Back Pocket is an international start-up circus company with big plans. They want to create their show and do the world festival circuit in hopes that they have something unique to offer the industry and a way to make a living while doing what they love. They have specific goals too–they want to make an impact on US circus, and to be part of the growing group of professionals determined to help contemporary circus gain more of a foothold in American cultural institutions. But somewhere in between the lines as we spoke this summer at a cafe in Chicago, it became clear that what they want most of all is just a chance to create their own work. They are in a unique place and time in history, where being an entrepreneurial start-up circus company has many successful precedents, but no blueprint or manual on how to proceed, so they are diving in, full of vim and vigor, well-equipped with talent, sound training and good contacts, but still to some extent, making it up as they go.
Nowadays, 4 of the groups 5 members (Devin Henderson, Maya Kesselman, Dominic Cruz & Michael Hottier) are on tour with the Cirque du Soleil show Luzia. Their fifth member Aurelien Oudot is currently working in Europe. Working for a big company has given them insight in to the industry, clocked them tons of performance experience, and helped them to pay their dues as young performers, but the genesis of Back Pocket began long before they were touring the world–it started with grade school friends in an after school circus program at Circus Center in San Francisco and solidified into a dynamic group of hoop tumblers. In the years between graduation from professional circus school and the present, though their high skill level has served them well, fetching them gigs at the best circuses, they have longed for free re...
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