CEO SPOTLIGHT: International Circus Festival slated for Nov. 1-10

Renato Fernandes, a sixth-generation circus performer and third-generation flying trapeze artist, embodies the unwavering power of passion. His profound love for the circus has propelled him across continents, a journey that commenced at the tender age of 4. In 2012, Fernandes etched his name in history by becoming the first man to execute the Double Twisting Double Layout &a Half on the Flying Trapeze. This milestone began a remarkable 25-year journey that culminated in creating the 1st International Circus Festival of Las Vegas. The inaugural festival, slated for Nov. 1-10, promises to be a testament to the world’s finest talent, a catalyst for local talent, a force for community empowerment and a driver of economic growth.

Q: What inspired you to create the 1st International Circus Festival of Las Vegas?

A:Several prestigious circus festivals worldwide celebrate the crème de la crème of circus talent. Among them, the most renowned is the one in Monte Carlo, Monaco, hosted by Princess Stephanie and Prince Albert. In 2020, I had the privilege of competing in this illustrious event and was honored with the gold. My fiancée, too, emerged as a champion in the 2022 edition of this esteemed competition.

Q: What is the competition like in these festivals?

A:The competition in these festivals is a testament to the rich diversity of talent in the circus arts. As a flying trapeze performer, I don’t just compete against my fellow trapeze artists. The competition spans all disciplines, from juggling and magic to clowning. To clinch the gold, one must excel in all rounds, including stunts, costumes and every intricate detail.

Q: How did you create the upcoming festival?

A: I had an idea to create a holiday show in Las Vegas for my daughters, showcasing my life and career since this is now our home. We were also invited to be judges and sponsors for other festivals, and the two ideas came together. We realized that this is the Entertainment Capital of the World, and we have fantastic talent in this city, so we wanted to create this festival in Las Vegas.

Q: How will this benefit the creative economy in Las Vegas?

A: This will give local performers an opportunity to compete in a festival to showcase their talents and capabilities. We have venues from Cirque du Soleil and Spiegelworld that are always looking for top talent. Our panel of judges will consist of the world’s best directors and producers of other shows, who will be able to offer contracts to competing acts.

Q: Are your children involved with the circus?

A: I have identical twin daughters who are 7 years old, and they have been involved since they were 2½ years old. When she was 6 years old, my daughter Vanessa, became the youngest female in history to perform a round trip on a flying trapeze without a safety line. That is quite an accomplishment.

Q: Why does the circus endure and continue to delight audiences?

A: The circus, like anything else, continues to evolve. New generations and technology are used. The human body and its skills also continue to grow and get better. In the 1930s, a double summersault was considered a top skill. Today, it is the quadruple summersault. The circus also transforms itself by changing traditional acts like clowns to comedians. More visual arts and music are integrated into the performances.

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