Each year as the Montréal Complètement Cirque (MCC) festival approaches, graduate students from around the world begin to gather in Montreal to explore their interest in the contemporary arts and to further their understanding of the importance of circus as a social phenomenon. As with other years, Professor Patrick Leroux of Concordia is leading a summer interdisciplinary seminar that “will provide an opportunity to learn, explore and refine research methods in the performing arts with a focus on contemporary circus and physical theatre.” We spoke with Leroux about how this year’s seminar will be structured and how it will differ from previous years.
Kim Campbell: Last year, the seminar seemed based around Montréal Complètement Cirque performances as well as its complex relationship with circus as a distinct art form. What is different about this year’s focus? Patrick Leroux: Last year, I sought to situate Québec on the world stage and to understand its place and relation to other artistic nations and traditions. The seminar was essentially an academic one. This year, I’m focusing the intensive seminar on issues of experiential learning and research-creation involving circus and physical theatre in the context of academia. Why? Because so many of my graduate students needed a class like this one and that I felt the need to reflect aloud and along with students on my research and pedagogical practices. I travel quite a bit and people kept asking me about my research-creation projects and their process. I grew tired of constantly traveling and thought: why not i...
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