BIPOC Circus Bodies

Circus News

Circus Bodies: BIPOC Circus Bodies

Last week was the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. Last summer, world-wide protests erupted and calls for real, sustainable change that would address the root of systematic racism and policy brutality were made. Individuals, communities, companies, and nations have had to face the facts about upholding social structures built on white supremacy–including the global circus community. Circus Talk launched the Circus and Changing Realities 2020 series, part of which were a series of events titled Wake Up Call for Inclusion. I caught up with Noeli Acoba and Marco Motta, panelists in the very first iteration, hosted by Johnathan Lee Iverson. This article is a check in to see if and how things have shifted in the past twelve months. 
Motta was born in Salvador de Bahía in 1992, and trained in Brazil as a dancer and contortionist. These styles have become his true artistic expression. He chose b-boying/breakdancing as a channel toward other artistic languages and specializes in aerial straps. In 2020, he created, directed  Blackbird  in which he also plays the protagonist. Motta won the Special Jury Award at Mondial Du Cirque De Demain (2017), as well as Third Prize and CircusTalk’s Critic’s Choice Award at FIRCO Ibero-American Circus Festival. Motta has spent the majority of the past year in Spain.  ...
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Madeline Hoak

Madeline Hoak is an artist and academic who creates with, through and about circus. She is an Associate Editor for CircusTalk, Adjunct Professor of Aerial Arts at Pace University, a member of the American Circus Alliance's EDI committee, and the Editor and Curatorial Director of TELEPHONE, an international arts game. Madeline has performed, coached, produced, and choreographed at elite regional and international venues. Her background in dance and physical theater are 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 Thinkers: Reflections, 2020, and "Digital Dance & TELEPHONE: A Unique Spectator Experience." Madeline has presented academic papers at numerous conferences including Circus and it’s Others (UC Davis), 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.