and writer,Elena Suárez Pariente. The series presents three interviews between Elena and her guests as they offer personal stories and advice on pursuing parallel passions to circus performance. The topics here include pursuing a degree, starting and running a business, and turning a hobby into a lucrative side job.

Anastasia Strizhanova is the first guest of the newest CircusTalk Original Series, “Off Stage.” She is currently performing in Las Vegas as part of the show Absinthe by Spiegelworld, and her specialty is hand balancing, a skill that, as she explains, requires “a lot of time and patience.” On top of that, this 22-year-old artist combines her busy schedule as an artist with studies and internships in the hospitality industry. Her dreams are big, as are her dedication and hard work.

As soon as you meet Anastasia, you realize that she is an ambitious woman, very focused and grounded. It’s inspiring to hear how she talks about her passions and how she manages her time to combine two careers. She has been in the circus industry since she was born. Her parents were on tour with Cirque du Soleil, and her first steps were in a circus tent. Her godfather is the creator of the iconic banquine act in Cirque du Soleil’s show Quidam, and her parents were part of the company for many years, performing in different successful shows like Kurios.

When she was 3 years old, Anastasia started to copy her mother as she did  warm ups backstage—and that’s how her artistic devotion started. Even though she started to train for the circus very early, she also studied and went to school because, according to her parents, education was considered to be a fundamental piece of her development. She attended different schools in Russia and Canada, and received schooling provided by Cirque du Soleil  for all the children that were traveling with their shows, which helped her continue with her studies. Later on, she studied online in America and graduated from the iNaca Connections Academy. She learned different languages including English, Russian, and French.

At 18 years old, she decided that Las Vegas would be a great place to grow as an artist, and after her parents agreed, she moved to the US to continue her career. Spiegelworld offered her a contract in Absinthe and, since then, she has been part of the show’s Sway Pole act as well as performing her hand balancing solo act. Anastasia has also just finished a program in the hospitality industry. “I found this program during the pandemic,” she says, “and I did it for 11 months. It introduced me to the industry and I definitely see myself working in something related to this.”

I  talked with Anastasia to learn more about her artistic career and her other passion off stage.

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Elena Suarez Pariente

Elena Suárez Pariente is an artist, journalist and barre coach from Spain. She was the original ballerina from the show Volta by Cirque du Soleil, and currently performs a hair hanging solo act in Spiegelworld’s Opium in Las Vegas, US. Elena has experience as a dancer, actress and hair hanger, and also studied journalism in Madrid. She is passionate about art, culture and sharing other people's stories.