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 is a NYC based performer, producer, professor, and choreographer specializing in aerial, acrobatics, dance and movement direction. She is an adjunct professor of Aerial Arts at Pace University, on staff at Aerial Arts NYC and The Muse Brooklyn and initiated the Aerial program at Muhlenberg College where she taught from 2011 - 2017. Her movement direction contributed to Circle Theater NYC’s production of The Mountain winning Outstanding Original Choreography/Movement, 2015. She co-choreographed The Battles, a musical voted by Broadway producer Ken Davenport one of the top 10 new scripts of 2016. Madeline's choreography has been presented at Dixon Place, Circus Warehouse, BAX, The House of Yes, Abron Arts Center, Times Square, The Flea, STREB, Galapagos, and The Muse. She received BAs in Dance and Theater from Muhlenberg College and is currently studying at NYU’s Gallatin school of Individualized Study where she is designing a master’s degree in circus studies with a focus on dramaturgy and creative processes.