BIO

MICHEL ALEX

Artistic Name

MICHEL GIGOLO

Born in Paris - France (1970)

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(2000 to PRESENT DATE)

CULTURAL VENUES

He's one of the three  co-founders of the following venues:

Nirvana Studios - The Alternative Cultural Center (since 2004)

Band Boxes - Customised rehersal rooms (since 2006)

Black Box - 360º transdisciplinary studio 2004-2006)  

The Black Box project evolved as the STRANGE Gallery (since 2006)

Artexpress - Import & Export of arts (since 2008)

Custom Café Theater - Le Cabaret Rock (since 2012)

Diner 1903 - Bohemian Stage & Diner (since 2013)

Project UR "Upcycle-Recycle" Artistic Experimentation Studios (since 2014)

Steampunk Ateliers - Artisanship Collectives (since 2017)

Custom Ville - Bungallows for Touring Artists  

ARTISTIC or CONCEPTUAL GROUPS and ORGANIZATIONS

He's one of the three co founders of the following projects:

Custom Circus - Transdisciplinary Theater Company and Visual Arts (since 2002)

Band Box - Musicians Community (since 2006)

Nirvana Boulevard - Artists Collective (since 2007)

He's the consultant of Escola Flamenca Alejandra Gutkin (escolaflamenca.com) since 2006

He's one of the STRANGE Gallery curators, which harbors several touring projects and creators from around the world (since 2006)

He's co founder and coordinator of the Wild in the Photo movement (since  2019)

THEATER DIRECTION

Worked at Nivana Productions since 1996 as a méteur en scéne designing exclusive shows for international corporates. He closes this cycle after designing oficial events for Euro 2004, working with several companies. At the end of 2004 he signs exclusivity with Custom Circus, directing the following shows for this company:

A Saga da Roda (The Wheel Saga) (2002)

Custom Parade (2003)

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)

Le Cabaret Rock (2012-2014)

Bizarre Chic (2014-2015)

A Viagem (The Journey) (2015-2017)

Absurdium (2017-2020)

ACTING and PERFORMANCE

As an actor and musician he surpassed well over two thousand hours on stage with more than one thousand shows for Custom Circus alone, embodying his multipolar character Michel Gigolo, which shelters in it's madness other characters like Tralala Millionaire, 1ManBlues, among others.

A major part of this path is narrated on his novel "A Fantástica Maldição Gutkin"

Publisher Edições: Verbi Gratia

VISUAL ARTS

 He's one of the three  co-authors of the following work:

Band Box Corridors , Nº01, Nº02, Nº03 - Rock Art (2006, 2008, 2009)

Artexpress Mural - Wall of Fame (2010)

Custom Café - Collection & Gallery (2012)

Herdeiros do Apokalipse - Roadshow Exhibition (since 2016)

Steampunk Corridors (2017)

Octupus - Cybernetic Contraption (2017)

Nirvana Mapa Tour - Outdoor & Digital Gallery (since 2018)

Mund Unid - Exhibition (2018)

Absurdium - Exhibition (2019)

Limbus Infinitus - 1.0 and 2.0 versions (2020)

Art Collection available at www.customcircus.com/art

*Also check "Scenographic Instalations" and "Conceptual & Upcycling Architecture"

LITERATURE 

Signs the authorship of the following books:

"A Saga da Roda" 

(1988, 2004, 2019) Editorial Divergência

"Herdeiros do Apokalipse" 

(2016) Edições do Pelouro da Cultura da Câmara Municipal de Oeiras.

"Mekanon"

(2006, 2019) Editorial Divergência

"Raus Human"

(2012, 2019) Editorial Divergência

"A Fantástica Maldição Gutkin" 

(2020) Edições Verbi Gratia

"Wagon Village"

To be launched in 2020 by Editorial Divergência

Collaborations on other books:

"Nirvana Studios Tour  Ebook "

(2015) www.nirvana.pt/mapa

"Adolfo Gutkin, A Utopia Multicultural e Rebelde"

(2019) Edições Giostro - Brasil

"Almanaque Steampunk"

(2019) under his alter ego Michel Gigolo. Editorial Divergência

MUSIC

Records the following original soundtracks albums with the Custom Circus band in the same years of the related shows:

Le Cabaret Rock (2012)

Bizarre Chic (2014)

A Viagem (The Journey) (2015)

Absurdium (2017)

Discography and credits available at www.customcircus.com/music

*CONCEPTUAL and UPCYCLING ARCHITECTURE

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He's one of the three creators of these projects:

Nirvana Studios - Global project of the architectural, scenery and thematic aesthetics for the Alternative Cultural Center (since 2004)

Band Boxes Studios (since 2006)

STRANGE Gallery (since 2006)

Art Express - Dynamic Containers Studios for Performers (since 2008)  

Custom Café Theater - Le Cabaret Rock (since 2012)

Diner 1903 (since 2013)

Raus Human - Portico (2014)

Projecto UR "Upcycle-Recycle" (since 2014)

Check Point (since 2016)

Gigolo Dance - Rockshop (since 2016)

Custom Ville - Bungallows for Artists on Tour (since 2017)

EVENTS and CULTURAL PLATFORMS

He's co founder of these  projects:

Festival Nirvana Studios - Open Day (since 2004)

OBS - Oeiras Band Sessions (since 2009)

Oeiras Fora da Caixa - Cultural Online News Channel (since 2017)

*PERMANENT SCENOGRAPHIC INSTALLATIONS*

Apokalipse Bunker (2006)

International Taxi (2008)

Biodiesel Blues (2009)

Guarita Nº01 (2011)

Backstage Army Truck (2012)

Tia Maria (2012)

Regie (2012)

On the Road Again (2013)

Bus Stop (2014)

Cargo Station (2015)

Guarita Nº02 (2020)

Coming Soon in 2020:

Loco'motive

A post apocaliptic art project based on a 1904 locomotive.

Other installations can be seen at www.nirvana.pt/mapa

*MOBILE SCENOGRAPHIC INSTALLATIONS

Arena Lua Cheia - Full Moon Arena (2004-2008)

Airstream Caravans Nº01, Nº02, Nº03 (2004-2010)

Raver Trucks Nº01, Nº2 (2004-2008)

Mad Cars Nº01, Nº02, Nº03, Nº04, Nº05 (2004-2008)

Psygon Hot Rod (2005)

Classic Trucks Electric Trios Nº01, Nº02, Nº03, Nº04 (2005-2010)

Old Buses Nº01, Nº02, Nº03 (2005-2010)

Make a Promise (2015)

Saga's Truck (2015)

Viking Dieselpunk (2019)

Freedoom (2019)

More Scenographic Instalations can be seen at www.customcircus.com/art

​(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 definitive 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 freelancer roadie 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 Eutaxia's production structure for the tours of Spanish companies La Fura Dels Baus and Els Comediants

As an assistent and ad hoc disciple, his professional relationship with the director and meteur en scéne Adolfo Gutkin spaned from 1992 to 1999 as a member of the artistic production teams for over one hundred shows from the following companies:

Ana La China (ES)

Argentinian National Company

Arturo Toscanini (IT)

Ballet Bolshoi (RUS)

Bederen Bat (ES)

Beijin Opera (CHN)

Brunchu (ES)

Bulgarian National Opera

Chick Corea (USA)

Christophe Berthonneau (FR)

Companhia IFICT (PT)

Els Comediants (ES)

Gelabert Azzopardi (ES)

Groupe F (FR)

Guirigai (ES)

Jacka Maré Spino (FR)

Jêrome Deschamps (FR)

Karmen Larumbe (ARG)

Kiev's Ópera (RUS)

Kirov's Ballet (RUS)

La Fura Dels Baus (ES)

La Cuadra de Sevilla (ES)

Marcel Marceau (FR)

Marimbondo (PT)

Michael Nyman (UK)

Minsk Ballet (RUS)

Mummenschanz (CH)

National Chinese Circus

Olissipo (PT)

Pirotecnia Minhota (PT)

Pirotecnia Oleirense (PT)

Plan K (BE)

Plasticiens Volants (FR)

Pupi & Fresedde (IT)

Russian Cossacks (RUS)

Semola Teatre (ES)

Ta Fantastika (CZ)

Tarbes Orchestra (FR)

Teatro do Ornitorrinco (BR)

Theatre du Mouvement (FR)

Titanic (FR)

Transe Express (FR)

Tricicle (ES)

Turbo Unit (UK)

UR Teatre (ES)

Vol Ras (ES)

Xarxa (ES)

XPTO Company (BR)

Zyriab (ES)

In 1994 he’s a member of the artistic production team for Lisboa'94-Capital da Cultura in the avant guarde theater department, also colaborating with Eutaxia-Assessoria Cultural.

In 1996 he co-founds Nirvana Productions where he starts his theater direction carreer, mostly aimed for international corporative events and multimedia happenings for movies and music record launches, from studios such as Polygram, BMG, Sony, Warner, Universal among others.

In Nirvana Productions and Eutaxia (just in 1996 edition) 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 emerging subcultures.

In 1997 he’s co-author of the Portuguese Phonographic Association’s Digital Award

During Expo98 Lisbon he’s field artistic manager in the areas of Outdoor Theater and Performances, colaborating also with Eutaxia-Assessoria Cultural

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(1980 - 1990)

Starts juvenile acting 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 nouveau cirque which explodes in that period, he writes the novel A Saga da Roda (The Wheel Saga) in 1988, which would later be in the origin of Custom Circus

Was one of the assistants of Portuguese sculptor Luis Valadares from 1989 to 1990

OTHER FACTS

Conceived in 1970 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 an entrepreneur, artisanship, translator, fairground vendor, antiquarian, advertiser, sailor, trucker, 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.