State of the Art Conference--A Radical Circus Conference at the Birthplace of Circus - CircusTalk

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State of the Art Conference–A Radical Circus Conference at the Birthplace of Circus

Bright and early on Wednesday morning, April 18th, I made my way from London to Newcastle-Under-Lyme, a small town in Staffordshire county, England, for a conference organized by NoFit State Circus.
The location of this conference was not accidental. Newcastle-Under-Lyme is the birthplace of Philip Astley, who is considered by scholars to be the father of circus as we know it today. Born in 1742, Astley was a soldier and a trick rider who revolutionized his field – and planted the seeds to ours – when he first performed his riding tricks in the round, using the centrifugal force of the ring to his advantage, thus allowing generations of riders to find better balance on their horse’s back. His first use of the ring dates back to 1768, making 2018 the 250th anniversary of his important contribution to circus artists centuries later. This year, the UK is celebrating this anniversary with events galore, mostly under the umbrella of Circus250. The event, titled “The State of the Art: a Radical Circus Conference,” brought together circus practi...
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Stav Meishar

Stav Meishar was born and raised in Israel and leads a double life all around the world, mostly in New York City. During the day she runs Dreamcoat Experience, an award-winning nonprofit organization for arts-driven, experiential Jewish education. At night she is a writer and stage artist specializing in circus and theater. Sometimes, when she's lucky, she gets to be both at the same time – like with her most recent project, a solo performance based on the true story of a Jewish acrobat woman who survived the Holocaust by hiding and working at a German circus. Stav is committed to pursuing the gestalt of circus, history and education, but is incapable of committing to a single hair color.