How Montreal’s Circus Life Remained Above Water Through the Pandemic - CircusTalk

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How Montreal’s Circus Life Remained Above Water Through the Pandemic

Despite shows shutting down and training studio access restricted, artists have kept their passion burning.

“A sudden shift to silence” is the recurring description given by circus artists Marie Lebot and Jesse Harris, and costume designer Liz Vandal when asked to think about the drastic transition to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Montreal is a city of spectacle, shows, performance, art, and ultimately, circus. Whether it’s for Cirque du Soleil, the 7 Fingers studio, or the National Circus School, aspiring artists from all around the world travel to the metropolis with hopes of a flourishing and successful circus career.

When COVID-19 made its way to Montreal, the city’s art scene was the first to suffer from government-mandated sanctions. Many studios were forced to close. Shows were cancelled. Some of Cirque du Soleil’s artists were let go because the company nearly went bankrupt. The city’s circus scene went quiet.

Because of the fast-paced nature of circus performance, the first few months felt like a break to Harris and Lebot. However, when it became clear that the situation wasn’t improving, the two grew concerned. “I was worried choosing circus was the wrong choice,” Harris said, a 2020 graduate of the National Circus School … Link to full length article at The Link

Main Image: Costume designer Liz Vandal poses in her home with her very first drawing of an outfit done in 1978. Photo Iness Rifay

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