America’s Got Talent mixed up its format this year by giving us 2 live shows per week. We were fans of that because it gave us the opportunity to watch one of our Linc LIC residents, Nina Burri, as she competed at Radio City Music Hall right here in New York City!
A native of Berne, Switzerland, Nina was a professional ballet dancer and model until the age of 30, when she made the decision to move to acrobatic dance. She studied contortion at the International Art School in Beijing and developed her first choreography after moving to Europe. Nina is no stranger to media. In 2011, she came in second place in Switzerland’s Got Talent and in the finals of the French iteration of the show, “La France a un incoyable talent”. She has worked regularly as a model and collaborated with photographer Peter Lindbergh for Vogue.
After having such amazing success around the world, what made you want to come to New York City?
Since my country Switzerland is very small and I reached the top level that I can get there, e.g. with having great contracts with Swiss National Circus, appearing in several TV shows and being hired for many corporate events and galas, I felt it was time for me to move on and get new inspiration in the biggest entertainment industry. Back home I always did everything on my own, from training to choreography and all the organization, but here there are many other artists I can work with and collaborate.
How has your experience with America’s Got Talent compared to Switzerland and France?
It was much bigger here than back home or in France. And it was much more difficult to convince an audience and jury in just 90 seconds. That’s really almost no time! In Switzerland and France I had the freedom of choosing the music and the look of my act and we had 2.5. to 3 minutes. Here, the whole process was almost entirely in the hands of the production. I wasn’t that comfortable being pressed in a certain concept, and maybe the audience could tell in my performance…? On the other hand there is no bigger exposure for an acrobat in 90 Seconds than with a show like that, and to see closely how it is done, was just amazing for me.
When you aren’t working on your craft, what is your favorite place to spend time in Long Island City?
I love the Waterfront with its beautiful view of the skyline, and with my husband I often train there in the parks. We also love to walk along Vernon Boulevard with its nice cafés and restaurants. Or we meet friends at the MoMa P.S. 1 ”warm up party” on Saturdays, when I’m not hired for a job.
Thanks so much to Nina for chatting with us, and we look forward to hearing more about her accomplishments in the future!