Helen, Etsegenet, Semeret, Betty
FEATURED IN: Rejoice Abyssinia
Helen Shimeles Merkebe
Helen (Contortionist, Dancer) trained for years at Circus Wingate, but with no opportunity for paid work; it wasn’t until Bibi and Bichu invited her to join the cast of Circus Abyssinia that she began performing publicly. Helen has since performed feats of cloth-spinning and contortion around the world — from Asia to Australia to New York.
Etsegenet Ashenafi Laglago
Etsegenet (Contortionist, Dancer) joined Circus Wingate as a nine-year-old; a self-confessed ‘troublemaker,’ she was enrolled by her parents to keep her out of mischief! Now one of the most disciplined members of the cast, she is a four-time gymnastics champion in Ethiopia and has enlisted these skills to perform extraordinary feats of contortion in Circus Abyssinia.
Semeret Getachew Bekana
Semeret (Contortionist, Dancer) joined Circus Wingate in 2008 after word reached her of its classes for would-be acrobats. She has been touring with Circus Abyssinia since its debut. She performs as part of a quartet of cloth-spinners and contortionists, and in a dual contortion act in the show called the “Sun-Worshipping Pythons.”
Betelhem Dejene Tola
Betty (Contortionist, Dancer) joined Circus Wingate when she was 10 years old after passing by the school and spotting its students forming seemingly impossible human pyramids on the training ground. She has toured with Circus Abyssinia since its inception and has performed her extraordinary contortion and cloth-spinning acts in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the U.S.