Man is author and director of this interdisciplinary practice research project that explored the development of contemporary circus techniques through a synthesis of hand-to-hand acrobatics, dance and architecture. The project was awarded an £8,000 (equivalent) research grant from Beca Fundación Mustakis, Aporte País, Chile 2016, and was developed with the Chilean circus artists Denisse del Pilar Mena Apablaza and Yerko Andrés Castillo Rebolledo.
The INTERFACES research focused on developing new ways of generating acrobatic language for circus artists beyond the traditional spaces of the tent and theatre. The research centred on embodied enquiries that were directed through an architectural lens in order to garner the physical and creative opportunities available in the notions of traction, compression, contortion and flexion. Apablaza and Rebolledo’s speciality of hand-to-hand technique is grounded in an extremely refined sense of balance and support, as well as rhythm and trust. The initial physical contact with constructed surfaces challenged the plasticity of the artists’ body schema, generating a productive dis-orientation, which in turn provoked the need to re-calibrate the bodily tension required to share effort, gravity and suspension with solid architectures. The project also tested the viability of a phenomenological approach, which “suspends as much as possible bias, expectations or prior knowledge in order to inhabit the immediate moment of perception” (Kozel, 2007:18), when accounting for the haptic encounter of circus body with constructed architectures.
The main body of research took place at Edge Hill University. INTERFACES adopted an A/R/Tography framing as outlined by Irwin and Springgay (2005, 2008), in order to enhance the circus practitioner’s development as artist/researcher/teacher. In doing so, this enabled Apablaza and Rebolledo to approach the dissemination and expansion of the research in Chile from this triangulation of perspectives, offering project presentations, workshops and performances in the Social Project Circo Fruitillar and in Santiago de Chile.
Kozel, S. (2007) Closer: Performance, Technologies, Phenomenology. Massachusetts: The MIT Press.
Springgay, S., Irwin, R. L., Leggo, C., & Gouzouasis, P. (Eds.). (2008). Being with A/r/tography. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
Springgay, S.; Irwin, R. & Wilson Kind, S. (2005) ‘A/r/tography as Living Inquiry Through Art and Text,’ Qualitative Inquiry. Vol. 11, No. 6. p. 897-912
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 20 Jun 2016|
- contemporary circus