Nina Burri is contortionist, model and actress. Born in Berne, Switzerland as second daughter of a non-artist family, she started with ballet lessons at the age of six. Her first stage appearance was four years later accompanied with intensive training in further dance styles such as modern dance, jazz and tap dancing as well as singing and acting classes. But at 15 the young dancer decided to risk all on ballet and besides high school, also attended the ballet academies in Basle and Graz until in 1995 she was accepted at the famous “Staatliche Ballettschule Berlin“ [State Ballet Academy Berlin] where she graduated three years later with a diploma as “Staatlich geprüfte Bühnentänzerin“ [State registered Stage Dancer].
Up to this point her career was anything but simple: an untiring search for the best training possibilities and catching up with dance techniques that were incorrectly taught in her younger years are features for these first steps in the world of ballet. It was also a race against time, because Nina was already 21 years of age when she joined Maurice Béjart’s “École-Atelier Rudra Béjart” in Lausanne. Yet, two years later and after many completed tours both local and in other countries even with the “Béjart Ballet Lausanne“ she left Switzerland to take up her first role as ballet dancer at the “Staatstheater Saarbrücken“ in Germany
This was the start of her career as a professional dancer. In the following years she danced in famous theatres throughout the world such as the “Bal du Moulin Rouge“ in Paris, in many TV shows in Germany and Switzerland and with companies in Israel, Berlin and Tokyo. Inbetween she also worked as a model.
Yet in 2007, at the age of 30, Nina, always a great circus fan, decided to develop her own acrobatic solo number. In Beijing in China she found the “International Art School“, the acrobatic academy of the “China Acrobatic Troupe” in which she learnt the art of contortion. There, for six months, she worked eight hours a day at handstand techniques and flexibility. Back in Europe she developed a first choreography made up of dance and the newly acquired unusual agility, took part in artist competitions in order to become known in the circus world and, shortly thereafter obtained her first engagement as a contortionist.
Nina created a further number that she called “Goldeneye”, a homage to James Bond and with this achieved the jump into well known varieties and circus shows and in 2009 won the Swiss competition “Kleiner Prix Walo“ for new talent.
The final breakthrough to international renown was achieved in 2011 with the second place in the show “Die grössten Schweizer Talente“ [Switzerland’s Got Talent] and the final place in the French variant of this TV show, “La France a un Incroyable Talent“ in the same year.
Since then the Swiss artist has captivated audience worldwide with her artistry and is invited to galas, corporate events, varieties, TV shows and festivals. The fashion scene, too, has not failed to recognize the “Snake Lady”, as she has since become known, and Nina has worked together with star photographers such as Peter Lindbergh for “Vogue”. A further great dream has been fulfilled by the contortionist: From March till November 2013 she was on tour with the Swiss National Circus Knie for one season.
Shortly after, in spring 2014, Nina was chosen as the main act to join the European Tour of Swiss singer and star entertainer DJ Bobo on his new show “Circus”. And in July 2014 a new adventure starts for Nina: she got a US Greencard as “Alien of Extraordinary Ability” and relocated to New York City to continue and explore her career and improve her skills and projects. Her first success in the US already happened: Nina became a finalist of the legendary TV show “America’s Got Talent” 2014, inspiring people nationwide with her unique story and shows!
Nina lives now in Berlin, Germany and in her hometown Bern, Switzerland and travels the world for her shows, shootings and diverse jobs. Besides Contortion she is very happy to be booked as an actress, and already had the chance to play roles in several shortfilms and movies in Germany and the US. And with her knowledge and experience as a stage-performer she was chosen to co-host and judge several international Circus Festivals.