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29.06.2019 Circus Sessions i, 2019 Post Performance Discussion about research and development at the Toronto Centre for the Arts
performanceposted on 27.02.2020, 10:19 by Michelle Man
Michelle Man was principle investigator and facilitator of Circus Sessions 2019, an international Canadian Arts Council funded research and development project that brought together fourteen female artists from five different countries. Collaborating with accessibility facilitator Alex Blumer and the artistic organization Femmes du Feu, the project culminated in two performances at the Toronto Centre of the Arts, Canada. Taking as its starting point notions of conviviality or 'convivencia' in artistic collaborative processes, the embodied research in Circus Sessions took as its foci positive receptivity, hospitality and fascination as creative tools in collective devising processes. Recognizing risk as inherent in circus technique and performance, this project that worked with a select group of mature female artists, sought to question what risks and acts of empowerment might be attached to identity making and artistic expression for the maturing circus artist. By facilitating working environments of conviviality, which resonate with the prevalent concerns in contemporary socio cultural theory (Gilroy, 2004; Wise and Noble, 2016), new ways of recognising with-ness, and negotiating tensions that arose from cultural-artistic difference were found.