Acrobatic Performance Designer
With a background in theatre, Shana Carroll began her circus career in 1988 when she touched a trapeze bar for the first time and discovered that she felt at home in the air, where she could move with a grace she had never experienced on the ground.
After several seasons with the Pickle Family Circus, Shana trained at Montreal’s École Nationale de Cirque and L’École de Cirque de Rosny-sous-Bois, outside Paris. She went on to join Cirque du Soleil in 1994, where her seven-year performance career as a trapeze artist ranged from the touring show Saltimbanco to the IMAX movie Journey of Man and the television series Solstrom. She also created an aerial trapeze act with 30 artists for Cirque's show celebrating Quebec City’s 400th anniversary.
In 2002, Shana and six friends founded the Quebec contemporary circus company Les 7 Doigts de la Main, performing in and co-creating the shows Loft and La Vie. She also co-directed and choreographed Traces with Gypsy Snider (for which they received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Best Choreography), and directed and choreographed the company’s latest production, Psy.
During this time Shana has continued to teach, direct and choreograph numerous other projects, including the choreography of three gold-medal-winning acts at the Festival Mondial de Cirque de Demain.
IRIS is her first collaboration with Cirque du Soleil as Acrobatic Performance Designer. In designing any acrobatic performance, Shana draws on her theatre background, always looking for its dramatic potential and for ways to develop well defined characters the audience can identify with.
“Many people on IRIS are from the world of dance, starting with the director, Philippe Decouflé,” she points out. “A lot of their natural approach to storytelling through movement has proved to be a really good fit with the work I've been doing with the acrobats.”
Shana Carroll was born in Berkeley, California.