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Lauren Charnow Executive Director


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

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 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 Silks Instructor 

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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. Ig - Fb: @astridurart

Eyrún Ævarsdóttir Silks Instructor

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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.

Tom Burke Partner Acrobatics Instructor


Tom Burke is an experienced and passionate teacher of partner acrobatics and aerial arts. He has been teaching for nearly a decade and is a founding member of Acro Island. Tom's classes focus on safe, effective techniques for standing partner acrobatics, as well as on developing strength, flexibility, and connection with a partner. He has a unique approach to teaching which emphasizes the importance of having fun while learning. Tom is committed to helping each student reach their personal goals, no matter their skill level.

Jóakim Kvaran Handstands and Acrobatics Instructor


Jóakim Kvaran is a circus creator and performer based in Iceland. He has been performing professionally for over a decade and has toured around Iceland with Sirkus Íslands and Hringleikur and in Europe with 'Captain Sugar and the Monkeypuppets' and Scapino Ballet. Jóakim has a big interest in sharing his knowledge and has taught youth and adult classes for many years. Jóakim graduated from Codarts University in Rotterdam with a BA in Circus arts degree, where he specialized in acrobatics and Chinese pole.

Bjarni Árnason Juggling Instructor

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Bjarni Árnason is a locally based circus performer. He has been performing and teaching in Iceland and abroad for many years. In Iceland, you have seen him in shows with Sirkus Íslands or Hringleikur. When he is not in Iceland he is traveling the world with the Nordic Council, creating or performing their shows. He enjoys sharing his passion for the circus and the benefits of learning a skill or two. Bjarni graduated from Codarts University in Rotterdam with his Bachelor's in Circus, specializing in object manipulation with diabolo. 

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