Welcoming the Grip: hospitality in collaborative circus performance making

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther (conference)peer-review


In the body of artistic work I am sharing, I propose how a notion of hospitality can be offered as both a philosophy and a framing for the development of contemporary circus language. My artistic research focuses on the minutia of acts of exchange between circus bodies during the enmeshing of the different physicalities found in hand-to-hand acrobatics and released-based techniques. From my most recent work with the award-winning Catalonian contemporary circus company eia and their production Nuye (2021) I draw attention to the collaborative devising processes where creative tensions emerge and a notion of hospitality reveals itself as a philosophy for action as well as a generative choreographic tool. Derrida claims that, “[a]n act of hospitality can only be poetic" (2000:2), a gesture of giving and receiving that is in itself always an act of possible reversibility. For Derrida, hospitality becomes a lens and a means of re-thinking the political and ethical in that which is foreign to the body. In the melding of circus and dance techniques the artist encounters estrangement; circus artists work with their bodies in ways which are perceived as extreme and engrained with emotional and physical resistance. From a choreographer’s perspective, I encourage attention on how dance comes to circus as ‘other’ through gentle suggestion and acts of exchange with circus skill. In doing so I hope to enable the teasing of distinct textural and communicative qualities from an otherwise ‘tight-fisted’ embodiment, thus inviting the artist to transgress the assumed borders of circus self.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2022
EventPerformance Studies international Annual Conference: Artistic Research Working Group - online
Duration: 6 Jul 20227 Jul 2022
Conference number: 27


ConferencePerformance Studies international Annual Conference
Abbreviated titlePSi#27 Hunger
Internet address

Research Groups

  • Practice Research Group


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