Gasya Akhmetov-Atherton

Cirque du SoleilNew York City, New YorkPhotos & Story by Lauri LevenfeldStyling by Katja O’Brien

Sometimes we all feel like life is one big circus, with us as the clowns juggling our everyday tasks, passions, and family within. But for Gasya Akhemtova-Atherton and her husband Andrew, life really is a circus (of the Cirque du Soleil kind) where love and family evoke passion and inspiration and vice versa. For the Atherton family, spending less time “juggling” and more time

“merging” their loves, life, and work have truly become their highest form of art and expression. This is a story about a mother, wife and visionary who dedicates every day to living out her dreams and the dreams of her family. I guarantee these images are most worthy of a long double-take.


1. What were you like as a child? Who are you today?

Very active, happy and I loved the simple things in life. I remember always having my mother and father around. Simply walking to and from the gym was an adventure with my father. I hope to pass on these memories to my son and daughter. No moment is ever going to be wasted or lost with them. 


2. Describe your life’s work.

I am a mother, a wife and an artist.


3. How has motherhood shaped your artistry, and vice versa?

Being a mother puts a whole new perspective on life, and more so, the

things one would choose to make important in life. To me art is as important as speech. It’s a way to express and to communicate with others. Emotions are formed and shared. The bond and love that I have with my own children has only heightened that for me.


4. Was CDS always a dream and how did you get there?

Being a part of Cirque du Soleil was one of the many dreams that I had, and is something I worked hard on to achieve. Those seven hour sessions in my gym in Almaty, through the hot summer months and cold, bitter winters was the only way I knew I could achieve it. Any gymnast will tell you, it’s not the successes that will shape your character, it’s the failures.

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5. Tell us about your rigorous workout schedule.

Well, I no longer train for seven hours a day! In comparison my daily workout routine now seems simple.

I walk everywhere. Even when we have no particular place to go, we walk. This is my most basic and most fundamental exercise.

My specific training I will do when I can find the time. This is usually for between 1-2 hours a day, and I try to add variety. I lift weights along with incorporating sessions of Yoga and Pilates.

Acrobatics is almost always a part of my daily training. That little girl who was born to be an acrobat is still very much there inside of me.


6. What has been a curveball and what’s been your biggest surprise?

I’d probably say moving to New York City. Two years ago my family and I were living in Las Vegas and were seriously considering relocating to Berlin, Germany to be a part of a show there. New York City was never a plan for us. It’s funny how life can be so unpredictable at times. Still, as long as we have one another, we’ll always be okay.


7. Where has your art taken you? Your favorite travels.

My art and my passion has taken me all over the world. I toured for many years before settling in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and now New York City. At only 28 years old I realize I have lived in some pretty amazing cities. I am very fortunate and extremely appreciative.

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8. Is your daughter following in your footsteps?

She’s clearly a performer and she loves to put on a show. Whether it’s showing off a new dress she’s just been bought or demonstrating a recently acquired gymnastics or dance move.  Yes, I think it’s safe to say she’d like to follow in my footsteps. This, however will always be her choice.


9. What do you love most about NYC?

Its diversity and its culture.


10. How do you define love?

Love is always putting someone else’s needs above your own.


For more on Gasya and her fashions, check out her article on JOLIEGAZETTE.

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