Catherine Daniel (BA BSc) is director and co-founder of Vertical Circus. She is very passionate about the power of circus and music to transfrom the lives of young people. Catherine has been in the circus industry for the last twelve years. She predominately trained in Sydney but also in Paris, London and Berlin. She has a wealth of performance experience behind her, having performed with Legs on the Wall, Aerialize, Strings Attched, The Lennon Bros. Circus (in which she experienced living in a caravan), Opera Australia and in her self produced “Catrin” shows. She has performed in countless shows in Australia, India and Europe. Catherine likes to surprise her audience with out-of-the ordinary hybrid performances. She has also worked as a rigger, costume maker, inventor and musician.
Catherine has been teaching circus to young people and adults for the last ten years, directing and choreographing numerous student shows. She has taught and directed at Aerialize-Sydney Aerial Theatre and The Australian Theatre for Young People. Further teaching credits include The Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Flipside Circus, Katakids Circus and Sandfly Circus.
In 2010 Catherine turned her focus to social circus. She ran German/English bilingual circus programs for high school students with behavioural difficulties at the Montessori Gemeinschaftsschule, Berlin.
In 2011 with Vertical Circus’s co-founder John Nyagah, Catherine was project head and artistic director of the Pale Juu and Beyond project. She trained 40 Kenyan youths in the aerial arts, performance, physical theatre and show creation. She hosted a short rigging course and a how to promote yourself workshop.
She also toured to India, where she ran short courses in aerial tissu in collaboration with Vox Pop dancers.
2012 & 2013 saw Catherine and John Nyagah return to Nairobi, Kenya and continue to build on the foundations which they had laid down in 2011. The 'Pale Juu NeXt' project was extremely successful, with the end of project show being booked many times over creating income for the artists. The artist also learnt many new circus, theatre and music skills as well as general co-operation and artist skills.
For 2014 Vertical Circus received funding from the Australian Government through the DFAT's Australian International Cultural Council for the "Circus with Spice" project. For 3 months the Vertical Circus team worked with local partner the Kalakar Trust in New Delhi to create a beautiful show which performed to sold out audiences and received very positive and high profile press coverage. Again the cast were able to display their existing traditional art forms and skills mixed with their newly acquired contemporary dance and circus skills.Circus with Spice also exposed cast members to more general arts management skills, rigging knowledge and leadership and group work training.
Catherine is now completely inspired to continue on this path of implementing circus to break the cycle of poverty for impoverished youths.