Cirque Alfonse: A Neo-Traditional Family Circus Keeps it Real - CircusTalk

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Cirque Alfonse: A Neo-Traditional Family Circus Keeps it Real

A young company built on a traditional family circus model embraces untraditional artistry using surprising materials and seeking honesty above all.
Many circuses employ performers from all over the world, but one small troupe celebrates a different form of inclusive diversity: the most recent Cirque Alfonse show, Timber, includes cast members from three different generations of the same family. Of course, until the 20th century advent of circus training schools, most circus skills were passed on within families, and shows often included cast members from multiple generations. But one look at Cirque Alfonse makes clear that nothing quite so traditional is happening here! Cirque Alfonse was founded in 2005 in the French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec by a close-knit family and a few friends—some acrobats, some musicians, a dancer, and a skiier—who drew inspiration for their first show not just from the local music and folklore but even more narrowly from their own family experience. After attending the National Circus School of Mo...
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Viveca Gardiner

Viveca is president of Playful Productions, director of youth programs for Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, and a coach at Circus of the Kids. She edits CircusNYC and JuggleNYC. She has also been a director at the Big Apple Circus and a contributing editor of JUGGLE magazine. She performs as a juggler, ringmistress, unicyclist, and stilt walker, and she has published two commissioned study guides on the history and artistry of circus arts. She might have sawdust in her veins.