Lauren Charnow Executive Director, Head Coach
Lauren Charnow is a born performer who grew up singing and dancing in her parent’s theater company in the United States. Lauren studied dance and gymnastics before finally finding her true love, aerial silks. Lauren has studied circus arts and dance in New York City taking classes at Broadway Dance Center, Circus Warehouse, and Steps. After attending Marymount Manhattan College in New York City to study acting she created her own circus performance troupe in upstate New York. She attended Skidmore College where she took classes in dance, theater, anatomy, kinesiology, and exercise science. She has studied circus arts at Circus Arts Institute in Atlanta, Georgia where she received certificates for aerial silks instruction and circus therapy (using circus to work with individuals with learning differences). Lauren has received certificates for Circus Yoga (a form of partner acrobatics) as well as hammock/sling instruction (Spin City). She has studied circus at NECCA in Vermont USA, and participated in the Caravan Social Circus Training Program studying in Le Plus Petit Cirque Du Monde in France, Ecole de Cirque de Bruxelles, Sorin Sirkus in Finland, and CABUWAZI in Berlin. She has dedicated the past twelve years of her life to teaching circus and exploring circus performance art. In Chicago, she performed with the Comedy Dance Collective and in Aloft Circus Arts performances. Lauren is the founder of Kría Aerial Arts which opened in 2020 and the author of the Kría Aerial Arts Absolute Beginner Essential Guide and Journal. Her goal is to make aerial silks accessible to anyone who wants to learn the amazing things they are capable of achieving
Alice Demurtas Aerial Silks Instructor
Alice Demurtas has been working as a silks instructor since 2019, honing her aerial skills under the mentoring guidance of Kria Aerial Arts founder Lauren Charnow. Since then, the duo has been collaborating on a wide variety of circus-based projects, including silks performances and clowning shows. Alice and Lauren first began their creative collaboration with Tjarnarbíó with their show Rebirth, hosted during the 2020 Reykjavík Fringe Festival. The following year, the duo joined forces again to put on the independently-produced interactive aerial silks performance ‘GAME ON,’ which premiered in Tjarnarbio.
Alice’s education approach is methodical and discipline-oriented, with classes that focus heavily on conditioning. Her focus on strength development aims at building strong anatomical foundations for aerialists, where proper form, correct muscle engagement, and adequate muscular power becomes the basis for optimal technique on the apparatus.
In addition, Demurtas has recently developed an interest in the exploration of space and movement on a vertical plane after training under a roster of international silks artists in Barcelona, where creative techniques based on the deconstruction of movement both on the floor and in the air were aimed at opening new pathways for aerial experimentations.
Ástríður J. Ólafsdóttir Aerial Silks Instructor
Ástríður J. Ólafsdóttir is a painter and performer living in Italy and Iceland. She graduated with a degree in Painting and took a Master in Visual Arts at the Academy of fine arts in Bologna, Italy. In the same city she held numerous exhibitions, for example at the “Museo Civico Medievale”, Association “Civico 32” and the “Zoological Museum”. In 2021 she had her first private exhibition in Iceland at “The House of Mál og Menning” and in 2022 she exhibited both in “Gallerý Núllið” and in “Gallerí Fold”. In these last exhibitions the works shown combine painting and aerial silks in a series called “Panneggio” where she plays with the fabric to create sculpture to paint oil on canvas. Along with the art school she also took acting, singing and dancing classes and performed with drama and musical companies in many theaters in the Bologna area. The aerial silks path started in 2013 at “Itc Teatro” and never stopped. Since then she performed in Italy in a Circus tent based in San Lazzaro and toured around Italy in 2017 with the show “ChefSciò-CulInAria”, a Chef contest on silks. In 2021, in Iceland, she started teaching aerial silks at “Erial pole” and performed in the interactive aerial silks show “Game on” with “Kría Aerial Arts” at Tjarnarbio theater.
She is currently working in Reykjavik on her art, teaching aerial silks and on artistic projects with Krìa Aerial Arts. www.astridurart.com Ig - Fb: @astridurart
Eyrún Ævarsdóttir Aerial Silks Instructor
Eyrún Ævarsdóttir is a circus artist and aerial teacher working in Iceland. She has a lot of experience creating and performing circus shows, as well as teaching circus classes and aerials for several years. She graduated from Codarts University in Rotterdam with a BA Circus arts degree, specializing in aerials.
Nick Candy Aerial Silks Instructor
Since graduating the W.A Academy of Performing Arts in 2004, Nick Candy has worked as an actor, circus performer and puppeteer all over the world. In Iceland, he was a founding member of Sirkus Íslands, as an aerialist and clown. He has performed throughout the country in the big top and at festivals. Nick has also worked as circus director at the National theatre of Iceland in ‘Slá í Gegn’ which won the Stage award for choreography in 2019 and in 2020-22 for the childrens 'Kardemommubærinn' which performed over 100 shows. With Hringleikur circus group, Nick has been a board member teacher and performer. Recently with the ensemble show 'Allra Veðra Von' won the movement and choreography award at the Icelandic theatre awards in 2021. Nick has also toured the independent Bunraku puppet theatre show ‘Á Eigin Fótum’ at a number of festivals across Europe. In his hometown of Perth, Nick has worked as an actor for Black Swan, Deckchair theatre, Shakespeare in the Park and a host of independent productions. He is also a trained teacher and Clown Doctor.
Sigurdís Bjarney Guðbrandsdóttir Aerial Silks Instructor
Sigurdís Bjarney Guðbrandsdóttir is an accomplished silk artist with 11 years of experience under her belt. She embarked on her silks journey at the age of 8, quickly falling in love with the art form and nurturing her passion ever since. At 16, Sigurdís began her teaching career as an assistant instructor at Listdansskóli Hafnarfjarðar. By the time she turned 18, she took on the role of teaching her own group.
To further enhance her teaching skills, Sigurdís underwent a teacher training course with Kría, equipping her with valuable knowledge and techniques. She has showcased her choreography talents by creating acts for her students' Christmas and spring shows. Notably, Sigurdís has also had the privilege of performing with the esteemed Sýningarhópur Æskusirkussins, in addition to choreographing captivating pieces for herself at Unglist.
Circus, particularly silks, holds an unrivaled place in Sigurdís's heart. It is her absolute favorite thing in the world, encompassing both her passion for performing and teaching.
Urður Ýrr Lyra Instructor
Urður Ýrr is a mesmerizing aerial artist, showcasing her talents in hoop, trapeze, silks, acrobatics, and juggling. With a background in gymnastics and dance, she seamlessly blends grace and strength in her captivating routines. Outside the circus, she delves into the world of biostatistics. In the air, Urður Ýrr mesmerizes audiences with dynamic and intricate movements, leaving them spellbound. As a dedicated teacher, she shares her expertise in aerial arts at renowned institutions both in Iceland and abroad. Having performed with esteemed circus companies and embarked on international tours, she continues to push the boundaries of possibility, leaving an indelible mark on the world of aerial arts with her unwavering dedication, artistry, and passion.
Justyna Micota Aerial Silks Instructor
Justyna Micota began her aerial silks journey in 2019 in the capital of Poland. She swiftly developed a strong passion for this art form. Starting dance classes at the age of 7 encompassing ballet, modern jazz, and hip hop, aerial silks was a natural progression for her. Focused on mastering techniques and maintaining resilience, Justyna admires how aerial silks blend dance, strength, balance, courage, flexibility, and curiosity. Justyna combines her knowledge and experience from dance class with aerial technique in her classes to explore sequences and drops that are full of grace and beauty.
Nora Jacobs Aerial Silks Instructor
Nora Jacobs originally from northern Germany, explored a wide range of martial arts before discovering her passion for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). In 2019, a friend introduced her to aerial flex classes, describing the experience as akin to "floating in the air." Nora's fascination with aerial arts persisted until she officially joined her first aerial silk class in 2022, igniting an immediate and lasting passion.
Shifting her focus from martial arts to aerial silks, Nora dedicated herself to mastering this art form. She believes in a comprehensive training approach, emphasizing the importance of cross-training to develop the necessary strength and flexibility for aerial performance. Nora integrates movement, flex, and strengthening classes into her routine, recognizing their crucial role not only in honing her aerial skills but also in creating effective warm-ups and conditioning programs for her students.
For Nora, aerial silks represent a captivating fusion of beauty and challenge, evoking the sensation of graceful flight through the air. Her commitment to refining her skills and sharing her passion underscores her dedication to the dynamic realm of aerial performance.
Anna Sunneborn Guðnadóttir Aerial Silks Instructor
Anna Sunneborn Gudnadottir tried aerial silks for the first time in 2019 as a way to build up strength for other types aerial arts, but fell in love with silks and the surrounding community. Being someone who loves climbing things and the adrenaline that follows Anna has never looked back. Having never tried anything like silks she knows the struggle of trying something new and not immediately understanding it and recognises the importance of small victories and setting realistic goals.