Take any given Saturday night dinner party, any given stranger, add any given conversation and include the rote question, “So, what do you do for a living?”. When it comes my turn on the receiving end, I'm almost inevitably met with a look of confusion tailed by the questions, “Aerial acrobat? How'd you get into that?”

The long answer... As a kid, I was obsessed with flying. I was convinced, in fact, that the only thing stopping me from soaring amongst my brethren birds was not yet having explored all of the possibilities. Jumping off of the patio led to diving off of lifeguard stations (not into water) and then off of roofs. By the time I began climbing onto second stories, my parents put me into gymnastics. I'm sure they thought that if I at least had some landing techniques, I might make it to the age of six.

My obsession quickly turned to sport. The instant I first saw a ribbon pulled out of a duffel bag and begin to take shape all around a lyrical, dancing body, my destiny flashed before my eyes... remember, it takes all kinds. I won my first national championship at 8 years old (my coach and I had to lie to the Federation that I was 9 in order to compete). By eleven, that ribbon was taking me worldwide. In all, I competed as a rhythmic gymnast for nine years, won five national championships, competed for the U.S. in eight countries and was an alternate on the 1992 Olympic Team.

Drawing Tissue Leap Felt tip drawing by my dad, Martin Sapetto

When I could no longer deal with the pressures and politics of gymnastics, I went back to high school for my senior year (I was in home study while I was a gymnast) where I was socially defunct (ie weird) after years of growing up around gyms and judges the world over. I went to Amherst College to study comparative religion (a subject very close to my heart to this day). But like high school, college proved to be an alien environment to me (albeit, I was the alien). Cirque du Soleil recruited me and practically overnight returned me to a "normal" life. I performed and was assistant choreographer on tour for 1001 shows. After touring, Debra Brown, head choreographer of CDS, invited me to join her dance company, Apogee, where I collaborated on merging circus and extreme modern dance with a highly talented and cutting edge group of artists. My Argentine heritage began beckoning me and took me to the mountains of California to create a show called Camerata Tango which was eventually given blessing in Buenos Aires by the Astor Piazzolla Foundation, the only show of its kind to receive the honor. A trip to San Francisco led me to a gorgeous Spiegel tent on the water called Teatro Zinzanni. A romantic mixture of circus, theater, comedy, music and dinner, I had not experienced anything like it of it's caliber in the States. Little was I to know that that visit was the spark of an eight year and running relationship were I was to perform, choreograph and associate direct for the shows in San Francisco and Seattle.

I have an aversion to name dropping, but for those of you reading this who like big names in a bio, in between and around and all through the afore mentioned experiences, I have performed and choreographed for Warner Brothers, Paramount Studios and Disney Films, The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, The Grammy Awards, The American Music Awards, Teen's Choice Awards, TV Land Awards, NBC, Fox Television News, Led Zeppelin and the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Teams Tours. My work has been received on five continents in the fields of dance, circus, film, television, theater, opera, fashion and special events. My résumé below has all the details.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. And although my work (at its best) is play, I'm going to round off this bio with some of my other interests. I'm a yogahead. I have been practicing for more than a decade and I am a Yogaworks certified Yoga teacher. I love to cook... from raw vegan (which is more like uncooking) to the traditional Italian and Spanish dishes of my ancestors. And I have an obsession with California native plants in which I indulge in on the land all around my home in Los Angeles. Oh yeah, and I still read religious history and theology books like they are crack.

Love to you all.


Résumé

  • Live Performance

  • Burning Man 2017

    Director, Conceptor, Choreographer, and Performer of First Ritual at the Temple of the Golden Spike (the Man), an interactive, multi-disciplinary and immersive site specific art performance with the Man.

    https://journal.burningman.org/2017/08/black-rock-city/building-brc/we-are-lit/

  • Hopscotch Opera

    Concept Developer

    http://hopscotchopera.com

  • One Night for One Drop, Cirque du Soliel2014

    Performer, creator, and choreographer of Orbis Act with Russ Stark

    http://onenight.onedrop.org/en/

  • Carmina Burana Michigan Opera Theater2011

    Choreographer, this large scale production included 80 adult choir members, 50 children choir, the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, 6 acrobats, and a full orchestra.

    Michigan Opera Theater
    Eisenhower Dance Ensemble

  • Teatro Zinzanni2002-present

    Associate director, choreographer, aerial acrobat, whips, tango, dance, and actor for theatrical circus dinner theater in San Francisco and Seattle. The show combines circus arts, comedy, acting, dancing and live music starring such stage luminaries as Joan Baez, Liliane Montevecchi, Sally Kellerman, Thelma Houston, etc.

    http://zinzanni.org

  • LedZaerial2003 & 2006

    Choreographer, co-director, aerialist, and dancer,of a two-act multi-media dance/circus/rock show set to the music of Led Zeppelin and performed for Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.

    http://www.ledzaerial.com

  • TJMaxx Tour of Champions2004

    Artistic director and choreographer of a U.S. arena tour of American Olympic Teams including gymnasts, rhythmic gymnasts, trampolinists, acrosport champions as well as Cirque du Soleil performers.

  • Cirque du Soleil, “Quidam”1995-1999

    Aerial acrobat, dancer, rhythmic gymnast and choreographer on tour.

    http://www.cirquedusoleil.com

  • Apogee Dance Company2000-2004

    Aerialist, dancer, rhythmic gymnast, trampoline. Debra Lynn Brown’s circus-fusion extreme dance company. Includes the touring shows "C.O.K.E." and "On Air" as well as various special events.

  • World Choreography Awards

    Principal Character and Dancer for Debra Lynn Brown’s highly kinetic theatrical dance production, "Brace... Yourself!"

    http://worldchoreographyawards.com

  • Camerata Tango2000-2004

    Aerial tango, dancer, choreographer and co-creator of a theatrical tango production, sponsored by the Astor Piazzolla Foundation.

    http://www.cameratatango.com

  • Black Cat Cabaret2011

    Artistic Director, writer, choreographer, aerialist. Circus, theater, dance, comedy and music all came together at its best to raise funds and awareness for Sonoma County's no kill animal shelter.

    http://petslifeline.org

  • Formula 1 Car Race

    Aerial Acrobat, Soloist

    https://www.formula1.com

  • Special Events, Corporate Events, Parties2000-present

    Choreographer, Creative Conceptualization and/or Performer for a vast array of events world wide ranging from cutting edge technology conventions in Japan to multinational corporation conventions to hosting weekly events in Hollywood nightclubs to performing at parties for New York nightlife icon Susanne Bartsch.

  • Cirque du Soleil, Springs Preserve2007

    Choreographer, Cirque du Soleil with the Las Vegas Philharmonic.

    http://www.springspreserve.org

  • The Birthday Party

    Choreographer, Producer, Conceptor for an immersive, interactive theatrical circus production with Daniel Passer (Director, Producer) and Veronika Krausas (Composer, Producer).

  • Luminario Ballet2009-Present

    Dancer, aerialist and choreographer for this classical ballet, modern and aerial dance company.

    http://www.luminarioballet.org

  • The Mortal Thoughts of Lady MacBeth Opera2010

    Choreographer, Co-creator, Aerialist, Character of an opera whereby audiences are thrust into an inverted world in which Macbeth and Lady Macbeth bring about their own ruin. Aerialists weave together the web of inevitable and bloody events manipulated by three witches.

    http://www.themortalthoughtsofladymacbeth.com

  • Creation2005

    Choreographer and co-creator of a multi-media theatrical adaptation of the story of Adam and Eve at the Crystal Cathedral.

  • Taurus Stunt Awards2004

    Choreographer, bungee, aerial rope, and harness work at the Paramount Studios Lot.

  • The Courtyard2002

    Choreographer and director, aerial fabric and contortionist of a multi-media aerial and dance show, funded by a grant won by the USC Arts Initiative. Four lives co-habitate a mysterious courtyard where their deepest fear and desires lead them into the spiraling darkness of obsession.

  • Abravida2002-2004

    Artistic director and choreographer, aerial hammock, dancer, and rhythmic gymnast of a two-act presentation based on an original story of one man’s journey toward freedom via the Kabbalah’s Tree of Life using multi-media, circus, dance, gymnastics, rock and electronic music.

  • Music Box2005

    Aerialist, creator and choreographer of an aerial dance and rock show performed at the Henry Fonda. The lines of dreams and reality blur as one woman finds redemption through the transformative magic of the dreamworld.

  • Earth, Wind & Fire2000

    Aerialist and choreographer of the opening act.

    http://www.earthwindandfire.com

  • Sebastian World Tour2000, 2001

    Aerial chair act (co-creator), fabric and whips numbers.

  • Orange County Great Park Jewel Event2010

    Producer, Director, Choreographer, Performer for the Jewel Fundraiser for the Park. OCGP is the first great metropolitan park of the 21st Century, spanning more than 1,300 acres and whose master plan embraces environmental sustainability and restoration, agricultural heritage, community education and artist residency programs.

    http://www.ocgp.org

  • Artego and M.A.D. — Beauty Becomes YouApril 2010

    Director and choreographer of multi-media and interdisciplinary arts show for Artego Hair featuring artists from M.A.D.-Beauty Becomes You in Holland.

    http://www.artegohairprofessional.com
    http://www.madbeautybecomesyou.com

  • Film

  • Water for Elephants w/Reese Witherspoon & Robert Pattinson2010

    A member of the Benzini Brothers Circus Family and Stunt Performer.

    "Water for Elephants" at IMDB

  • Rush Hour 2 w/Jackie Chan2001

    Principal stunt and choreographer.

    "Rush Hour 2" at IMDB

  • Red Planet1999

    Motion caption animation for "Aimee" character. Performance highlighted in Los Angeles Times review as "best actor in the film".

    "Red Planet" at IMDB

  • Geppetto w/Drew Carey1999

    Aerialist and choreographer.

    "Gepetto" at IMDB

  • The Matrix Reloaded2002

    Movement specialist and research choreographer.

    "The Matrix Reloaded" at IMDB

  • Television

  • Teen Choice Awards2009

    Aerial performer with Black Eyed Peas.

    TeenChoiceAwards.com

  • TV Land Awards2008

    Choreographer.

    TVland.com

  • TJMaxx Tour of Champions2004

    Artistic director and choreographer, NBC 2 hour primetime Special.

  • The Tonight Show, with Jay Leno1996

    Performer and choreographer.

  • Good Morning America w/Regis and Cathy Lee1998

    Performer and choreographer.

    http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/

  • Grammy Awards, with TLC2000

    Rhythmic gymnast and choreographer.

  • American Music Awards, with Aerosmith2001

    Rhythmic gymnast, dancer and assistant choreographer.

  • Miss Universe2000

    Opening ceremony worldwide broadcast, aerialist and choreographer in Cypress.

  • Fox Television1997

    Hour long special report of Cirque du Soleil, choreographer.

  • David Byrne Music video1993

    Rhythmic gymnast.

  • Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition

  • Five Time U.S. National Champion1986-1992

    All around.

  • Olympic Team Member1992

    Alternate

  • Five Time National Team Member1987-1992

    Competed for the U.S. worldwide.

  • Tour of Champions1992

    With all Olympic Team Members and Nadia Comenici, Bart Conner and Olga Corbet.

  • Olympic Festivals1989, 1990, 1991

  • Athlete of the Year1992

  • Olympic Training Center1986-1992

    6 years bi-annual training and research.

  • Skills

  • Aerial

    Hammock, Silks, Rope, Lyra (Hoop), Bungee, Harness, Stunts.

  • Dance

    Tango, Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Salsa.

  • Rhythmic Gymnastics, Whips

  • Actor

    Trained in Meisner Technique, Clown.