Creative Team | Cirque Mechanics

Creative Team

Cirque Mechanics is proud of its creative team members. Individually they are all rock stars but together their individual skills combine to make a fun loving, creative, tenacious working team.

Chris Lashua

Creative Director / Founder/ Machine Designer / Fabricator / Problem Solver
creative team lead chris lashua is the director and producer

Company founder, Chris Lashua, hails from Boston, Massachusetts, where he spent most of his youth performing on a BMX bike. He was discovered by Cirque du Soleil and created a  bicycle act that was entirely his own. He was then commissioned to build a “German Wheel” act for the company, an act he performed for several years in Cirque du Soleil’s production of “Quidam”, cementing his reputation as a visionary of circus gadgetry. Click here to see the Cirque du Soleil wheel act. His engineering chops and creative energy led him to ‘run away’ with his own circus company, Cirque Mechanics, now based in Las Vegas.

Cirque Mechanics quickly established itself as a premiere American circus, with its unique approach to performance, inspiring storytelling and innovative mechanical staging. Spectacle Magazine hailed it as “the greatest contribution to the American circus since Cirque du Soleil”.

More recently, Chris has adapted many of the mechanical contraptions built for the stage to serve the needs of event planners. These wheeled devices that were built to deliver circus acrobatics are now being utilized to do so much more. He uses these contraptions to transport CEO’s to the stage, assist in product reveals and mix food service with entertainment. In the post Covid 19 world he believes it will be increasingly necessary to deliver a front row feel to everyone in the room, and he’s got the tools to do it.

Aida Lashua

Co-Founder, Marketing Director

As the company’s marketing director Aida works with our contracting presenters to support their sales efforts. In addition to coordinating press interviews, and researching regional publicity opportunities, Aida has developed and created a host of materials which include, company program copy and bios, feature articles, press releases and study guides for school performances. Aida is the also the unsung hero of the creative team. Her input is pervasive, her insight invaluable. She is a creative force and a stabilizing influence on the team members. Reach her directly by emailing: [email protected]

Aloysia Gavre

Co-Director, Choreographer
Aloysia Gavre has been a creative team member for all 5 projects

Aloysia co-founded both Cirque School L.A. and Troupe Vertigo in Los Angeles in 2009 after 22 years of touring internationally with the Pickle Family Circus, Cirque du Soleil, and Symphonies around the globe including the Sydney Opera House and the Kennedy Center.  Her passion and knowledge for the circus arts has led her to a career as a director, choreographer and educator including Cirque Cracker – Phoenix Symphony, Cirque Broadway – Baltimore Symphony, Cirque Cinema – Indianapolis Symphony as well as her own creations including Tableaux.

She has both coached and choreographed for film and television including Water for Elephants, Pitch Perfect 2, Bravo, NBC and BuzzFeed. She has been recognized in Dance Teacher Magazine, Dance Informa and speaking engagements with TED-X, Center Theater Group, Directors Lab, Chicago Circus Festival, AYCO and VIVA Fest Las Vegas.  Aloysia has been a long-time artistic collaborator with Cirque Mechanics having had creative involvement in over 4 shows since 2004 after having met Chris Lashua while performing in Cirque du Soleil.

Sean Riley

Co-Director, Set Designer, Rigging Designer
Creative team co director and set and rigging designer Sean Riley

Sean Riley has a 20-year career combining suspension, kinetic movement, and design with performance.  Through scenic design, rigging design, and mechanical design, often in concert with each other, he creates unique performance environments. Concentrating his design for performance on site-specific and non-traditional work Riley has created installations in collaboration with a wide spectrum of accomplished artists and collaborators .

Being known for his bold and often surprising use of space and for large—scale movement, Riley’s installations commonly reflect his life long obsession with gravity and Newtonian physics.  His works have been installed from backyards to Broadway, and continue to tour internationally.   He is a founding member of Cirque Mechanics and his company Gravity Design, through which he has developed an arsenal of specialized tools, pushing the bounds of performance as well as industrial safety.  Riley is also the host of the National Geographic Television series “World’s Toughest Fixes”

Steven Ragatz

Co-Director, Dramaturge

An original Birdhouse Factory, Boom Town and Orchestra Project cast member collaborator, and creative team writer for Pedal Punk, and 42ft, Steven Ragatz has been entertaining audiences with his juggling, physical comedy, stilt walking and general antics for the past three decades. As a ten-year veteran of Cirque du Soleil, Steven has toured throughout North, South and Central America as well as Asia and Europe performing multiple juggling acts as well as an eclectic array of characters. Steven is on the staff of Bloomington’s Stage Flight Circus Arts, where he teaches juggling and unicycle skills workshops.  You can find Steven on stage currently touring his one-man show “Under the Umbrella, Life is a Circus”- an evening with a juggling virtuoso and stories from world-wide circus adventures.

Steven holds a B.A. in Variety Theater and an M.S. in Computer Science from Indian University.  He studied mime, stage movement and circus arts with Fred Garbo, Tony Montanaro, George Pinney and Michael Moschen.  He and his wife, Lisa, have two children, Melissa and Andrew, and currently live in Indiana, where they have perfected the art of making the perfect margarita.