Kiki Muukkonen of Subtopia on Swedish Circus & CirkusMania

Circus News

Kiki Muukkonen and Subtopia: Carving New Paths for the Circus Movement

Subtopia is an artists’ and art organization’s mecca nestled near the east coast of Sweden. It is a facilitator of dreams and culture for a myriad of art forms, particularly contemporary circus.  On any given day, Subtopia is home to around 200 people from 80 organizations. With a thoughtful and enchanting cadence, Kiki Muukkonen, Artistic Director of Circus, told me about how she stumbled into what has become a long career as an advocate of circus arts and is experimenting with new ways to bridge the gap between artists and presenters.
Madeline Hoak: What does Subtopia offer artists and art organizations, and how is circus part of that? Kiki Muukkonen, Artistic Director of Circus at Subtopia Kiki Muukkonen: What we do is we rent or let spaces to arts organizations, and then we also support them in different ways. We call it “arts clusters”, which means it’s an organization that houses arts and culture organizations. There’s a lot of circus, yes, but there’s also film, puppetry, dance, theater, music — there’s basically everything in the arts represented in ...
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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.