What It Means When Circus Artists Take Part in Graduate Research Courses - CircusTalk

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What It Means When Circus Artists Take Part in Graduate Research Courses

From July 3rd  to 13th 2018, over twenty  thinker-doers  from a dozen countries, all practitioners and scholars of contemporary circus and/or other performing arts, converged onto Montréal during the Montréal Complètement cirque festival to participate in Concordia University’s intensive summer graduate seminar taught by Prof. Louis Patrick Leroux and titled “Experiential learning in Contemporary Circus Practice: Methods in research-creation, action-research and participant observation.” For two weeks, they attended lectures and seminars in the mornings, then in the afternoon, had studio time to work on their presentations or to attend participant-observation sessions as part of a larger research project, and of course, they attended performances in the evening.
In addition to their brief research-creation presentations, the students each produced two to three blogs during this period. We are offering a selection of those blogs. Some are candid, heartfelt, others analytical, some are critical takes, others are musings on students’research. They give a snapshot of what was on people’s minds during the summer intensive.Prof. Leroux and his teaching assistant, Alisan Funk, have also contributed original material to complement the students’ blogs. Check back every Friday until the New Year for an updated article from one of the participants! As a circus performer, creator, and coach who has turned to academic study, I am well-aware of the scepticism from many in the circus community regarding the place of academic study in circus arts. In fact, many of us invested in circus arts  in order to  ...
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Alisan Funk

Alisan Funk is a Montréal circus coach, performer, and creator currently pursuing her PhD in Education at McGill University. She has a M.A. from Concordia, studying circus education, and works as a research assistant on multiple projects with examining technical and creative aspects of circus, theatre, and physical literacy.