People of Color in Contemporary Circus

Circus News

The Ripple Effect of Continued Conversation: People of Color in Contemporary Circus

There is power in gathering. Storytelling, sharing ideas and laughter are tangible things. Currently, we are lucky to have virtual means to connect, yet there is no substitute for people sharing space and intention. While it remains uncertain when we will meet in groups again, I’m honored to reflect on a meaningful gathering that took place on November 6, 2019. The event, People of Color in Contemporary Circus, was a Long Table discussion hosted by Gibney Dance, a prominent dance institution in New York City. Core participants were Kiebpoli “Black*Acrobat”  Calnek, burlesque performer Denae “Ravenessa” Hannah,  Paris the Hip Hop Juggler, and Susan Voyticky, Artistic Director of Loki Circus Theater. 
This is the third and final article of a series that is meant to continue the conversation. As Monique Martin, the event’s host and Director of Programming at Harlem Stage, said as we settled into the room, “There is no end, but there will be a conclusion.”  Earlier in the evening, we talked about the black body in public space, ...
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Madeline Hoak

Madeline is a NYC based performer, producer, professor, and choreographer specializing in aerial, acrobatics, dance and movement direction. She is an adjunct professor of Aerial Arts at Pace University, on staff at Aerial Arts NYC and The Muse Brooklyn and initiated the Aerial program at Muhlenberg College where she taught from 2011 - 2017. Her movement direction contributed to Circle Theater NYC’s production of The Mountain winning Outstanding Original Choreography/Movement, 2015. She co-choreographed The Battles, a musical voted by Broadway producer Ken Davenport one of the top 10 new scripts of 2016. Madeline's choreography has been presented at Dixon Place, Circus Warehouse, BAX, The House of Yes, Abron Arts Center, Times Square, The Flea, STREB, Galapagos, and The Muse. She received BAs in Dance and Theater from Muhlenberg College and is currently studying at NYU’s Gallatin school of Individualized Study where she is designing a master’s degree in circus studies with a focus on dramaturgy and creative processes.