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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