Rainbow Enuf evolution healing joy

Circus News

The Rainbow is Enuf: an evolution, a healing, a joy

Last September, I spoke with Veronica Blair. She was cozied up in a long, red sweater just starting her day – it was a few hours earlier for her in San Francisco than it was for me in New York. Blair has a compelling way of being simultaneously serene and passionate. She exudes a charismatic, focused energy one might feel after meditation: grounded, thoughtful, forthright. I had recently seen her production The Rainbow is Enuf, which presented similar moods. It was a playful, authentic, and astute show was inspired by Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf. The interview was intended to result in a review of the show, but instead, it has found a (most appropriate) home here as the first article in the Women Making Circus About Women series. 
Shange’s work premiered at New York City’s Booth Theater in 1976. Forty-six years later, the text has become, as Blair said, a genre of its own. “People are doing productions of it everywhere, all the time, and anyone can be involved in it. It was written by a Black woman and for Black women, but you see various productions with people of Asian descent, and Latinx descent.” Shange coined the term ‘choreopoem’ to describe the work, which includes a combination of poetic text, dance, and song. The unique composition, breadth, and length of the work have created its legacy. I was curious how Blair saw her production fitting into this lineage. The show’s themes “are not unusual,” she said. “They’re not uncommon. I feel like everyone can relate to it. Doing my research and looking at so many different versions of the show with so many different casts wearing the colors of the rainbow, I was able to come up with ideas on how I want...
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Madeline Hoak

Madeline Hoak is an artist and academic who creates with, through, and about circus. She is a Writer for CircusTalk, Adjunct Professor of Aerial Arts and American Circus History at Pace University, Editor and Curatorial Director of TELEPHONE: an international arts game, and curator and director of Cirkus Moxie, a weekly contemporary circus show at Brooklyn Art Haus. Madeline has performed, coached, produced, and choreographed at elite regional and international venues. Her background in dance and physical theater is infiltrated into her coaching and creation style. She is passionate about providing her students holistic circus education that includes physical, historical, theoretical resources. Madeline initiated the Aerial Acrobatics program at her alma mater, Muhlenberg College, where she taught from 2012-2017. She is also a regular contributor to Cirkus Syd's Circus Thinkers international reading group. Her circus research has been supported by Pace, NYU, and Concordia University. Recent publications include "Teaching the Mind-Body: Integrating Knowledges through Circus Arts'' (with Alisan Funk, Dan Berkley), a chapter in Art as an Agent for Social Change, "expanding in(finite) between," a multimedia essay in Circus Thinks: Reflections, 2020, and "Digital Dance & TELEPHONE: A Unique Spectator Experience." Madeline has presented academic papers at numerous conferences including Circus and its Others (UC Davis), International Federation for Theatre Research (University of Reykjavík), the Popular Culture Association, Gallatin (NYU), and McGill University. Madeline earned an MA from Gallatin, New York University’s School of Independent Study, where she designed a Circus Studies curriculum with a focus on spectatorship.