Everywhere and Nowhere: the New Wave of Site-Specific Circus - CircusTalk

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Everywhere and Nowhere: the New Wave of Site-Specific Circus

Typically, talking about site-specific circus means talking about a large outdoor space that’s converted (with, say, scaffolding or cranes or ladders or some such) to meet the technical demands of aerial work. We’ve all seen it. Off-the-top-of-my-head examples of this might include Montréal Completement Cirque’s stalwart outdoor show  Minutes, or  Aquanauts, a show by Cirkus Cirkör staged in a river, which recently headlined The Stockholm Culture Festival. These works are usually large scale, often spectacular in the true meaning of the word.
But there’s a new breed of site-specific circus designed to be performed in the most intimate of venues: a living room. The Anti-white Cube First, let’s break down a bit of context here. Site-specific work originally rose from the ashes of minimalism in the 1960s and 70s, and quickly gained a swath of devotees across disciplines: from art to dance to theatre to opera to acrobatics. The key thing about site-specificity is that the work is bound by the height, length, texture, and shape of walls or rooms; the scale or proportion of buildings; existing lighting conditions; ventilation; traffic patterns and so forth. In other words, by their very nature these performance spaces are  not blank slates, they come with their own history, function and ...
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Rebecca Galloway

Rebecca is a writer, critic, commentator and communications consultant based in Montréal. She has worked across a mish-mash of arts and design disciplines over her 15 year career—contemporary dance, circus, data visualization, opera, visual art, digital storytelling, ballet and literature. Originally from NZ, she’s spent the better part of the last decade living and working in the US and Canada.