Bio Michel Alex

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 also 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 the 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 member of the production teams for over one hundred shows from the following companies:

Ana La China (ES)

Arturo Toscanini (IT)

Ballet Bolshoi (RUS)

Beijing's Ópera (CHN)

Brunchu (ES)

Chick Corea (USA)

Chinese Circus (CHN)

Christophe Berthonneau (FR)

Companhia IFICT (PT)

Els Comediants (ES)

Gelabert Azzopardi (ES)

Guirigai (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)

Mummenschanz (CH)

Olissipo (PT)

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)

Titanic (FR)

Transe Express (FR)

Tricicle (ES)

Turbo Unit (UK)

Xarxa (ES)

In 1994 he’s a member of the production team for Lisboa94-Capital da Cultura in the avant guarde theater department

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

With Nirvana Productions in 1996 and 1997 he co-creates and co-produces at the former Aquaparque do Restelo the two editions of the event GML-Grande Meeting de Lisboa, which was the first Portuguese event dedicated to the whole Road Culture movement and respecttives subcultures and arts. 

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

(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 a director, actor, composer and visual artist, 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:

Raver (2004)

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: 

Alternative Festival - Nirvana Studios Open Day (2004)

Band Box - Musicians Community (2006)

Nirvana Boulevard – Artists Collective (2007)

Art Express – Performers Dynamic Installation (2008)

The first Portuguese edition of the "Wheel's Saga" book is launched in 2004 at the premiére of the Full Moon show.

He’s a consultant of Escola Flamenca Alejandra Gutkin since 2006.

Records the Gigolo Dance original songs album with the Custom Circus troupe's musicians in 2008. 

In 2009 he's co-founder of 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 and co-writes the original soundtracks for the shows:

Le Cabaret Rock (2012-2014)

Bizarre Chic (2014-2015)

A Viagem (The Journey) (2015-2017)

Absurdium (2017-2020)

These 4 albums were also recorded the same year of each show. 

In 2016 he writes the manifesto "Herdeiros do Apokalipse-Apocalipse Heirs" which was issued by the Pelouro da Cultura-Câmara Municipal de Oeiras. 

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)

Regie (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)

As an actor and musician he surpassed well over two thousand hours on stage with more than 900 shows for Custom Circus alone.

He's curator of the STRANGE gallery since 2006

In 2018 he was one of the artistic consultant for the 1st Portuguese Steampunk Festival "Festival Vapor" working for the producers Artstation and Mercado da Cultura in a co-production with Museu Nacional Ferroviário for the editions of 2018 and 2019.

Also in 2018 he's also an artistic consultant for the first Mytho Festival at the Museu da Cidade de Lisboa.

During 2019:

Co-founder of the Custom Ville II

Editorial Divergência re-issues his book "Wheel Saga" , launched at the 16ºFestival Nirvana Studios.

With Custom Circus he's the co-founder of the transdisciplinary artistic movement "Wild In The Photo".

Designs and performs with Custom Circus, acts for the "Unite - Tomorrowland Festival - Porto" for Uau Produções.

The exhibition "Apokalipse Heirs-Herdeiros do Apokalipse" features:

3 months at the Museu Nacional dos Coches - Lisboa

2 months at the Museu Nacional Ferroviário - Entroncamento

As the author he launches the Custom Circus literary collection:

Volume 01 - Mekanon

Volume 02 - Raus Human

both by Editorial Divergência

Also with Custom Circus he's the co-author of the manifesto "Loco'Motivo" in partnership with the Museu Nacional Ferroviário, which will evolve into a documentary and an instalation created with a 1904 Borsig steam locomotive. 

 ​​Other Facts:

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 and 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.