The Simultaneous Births of Diana & Delusional

Circus News

The Simultaneous Creations of Diana & Delusional

Diana Salles and Firenza Guidi both have enormous smiles. They speak from the heart and listen patiently with unwavering, attentive eyes. Individually, they are charming, and together they are a riveting powerhouse of artistic drive. Guidi: “I do it because otherwise I would burst.” Salles: “It’s just this need of creating. You’re born with it.” Guidi: “If you don’t have that urge to get it out, why not go and play golf?” We laughed together with mutual understanding. They are deep in the creation process of Delusional: I killed a man, a new solo show starring Salles, directed by Guidi. “It’s a provocation—I killed a man—because of course,” Salles explained with her hand to her heart, “I loved that man. Maybe the man I’ve ever loved the most is Diego. That’s why I speak so openly about him. I hate him sometimes because I feel oppressed, but it wasn’t really the character [of Diego] – we are all characters. It’s more that I was so forced to be a man, be a man, be a man. Sometimes it’s a relief. Oh gosh! He’s gone! But also a burden. Did I kill him? In the end, Delusional is a thought-provoking show, a chance to connect, to explore, to cope. It’s a huge coping mechanism for me. I don’t know how I would be dealing as well with this transition if I wasn’t creating Delusional. [It] gives me the distance from my reality to digest and break it apart.”
Hailing from Brazil and Italy respectively, Salles and Guidi are internationally renowned, award-winning artists. Their paths collided working on Sabotage by NoFit State circus. “In many ways it’s a shame,” Guidi reflected, “that we don’t have that documentation. From the very first few shows, over an arch of four to five months, things really changed. Slowly—if people had been aware—they would have seen Diego’s costume changing, posture changing, body changing, relationships in terms of physical bodies on stage changing until,” she turned to Salles, who completed the sentence with a smile, “Diana.” “Diana,” Guidi repeated, “arrived and was born.” ...
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Madeline Hoak

Madeline Hoak is an artist and academic who creates with, through, and about circus. She is a Writer for CircusTalk, Adjunct Professor of Aerial Arts and American Circus History at Pace University, Editor and Curatorial Director of TELEPHONE: an international arts game, and curator and director of Cirkus Moxie, a weekly contemporary circus show at Brooklyn Art Haus. Madeline has performed, coached, produced, and choreographed at elite regional and international venues. Her background in dance and physical theater is infiltrated into her coaching and creation style. She is passionate about providing her students holistic circus education that includes physical, historical, theoretical resources. Madeline initiated the Aerial Acrobatics program at her alma mater, Muhlenberg College, where she taught from 2012-2017. She is also a regular contributor to Cirkus Syd's Circus Thinkers international reading group. Her circus research has been supported by Pace, NYU, and Concordia University. Recent publications include "Teaching the Mind-Body: Integrating Knowledges through Circus Arts'' (with Alisan Funk, Dan Berkley), a chapter in Art as an Agent for Social Change, "expanding in(finite) between," a multimedia essay in Circus Thinks: Reflections, 2020, and "Digital Dance & TELEPHONE: A Unique Spectator Experience." Madeline has presented academic papers at numerous conferences including Circus and its Others (UC Davis), International Federation for Theatre Research (University of Reykjavík), the Popular Culture Association, Gallatin (NYU), and McGill University. Madeline earned an MA from Gallatin, New York University’s School of Independent Study, where she designed a Circus Studies curriculum with a focus on spectatorship.