The 3Rs with Matthew Jessner – Ep. 4: Three Decades of Commitment to Innovation with Boris Verkhovsky - StageLync
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The 3Rs with Matthew Jessner – Ep. 4: Three Decades of Commitment to Innovation with Boris Verkhovsky

“Freezing up is not an option.” … Not then. Not now.

As part of our PRO Exclusive content, we introduce a new series hosted by Matthew Jessner called The 3 R’s, Review, Rethink, Regenerate.

Matthew will draw upon his decades of experience in the performing arts world and the circus world in particular, inviting colleagues to discuss themes based around reviewing policies, rethinking paradigms and regenerating the performing arts industry.

In Episode 4, for Matthew’s final episode of the 3R’s, he speaks to Boris Verkhovsky whose background in gymnastics led him to coach top athletes from around the world before he arrived in the circus world to become the head coach, and eventually director of the performance design and development department and finally as a director-expert, of human performance at Cirque du Soleil for the past 27 years.

Originally from the Soviet Union, Boris was a tumbling head coach of the School of Olympic Reserve in Vitebsk, Belarus before he immigrated to Canada, Alberta, Calgary in 1978. Boris’s expertise led him to a position at the Mount Royal College and the University of Calgary in the faculties of Kinesiology and Physical Education. He was selected to be a Canadian national trampoline and tumbling coach and head coach to numerous major international events including World Championships, and the World Games and National Gymnastics team. Boris was a master course conductor for the Canadian National Coaching Certification Programs and he co-authored the technical manuals for the courses. In 2016, he was inducted in to the Gallery of Legends of the World Acrobatic Society. Matthew and Boris discuss the research and development phase of producing and selling shows, stepping outside of the perspective of ‘product’ and parsing the process, considering knowledge-based proposals in designing shows, taking into consideration the mission, the contributors, the timing, the designers, and all of the factors that go into creating a large scale circus production. All of this while Matthew and Boris explore a good squirrel analogy and their realistic but hopeful look at the future of circus considering today’s circus school graduates!

Matthew Jessner
Producer -Belgium
Matthew Jessner got his start in the performing arts as a classical dancer with several professional companies in the USA. His career took him to Europe whereby he also performed in musicals as both dancer and singer in multiple languages.

His connection to circus arts began with the Cirque du Soleil show Saltimbanco of which he was resident artistic director for almost five years on tour in Europe and South America.

Matthew has developed extensive and diverse experience in creative production and operating shows both touring and extravagant resident shows such as The House of Dancing Water with Dragone.
His studies include music and lyric opera.

When not directing, Matthew teaches Qigong in multiple styles.

Editor's Note: At StageLync, an international platform for the performing arts, we celebrate the diversity of our writers' backgrounds. We recognize and support their choice to use either American or British English in their articles, respecting their individual preferences and origins. This policy allows us to embrace a wide range of linguistic expressions, enriching our content and reflecting the global nature of our community.

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Matthew Jessner

Matthew Jessner got his start in the performing arts as a classical dancer with several professional companies in the USA. His career took him to Europe whereby he also performed in musicals as both dancer and singer in multiple languages. His connection to circus arts began with the Cirque du Soleil show Saltimbanco of which he was resident artistic director for almost five years on tour in Europe and South America. Matthew has developed extensive and diverse experience in creative production and operating shows both touring and extravagant resident shows such as The House of Dancing Water with Dragone. His studies include music and lyric opera. When not directing, Matthew teaches Qigong in multiple styles.