The dynamic hand-balancing, husband-and-wife team of Duo Fusion combines Latin heritage with strength, agility and balance.
Ihosvanys (pronounced Giovanni) Perez has spent more than a third of his life dedicated to the art of performance and entertainment. First, at the young age of six, he became a gymnast. Then at age 18, the talented tumbler attended National Circus School in Havana, Cuba, for four years. After graduation, he toured with the Cuban Circus for two years. Then he took an opportunity to perform with the Mexican Circus.
Virginia Tuells, a former Argentinean gymnast, decided at the age of 19 that she wanted to expand her skills and abilities. She enrolled in a circus school in Buenos Aries, and then in Brazil. After finishing those courses, she moved to Cuba to join the National Circus School in Havana. By age 22, she was a circus performer, traveling with a circus in Mexico. Virginia says, "I've always liked the artistic part of the circus; I knew I wanted to be part of a beautiful show."
It was in Mexico that these two passionate performers met, fell in love and got married. After they were married, Ihosvanys and Virginia decided to combine their talents to create a unique hand-balancing act: one in which Virginia would do most of the lifting, instead of Ihosvanys. It took them three years of practice, trying different things, to perfect their act. They also finessed a Tango and a Salsa dance to include in their routine.
"At first, we were only doing hand-balancing. As we worked together, it evolved into a full act that combines dance, which inspires both of us, it moves our souls," explains Virginia. "This act is my passion. We had to do a lot to get here. I had to make many sacrifices, for school, for travel, for equipment. It was hard. I've fought for this chance and I'm so proud," adds Virginia.
For the next five years, Virginia and Ihosvanys continued to work in Mexico. While there, they were able to see a performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®. "I saw Ringling Bros.® in Mexico City in 2003," explains Virginia. "It was so incredible. I never thought I'd be able to work in the circus like that. It seemed like a faraway dream."
In 2007, Circus Vasquez contracted the pair to perform in the United States for one year. While they were performing in Puerto Rico the following year, Ringling Bros. producers, Kenneth and Nicole Feld, saw their act and they were immediately impressed by the unbelievable skills and abilities of the pair. The Felds decided to invite Duo Fusion to become part of Ringling Bros.
Virginia and Ihosvanys say the opportunity to showcase their amazing act with The Greatest Show On Earth® was a dream come true. "When I received the call to come to work at Ringling Bros., I didn't believe it. It was only after Ihosvanys and I spoke for a few minutes that I knew it was true," says Virginia.