The first production of the Contemporary Circus & Immersive Arts Center (CCIAC)is a good sign for the development of contemporary circus in the USA, especially when that production features a residency element as it does in conjunction with Artist First. Check out the local article linked below to learn more about CCIAC’s plans for the center.
In a development that feels like it would happen only in the hip and funky place that is today’s Collar City, a new circus-arts company is launching itself in a park with a free show featuring a fox on a trapeze.
Called “Roadkill” — more on that title choice at the end of the story — the show, running Sept. 27 and 28 in Prospect Park, is the first public production of the Contemporary Circus & Immersive Arts Center, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to presenting, promoting and producing work related to the contemporary circus. (Think Cirque du Soleil, not Ringling Bros.) It was founded by Aaron Marquise, a 28-year-old Capital Region native who trained at the world-renowned National Circus School in Montreal and moved to Troy three years ago to develop circus works. While working day jobs, including now in the education department at Proctors in Schenectady, he presented several shows under the company name Marquise Productions, then evolved it into CCIAC.
Among its programs is Artist First, under which CCIAC brings performers to Troy to develop new works. A residency-style program that gives one or two individual performers or companies per year artistic support as well as rehearsal and performance space, Artist First further provides assistance with the business side of the arts, including marketing, promotion, logistics, budgets, fundraising and more. A residency also includes stipend, albeit a small one at the moment.
“I’m so happy and fortunate to have this opportunity. It’s very hard to find this kind of support for circus work in America,” says Cooper Stanton, the circus artist who created and will perform “Roadkill.” A New York City-based classmate of Marquise’s from the National Circus School, Stanton makes his living as a performer, dividing time between acting gigs and circus-related works. He says he’s long had an inchoate idea for a show about the life of fox told through movement, dance, music and circus skills including acrobatics, juggling and aerial work on trapeze and hanging fabric, but there was never time or funding to develop it.
CCIAC’s Artist First provided both. Stanton came to Troy three times earlier this year for a few days each visit, returning this week to hone the show until its public performances. He and Marquise have worked closely on every element, from broad story outlines to specific moments and movements.
“When he first got here, there was no show. There was nothing but a concept,” says Marquise. Together they built a general narrative for a 45-minute performance that starts with Stanton in the air for fabric work, moves to the ground for the middle portion and ends with him on a trapeze hanging from a 30-foot-high rig…
Read the Full Article at Times Union
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