Interview: Marco Motta--Winner of CircusTalk Critic's Choice Award

Circus News

Circus From Within– Marco Motta, Winner of the CircusTalk Critic’s Choice Award

When Marco Motta was a little boy growing up in Salvador, Bahia in Brazil, he lived a happy life, which he attributes to the efforts of his mother. Although he describes the area he grew up in as dangerous and violent, he was surrounded by dancing, art, and African rhythms. This instilled a lifelong love of art in him and perhaps sustained him when he hit puberty and things changed. That’s when he became aware of the problems of poverty and racism rampant in the marginalized populations surrounding him, and lost several friends to the violence. He found breakdancing and that was his solace and main form of artistic expression which eventually led him to other forms of dance and ultimately to circus, which Motta considers the perfect palette for his message about the need for social change.
I first encountered Marco Motta at the 2019 FIRCO Festival where he competed while I was on the jury. On the night of his act, as he hung from two straps and the song Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday began, it felt as if the entire audience held its breath. Whether it was surprise at the song choice or shock at how Motta evoked so much emotion by rolling and flipping poetically up and down the vertical cloth, dislocating his shoulder on purpose, sometimes hanging or swaying, and hoisting himself higher, I wasn’t sure. I only knew he chose a powerful song rife with innuendo about the inhuman injustice of lynchings to go with his equally powerful and dramaturgically tragic act. Mott...
Thanks for reading CircusTalk.News.
Support us by registering or subscribing!
To continue reading this article you must be logged in.
Register or login to unlock 2 free articles per month.

Do you have a story to share? Submit your news story, article or press release.

Kim Campbell

Kim Campbell has written about circus for CircusTalk.News, Spectacle magazine, Circus Now, Circus Promoters and was a resident for Circus Stories, Le Cirque Vu Par with En Piste in 2015 at the Montreal Completement Cirque Festival. They are the former editor of CircusTalk.News, American Circus Educators magazine, as well as a staff writer for the web publication Third Coast Review, where they write about circus, theatre, arts and culture. Kim is a member of the American Theater Critics Association.