Authentically Honoring Women in Circus

Circus News

Authentically Honoring Women in Circus

Morning Armor.
I woke up thinking about this publication: an article about women in circus to be published in alignment with International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. As I’m prone to do, pre-coffee and shuffling to the kitchen in my slippers, I started brainstorming. Immediately, my guard was up. My history and biases brought me quickly to the defense: women are underrepresented! underpaid! not respected! second-class! Instances of injustice make my jaw set and my skin tingle – a sensation of armor emerging from the inside out. The coffee and I brewed together. I also knew I had to ground the article in something concrete, so I started a mental tally of all the women in circus I knew who held powerful positions. My mind immediately flooded with an impressively diverse list of researchers, historians, programmers, agents, creators, venue owners, company directors, studio owners, website founders, festival organizers, and figureheads. I though...
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Madeline Hoak

Madeline Hoak is an artist and academic who creates with, through, and about circus. She is a Writer for CircusTalk, Adjunct Professor of Aerial Arts and American Circus History at Pace University, Editor and Curatorial Director of TELEPHONE: an international arts game, and curator and director of Cirkus Moxie, a weekly contemporary circus show at Brooklyn Art Haus. Madeline has performed, coached, produced, and choreographed at elite regional and international venues. Her background in dance and physical theater is infiltrated into her coaching and creation style. She is passionate about providing her students holistic circus education that includes physical, historical, theoretical resources. Madeline initiated the Aerial Acrobatics program at her alma mater, Muhlenberg College, where she taught from 2012-2017. She is also a regular contributor to Cirkus Syd's Circus Thinkers international reading group. Her circus research has been supported by Pace, NYU, and Concordia University. Recent publications include "Teaching the Mind-Body: Integrating Knowledges through Circus Arts'' (with Alisan Funk, Dan Berkley), a chapter in Art as an Agent for Social Change, "expanding in(finite) between," a multimedia essay in Circus Thinks: Reflections, 2020, and "Digital Dance & TELEPHONE: A Unique Spectator Experience." Madeline has presented academic papers at numerous conferences including Circus and its Others (UC Davis), International Federation for Theatre Research (University of Reykjavík), the Popular Culture Association, Gallatin (NYU), and McGill University. Madeline earned an MA from Gallatin, New York University’s School of Independent Study, where she designed a Circus Studies curriculum with a focus on spectatorship.