Michel Gigolo (Michel Alex)
Born in Paris - França 1970
(1980 – 1990)
Starts juvenile performance in Paris at the théatre Amateur de la colonie Porte de Versailles and later on attends within summer camps workshops of multidisciplinary performance, nouveau cirque and visual arts with the street artists of Le Centre Pompidou and the Colonie d’Issy les Moulineaux, where one of the monitors who belongued to the Archaos troupe took him to entourages of other companies for some set ups in Paris.
Learns piano and Blues harmonica and plays in underground garage bands
In high school attends Art, Design and Sports courses on and off between France and Portugal
Very influenced by industrial post punk, French interventive and avant guarde theater and circus which explodes in that period, he writes the novel A Saga da Roda (The Wheel’s Saga) in 1988 which would later be in the origin of Custom Circus
Was the assistant of Portuguese sculptor Luis Valadares from 1989 to 1990
(1990 – 2000)
Features in some comercial videos
In Lisbon attends Law course at Faculdade Moderna with two interruptions between 1990 to 1993, one due to the call by the French Army during the Gulf War which he declined prefering servicing 9 months in the Portuguese Army allowed by his second citizenship, and the other due to his passion for performative arts
Was assistant at IFICT- Instituto de Formação e Investigação Cultural e Teatral (Theatral and Cultural Institute of Training and Investigation) from 1991 to 1992 and a Pyrotechnic FX roaddie on several tours such as U2 and Dire Straits within the same period
Also in 1992, invited by the Argentine director Adolfo Gutkin, he would be again in contact with the Archaos company but this time as a scout for Eutaxia - Assessoria Cultural for the Italy-Spain-Portugal Archaos tour, but due to that French company's demise in the same year, the tour was canceled and he joined the same production structure for the tours of Spanish companies La Fura Dels Baus and Els Comediants
Has an assistent and ad hoc disciple his professional relationship with the director and meteur en scéne Adolfo Gutkin lasted from 1992 to 1999 as a member of the production teams for over one hundred shows from the following companies:
Ana La China (ES)
Arturo Toscanini (IT)
Ballet Bolshoi (RUS)
Chick Corea (USA)
Chinese Circus (CHN)
Christophe Berthonneau (FR)
Companhia IFICT (PT)
Els Comediants (ES)
Gelabert Azzopardi (ES)
Jêrome Deschamps (FR)
Kiev's Ópera (RUS)
Kirov's Ballet (RUS)
La Fura Dels Baus (ES)
La Cuadra de Sevilla (ES)
Marcel Marceau (FR)
Michael Nyman (UK)
Peking Opera (CHN)
Pirotecnia Minhota (PT)
Pirotecnia Oleirense (PT)
Plan K (BE)
Plasticiens Volants (FR)
Russian Cossacks (RUS)
Semola Teatre (ES)
Ta Fantastika (CZ)
Teatro do Ornitorrinco (BR)
Theatre du Mouvement (FR)
Transe Express (FR)
Turbo Unit (UK)
In 1994 he’s a member of the production team for Lisboa'94-Capital da Cultura in the avant guarde theater department, colaborating with Eutaxia-Assessoria Cultural.
In 1996 he co-founds Nirvana Productions for whom he directs several dozens of corporative events and multimedia happenings for movies and records from studios such as Polygram, BMG, Sony, Warner, among others
In Nirvana Productions he co-creates and co-produces at former Aquaparque do Restelo the two editions of GML-Grande Meeting de Lisboa 1996 and 1997, which was the first Portuguese event dedicated to the whole Road Culture, its arts and subcultures.
In 1997 he’s co-author of the Portuguese Phonographic Association’s digital Award
During Expo98 Lisbon he’s field manager in the areas of Outdoor Theater and Performances, colaborating with Eutaxia-Assessoria Cultural.
(2000 – 2010)
Features in some videoclips
In 2002 he’s one of the three co-founders of the Custom Circus theater company for whom he directs these shows:
A Saga da Roda (Wheel’s Saga) (2002)
Custom Parade (2003)
At Nirvana Productions he directs several shows for the Euro2004
In 2004 signs exclusivity with Custom Circus as an actor, composer and visual artist, also directing for this company the shows:
Lua Cheia (Full Moon) (2004-2006)
Custom Party (2004-2010)
Teatro Sobre Rodas (Theater on Wheels) (2005-2008)
Prisioneiros do Blues (Prisoners of the Blues) (2006-2008)
Performers do Fogo (Fire Performers) (2007-2012)
Gigolo Dance (2008-2012)
In the same period he is the co-author of the following exhibitions, art and architectonic venues:
Apokalipse Bunker (2005)
Psygon Hot Rod (2005)
Galeria STRANGE (2006)
Band Box Corridors (2006 – 2008)
International Taxi (2008)
Biodiesel Blues (2009)
Muro da Fama (Wall of Fame) (2010)
In 2004 he co-founds Nirvana Studios – The Alternative Cultural Center
At Nirvana Studios he’s also the co-author of projects such as:
The Alternative Festival - Nirvana Studios Open Day (2004)
Band Box - Musicians Community (2006)
Nirvana Boulevard – Artists Collective (2007)
Art Express – Performers Dynamic Installation (2008)
First Portuguese edition of his novel The Wheel's Saga, presented at the premiere of the Custom Circus - Full Moon show in 2004.
He’s a consultant of Escola Flamenca Alejandra Gutkin since 2006.
Records the album Gigolo Dance with the Custom Circus troupe's musicians in 2008
In 2009 he co-founds the band contest OBS - Oeiras Band Sessions.
(2010 – 2018)
He’s co-founder of the following projects:
Custom Café Theater (2012)
Projecto UR “Upcycling-Recycling” – Artistic Experiment Facilities (2014)
Steampunk Ateliers – Artisans Collective (2015)
Custom Ville - Artistic Residences in Upcycling bungalows (2017)
Nirvana Mapa Tour – Outdoor Art Gallery with a digital APP (2018)
For Custom Circus he directs the following shows:
Le Cabaret Rock (2012-2014)
Bizarre Chic (2014-2015)
A Viagem (The Journey) (2015-2017)
In the same period he’s co-author of these exhibitions, art and architectonic venues:
Custom Café “Imaginarium, Collection & Gallery” (2012)
Backstage Army Truck (2012)
Tia Maria (2012)
Diner 1903 (2013)
On the Road Again (2013)
Raus Human Portico (2014)
Bus Stop (2014)
Cargo Station (2015)
Saga Truck (2015)
Make a Promise (2015)
Herdeiros do Apokalipse (Apokalipse Heirs) (2016)
Check Point (2016)
Rock Shop Gigolo Dance (2016)
Steampunk Corridors (2017)
Mund Unid 2072 (2018)
Viking Diesel Punk (2019)
Records these albums with the Custom Circus troupe's musicians in the same years of the shows:
Le Cabaret Rock (2012)
Bizarre Chic (2014)
A Viagem (The Journey) (2015)
In 2016 he writes the manifesto "Herdeiros do Apokalipse - Apocalipse Heirs" issued by the Pelouro da Cultura da CÂmara Municipal de Oeiras.
Writes the Nirvana Tour Map gallery's manual.
On behalf of Custom Circus he was an artistic consultant for the first editions of these inovating events:
At "Festival Vapor-Steam Fest" working with the producers Artstation and Mercado da Cultura in co-production with the Museu Nacional Ferroviário for the 2018 and 2019 editions.
At Festival Mytho Celebration produced by Mytho in the Museu da Cidade de Lisboa.
Also with Custom Circus he's co-author and co-creator of the following projects in motion:
Transdisciplinary artistic movement "Wild In The Photo".
Custom Ville II - Artistic Residences.
Manifesto "Loco'Motivo" in partnership with the Museu Nacional Ferroviário, which will evoluate into a documentary and an instalation created with a 1904 Borsig steam locomotive.
The Editorial Divergência re-issues his novel The Wheel Saga, presented at the 16ºFestival Nirvana Studios
Designs and performs with Custom Circus acts for the 1st "Unite - Tomorrowland Festival - Porto" for Uau Produções.
As the author he launches the Custom Circus literary collection:
Volume 01 - Mekanon
Volume 02 - Raus Human
The exhibition "Apokalipse Heirs-Herdeiros do Apokalipse" featured:
3 months at the Museu Nacional dos Coches - Lisboa
2 months at the Museu Nacional Ferroviário - Entroncamento
As an actor and musician he surpassed well over two thousand hours on stage with more than 900 shows for Custom Circus alone.
He has been curator of the STRANGE gallery since 2006, harbouring, supporting and following lots of projects and artists.
Conceived in 1969 by existentialist parents and a hippie big sister as spiritual guide, he lived a Tom Sawyer free childhood divided between the Seine waterfront and the Estoril coast. Thanks to its parent’s job at hotel events and Paris theaters, he was an adorable child imposing on ocasion his annoying presence to such artists as Bob Dylan, Elizabeth Taylor or Salvador Dali.
With the family also belonging to the opening night claques of mythical theaters like Moulin Rouge, Olympia, Folies Bergeres, Crazy Horse, Calcutá, Lido, L’ópera e Le Chatelet, he also grew up surrounded by scenery, projectors, young ballerinas and decadent musicians. Through an adolescence connected to the 1980’s underground his many influences were dangerous cocktails of Cabaret, Punk, Goth, Blues, Psychobilly, Archaos anarchic shows, Russian Theater and Hells Angels parties in a condensate of Edith Piaf, Ramones, Joy Division, Muddy Waters, Cramps, Mad Max, Easy Rider and Stanislavsky.
Constantly defied and tormented by a restless soul he also experienced, outside show business, several professions and life styles, being a tenis player, artisanship, translator, fairground vendor, lifeguard, touristic guide, antiquarian, soldier against his will, advertiser, sailor, trucker, entrepreneur, activist, free surfer and conciliated an alternative life as a 1% biker in the Road Runners from 1994 to 2002, the year he was also a father and his responsability broaden to more directions.