Practitioners Academics Unite Circus and Its Others 2021

Circus News

Practitioners and Academics Unite! A Sneak Peek into Circus and Its Others, 2021

I’ve had a daydream of this scene before: a curious scholar peers through a telescope from a high window in the ivory tower of academia. They adjust the lens to get a better view of the circus tent in the field below. What are they doing in there? Holding the tent flap aside, circus practitioners take turns pointing binoculars back at the tower. What are they thinking up there? Sometimes, circus practice and circus theory feel impossibly far apart, and the distance between the tent and the tower can foster misunderstanding or even suspicion. My daydream optimistically goes on: acrobats use trampolines, or maybe a teeterboard, to alight into the tower windows; academics zip line into the big top; or the two groups simply meet on a bridge spanning the castle’s moat and talk the evening away. Sometimes, all it takes is the right tool or the right space to create proximity which encourages communal discourse.
Circus and its Others (CaiO) is just that: an opportunity for practitioners and scholars to close the distance between their respective inquiries. As described on its website, CaiO is “an international, cross-disciplinary research project that explores the ways in which contemporary circus artists and companies relate to concepts such as difference, otherness, and alterity in their practice. “Although it wears the coat of an academic conference, co-director Charles Batson (Union College) says CaiO has made the choice “to always work in a space where there are practitioners and artists. Working in a specific silo, one may go in one direction – it may be a hugely exciting direction, but wow! – how even more exciting it can be when other voices step ou...
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Madeline Hoak

Madeline is a NYC based performer, producer, professor, and choreographer specializing in aerial, acrobatics, dance and movement direction. She is an adjunct professor of Aerial Arts at Pace University, on staff at Aerial Arts NYC and The Muse Brooklyn and initiated the Aerial program at Muhlenberg College where she taught from 2011 - 2017. Her movement direction contributed to Circle Theater NYC’s production of The Mountain winning Outstanding Original Choreography/Movement, 2015. She co-choreographed The Battles, a musical voted by Broadway producer Ken Davenport one of the top 10 new scripts of 2016. Madeline's choreography has been presented at Dixon Place, Circus Warehouse, BAX, The House of Yes, Abron Arts Center, Times Square, The Flea, STREB, Galapagos, and The Muse. She received BAs in Dance and Theater from Muhlenberg College and is currently studying at NYU’s Gallatin school of Individualized Study where she is designing a master’s degree in circus studies with a focus on dramaturgy and creative processes.