Scarabeus Aerial Theatre has released a teaser trailer for their upcoming production, Emerging. The new show highlights the struggles and triumphs of young members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Emerging explores the relationship between circus artist Naissa Nielsen and his mother as together they tackle a journey full of gender expression, family, and uncertainty. The video combines dance, aerial circus, and real letter excerpts to give the audience a raw look at the connection between Naissa and his mother as they endeavor to better understand themselves and each other.
We had the opportunity to ask Naissa some questions about his act and its significance.
CircusTalk: Did making this video help your mother and you process some of the difficult emotions that arose around your transition?
Naissa Nielsen: “Making this video didn’t feel easy, and it brought up a lot of emotions that needed to be expressed and heard by each other. Writing letters was a safe way for us to communicate at that time, as you are able to get the words you want out without interruption or emotion. This method of communication that we used for the video helped us understand where each of us were coming from, and ultimately process some of the emotions around my transition. Having an outlet that would be received by the public gave us an opportunity to express things or simplify emotions that needed to be objectively understood, and I think this was a turning point in supporting each other. Helping an audience to understand where you’re coming from forces you to find new ways to say things or communicate things, and for me this helped me find a way to write or edit things that felt simpler and less complex, easier to digest and to ultimately process.”
CT: How has dance and circus helped you over the years to recognize your identity?
NN: “Dance and circus didn’t play a huge part in helping me recognise my identity, but more helped me survive how difficult the journey was to discovering my transness. When your struggle revolves around finding it difficult to inhabit your body, dance and circus gave me a reason to care for myself. I learnt how to love and care for my body knowing that my body wouldn’t be like this forever until I had access to medically transition. Dance especially also gave me an artistic voice where I could communicate my emotions without verbally explaining them. There is currently so much attention on trans people in the media, so when talking about my identity I was worried I would be accused of using other people’s words, or people not believing me if I had a different experience to the trans voices in the media. Dance gave me that voice to express things I didn’t even know I had the words for, but definitely had the movement for. For me also, dance and circus gave me a community and a space to explore, play and more importantly have fun regardless of my identity.”
Video and photos credited to Scarabeus Aerial Theatre.
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