MEET THE TEAM

Natalie Roberts

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Natalie Roberts is an inspiring and breathtaking performing artist who has worked and trained in South Africa as well as Internationally as both a dancer and circus artist. Natalie was born in Philadelphia, a farming community just outside of Cape Town, South Africa.

Natalie’s performance career began in 1999 when she joined Jazzart’s Professional Dance Company in Cape Town, after completing their 3-year Young Adult Training and Job Creation programme. Natalie trained in contemporary, tap, rhythm and gumboot dancing as well as contact work. While with the company, Natalie worked on exciting productions that include Aida (opera), Evita (musical), the Lotto Opening (TV), Face of Africa (TV), Diamond De Beers (fashion show), Taunhauser (Opera), Back Stage (TV soap opera) as well as embarking on a Namibian tour and performing in a Bollywood music video for Janasheen. Natalie was also actively involved in a community development programme teaching both rural and urban communities.

In 2004 Cirque du Soleil invited Natalie to be a South African Ambassador and performer at the Opening of the Oxfam International Youth Parliament in Sydney, Australia. At this international event with performers from Chile, France, Canada and Australia, Natalie met Orlando Vargas from the Circo del Mundo group in Chile.

With a passion for community development and the healing nature of art, Natalie ventured to Santiago, Chile in 2005, where, as a representative of Jazzart Dance Theatre, she taught dance to marginalised children. It was here in Cerro Navia that Natalie began training as a circus artist and teaching as a choreographer with Circo del Mundo School & Company.

In 2006 Natalie returned to Cape Town where she joined Zip Zap Circus as both a performing artist & teacher. Throughout the year Natalie performed at the J&B Met, Stormers Rugby Team Launch and was involved in corporate events for IBM and Vodacom. With Zip Zap Circus, Natalie performed for World Aids Day. In 2007 Natalie joined ‘Madame Zingara Theatre of Dreams’ and once again was invited to represent South Africa at the Oxfam International Youth Partnership event as a performer & facilitator. Throughout the year Natalie showcased her talent at the SA Productivity Awards and worked with major SA brands like Shoprite/Checkers and Truworths.

With a wealth of experience under her belt, Natalie and Orlando formed their performance company SircuSynergy in 2008.

Orlando Vargas

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Orlando Riveros is a spectacular and dynamic aerial artist and circus performer.

Born in Chile, Orlando started his career as a circus performer in 2001 when he was accepted onto the 4-year professional training course at Circo del Mundo. Orlando is highly trained in aerial work (rope, straps and scarf/silk), basic acrobatics and Chinese pole. During his artistic training, Orlando was also trained on the technical and safety aspects of rigging.

While studying, Orlando worked as a circus teacher, sharing the magic of circus with the children of impoverished communities and building self-confidence. In 2002, he partook in the Annual Circus Show In Estación Mapocho and in 2003 he performed for EKUN.

With his show accolades and experience growing, Orlando accepted a part in the 2004 Seasonal Tour Social EKUM and performed in the opening and closing ceremonies for the Festival de Viña Del Mar. During that year, Orlando was invited to be a Chilean youth delegate and performer in the Oxfam International Youth Parliament in Sydney, Australia, where he met Natalie Roberts. Together they began planning development workshops for impoverished youth in struggling communities. While in Australia, Orlando took the opportunity to train for a short time with NICA Circus in Melbourn.

In addition to performing at many spectacular events as well as successfully implementing the first of the Impoverished Youth Circus Workshops in 2005 in Chile, Orlando was also in charge of the Proycto Oxfam project. Later that year, Orlando was part of the Circo del Mundo team that was invited to perform at the show, EKUN, International Circus Festival in Venezuela.

Upon moving to Cape Town in 2006, Orlando joined Jazzard Dance Theatre on a 3-month exchange programme and trained in contemporary dance, adding a new skill to his repertoire. His Duo Rope act became popular very quickly and soon Orlando was performing at high profile events for the likes of IBM, OPM Launch, Beaujolais and for World Aids Day with Zip Zap Circus.

In 2007 Orlando joined Zip Zap Circus School and worked on projects like Namjive in Namaqualand and with Jazzart Dance Theatre. Orlando was once again invited to be a facilitator and performer at the Oxfam International Youth Partnership event. He also performed in productions and events for GNLD, Childrens Red Cross Hospital, Wella, Gorilla Comedy Act, Vooma Show, Cape Town Fashion Week, Oxfam Youth International Partnerships, SA Productivity Awards, Shoprite/Checkers and Truworths.

In 2008 Orlando worked with ‘Madame Zingara Theatre of Dreams’ as an aerial artist. He also obtained an SABS approved NQF qualification in Rigging through Access Academy. SircuSynergy was formed in 2008.

Orlando genuinely believes in investing in our youth and has successfully completed Youth Leadership, Counselling and Youth Drug and Prevention Programmes/Certificates.

Marco Vargas

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Marco born in 1991 in Santiago, Chile. At the tender age of six, his brother, Orlando Vargas, introduced him to the wonderful, magical world of circus performance and ever since then his love and passion for the art of the circus has continued to grow.

Marco was eight years old when he appeared first circus show and by the age of thirteen Marco enrolled at the “Circo Del Mundo”, the renowned circus school in Santiago-Chile. It was there where Marco learned the principal elements of circus: Acrobatics, Juggling and Chinese Pole; but also took lessons in Dance, Theatre and Trapeze.

In 2009 Marco finished secondary school early and in October of that year marks his circus journey to South Africa where he began training on a full time program with SircuSynergy in Circus and Performance. Since then, Marco has worked with SircuSynergy in various productions including shows held in South Africa, Zambia and the Seychelles. In South Africa, he has performed and toured the country with a number of Barnyard Theatre shows, including “Rock Circus” and “Big Top Rock”. Marco has also performed at Vaudeville (Cape Town), Electric Mansion, Afri-Klassiek, Mosaik Theatre, Theatre of Marcellus as well as many other productions around the country.

Due to his outstanding skills, Marco was invited to perform at the opening of Pole Unity in 2012; and in 2013 he was invited as a judge and guest performer to perform a show case for the PFASA (Pole Fitness Association South Africa) Competition.

Now in 2013 Marco is full member of the Sircusynergy and will be performing in Zambia and Dubai with the company. Marco is currently working with Tracey Simmons, offering pole-acro workshops around South Africa.

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