Other Circuses in Montréal: An Embodied Expression of the Queer Paradigm

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Other Circuses in Montréal: An Embodied Expression of the Queer Paradigm

This article broadly presents my dissertation defended last June at Concordia University. The main argument is that by offering performances that qualify as the embodiment of the queer paradigm, a case is built that lesser-known circus artists are renewing circus performatives forms in Montréal.
Circus, Out of the Normate Circus nourishes an equivocal relationship to social mores which translates into its aesthetics. It is an art where conventional rules don’t apply, an art that plays with polarities, that dwells in ambiguities, that seeks other experiences of the world. By unfolding between extremes, and being full of contradictions, doesn’t circus create micro-utopias within contemporary issues, which allows us to think outside of categories and imagine other possible stances? Quebec is an interesting case of the relationship between circus’s performative forms and the normate. Since its very beginnings, the Quebec circus has evolved from the margins, or at least, by distancing itself from the main artistic field. It started out of independent marginalized street artists, from the world of stilts and fire-blowing, away from theater venues and conventions or public financing. Slowly, however, it created a flourishing economy (tha...
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Mathilde Perahia

Mathilde Perahia is a PhD in Humanities at Concordia University since November 2021. She studied the performances of Montreal circus artists on the margins as spaces for the embodiment of the queer paradigm. Prior to this, Mathilde was a social circus instructor in Argentina, Cambodia and Nepal. She is also a practitioner specializing in rope. She co-authored with Jacinthe Rivard an article on the role played by Cirque Hors Piste in the development of alternative circus performances in Montreal, Les performances du cirque alternatif montréalais comme espaces de changement de perceptions de la marginalité? L'exemple du spectacle Le Cabaret du Corps Dada (Nouvelle Pratique des arts, 2020) and published Le rater au cœur des nouvelles écritures comme stratégie pour réinventer la création circassienne à Montréal for the journal Agôn in 2021.