SYMPOSIUM OF CIRCUS THINKING
!23rd / 24th October 2021!
We've got four boss key notes speakers giving 1.5 hour talks including questions.
We've also got an exciting panel discussion with four amazing thinkers and facilitated by the incredible Ania Upstill.
9:00AM Saturday 23rd Oct
Frailty and Infertility; How Victorian-era Gender Myths Still Permeate Modern Day Circus
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Morgan Barbour is an American writer, circus artist, and movement director with a split homebase between London and Los Angeles. She specialises in flying trapeze and doubles hoop. She has spent her career analysing and challenging myths based in misogynistic pseudoscience in both sport and circus.
3:00PM Saturday 23rd Oct
Plus-Size Inclusion in Circus Performance and Instruction
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Ginger Snaps is an award-winning burlesque performer, aerialist, and producer from Austin, TX. She is the Performance Manager for Sky Candy aerial arts, as well as the founder of the Buxom Blaze Festival - the world’s first plus size burlesque, drag, and variety fest. Ginger is very passionate about spreading the gospel of plus size inclusion in circus arts and dance.
5:00PM Saturday 23rd Oct
Thinking Circus? Creative Discourse and Analysis
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Dr. Franziska Trapp is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Berlin, and the Université Libre de Bruxelles. She is the founder of Zirkus | Wissenschaft, an international meeting place for circus researchers, the intiator of the Young Researchers Network in Circus Studies and organizer of international conferences.
12:00PM Sunday 24th Oct
It's Not Our Fault: Normalizing and Overcoming the Struggles of the Modern Circus Artist
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Shannon McKenna, aerialist and entrepreneur. In 2018, Shannon launched The Artist Athlete, an online resource that produces educational material for aerialists. Through online workshops, e-books, and other virtual events, The Artist Athlete bridges the gap between the professional and recreational worlds of circus arts.
Queerness and Circus
10:00AM Sunday 24th October
Hosted by Ania Upstill, riveting discussion around queerness and circus will be had by our amazing group of panelists: Charles Batson, Ess Hödlmoser, Eric McGill, & Jennifer Miller.
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Charles R. Batson, Professor at Union College, Schenectady, NY, and immediate Past President of the American Council for Québec Studies, has taught and published widely on French and Francophone cultural production and performance, including circus, dance, and theatre. His teaching, research, and personal interests related to intersections of circus studies, queer studies, and Québec studies have led him to publications such as his co-edited volume Cirque Global: Quebec’s Expanding Circus Boundaries (McGill-Queens, 2016) as well as to co-directing the Circus and its Others research initiative. He also has recently launched with CircusTalk the series “Journeys Through Queer Circus.”
Eric McGill is a Canadian trapeze artist based in the United Kingdom. Eric started his acrobatic career at the age of seven as a competitive trampolinist. In 2010 Eric graduated from the National Circus School in Montreal. With his swinging trapeze and aerial straps acts he has worked in cabarets, big tented shows and large outdoor festivals around the world including Germany, Mexico, Australia, Canada, and the UK to name a few. From his home base in Wales, Eric has also created numerous solo works exploring the experience of doing trapeze using POV camera work, projections and virtual reality.
Ess (they/them) is an award-winning trans nonbinary circus artist and writer from T:karonto (Toronto), Canada. Their work uses contortion and aerial straps vocabulary to examine the body in transitory states, and the fine line between what we deem beautiful and what we deem grotesque. Ess’s artistic rigour and creative drive has brought their work international recognition on the world stages like Cirque de Demain, France’s Got Talent, the 6th International China Festival & the Moulin Rouge. Ess maintains a small but mighty catalogue of ongoing writing projects: their DIY zine, Writing the Circus, unpacks contemporary circus arts through a lens of Disability studies, critical race theory, and queer theory; their hardcover coffeetable book Slow Circus: VACUUM looks at the relationship between that piece of circus art, gender performativity, normalcy, transness, and more; and they have recently been awarded a grant by the Toronto Arts Council to continue developing a written project centring around their experiences performing with Troy James at the 40th Cirque de Demain festival.