In the new book titled Contemporary Circus, three academics with a focus on circus studies (Lavers, Leroux, and Burtt) endeavor to highlight the significant elements of a developing art form by featuring interviews with twenty-four circus creators. Their motive? To help bridge the divide between the worlds of circus practice (usually undertaken by the young circus creator) and theory (often a scholar with a background in circus or an interest in understanding its benefits for society). That these worlds overlap is undeniable–it happens at professional circus schools and at festivals and conferences regularly–but the book maintains that without the studying, analyzing and publishing of ideas around circus outputs, society (and cultural agents who regulate and fund the arts) will remain in the dark.
A moment in Humans, by Circa. Photo credit : Pedro Greig The resulting book is a rare peek into the mind of circus creators, examining their motives and processes, but with an added bird’s eye view from the academic minds of the authors who contextualize and process it all through the socio-political lens. Contemporary Circus is illustrated with fifty photos of contemporary productions, and grouped into themes: apparatus (contesting mastery),...
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