American Vaudeville Museum

All material © 1998-2012 American Museum of Vaudeville, Inc.  Page 6

the Balasis Family

The Balasis’ acts, during its half-century of activity, took several names and various configurations of family members representing four generations.  They were classic European variety acrobats, working both variety theatre and circuses starting in 1904 with Victor, his wife Paula and their two sons Alfred and Victor, Jr., who became renowned for their flying head-to-head acrobatic balancing act—the only one of its kind in the world.

The Balasis performed all over Europe, making frequent tours, including the Keith-Orpheum circuit in 1923 in the USA, where father Victor and mother Paula retired in 1925.  Grown, Alfred and Victor, Jr. continued the family act with Alfred’s wife, Maria, although the father would occasionally join them as an acrobatic clown.

Maria, when she met Alfred, was a former member of the Imperial Vienna Ballet who had developed a dance act for variety theatres.  As vaudeville declined in the USA, the Balasis brothers decided to refocus the act around Maria’s dancing and they played instruments in the act and still performed their signature acrobatic routines.

With the end of vaudeville, the surviving Balasis turned to civilian life, real estate and retirement.