List of Activities
- Les archives du cirque: quoi, comment, pour qui, pourquoi?
Friday, January 31tst, 2014, 10am
- Tracy Zhan Talk
Friday, January 31st, 2014, 12:30pm
- Evaluating the Socio-Cultural Impact of Social Circus in Québec
February 28th, 2014, 1:30pm
- On Art, Business, Creativity and… Circus: In Conversation with Lyn Heward and Louis Patrick Leroux
March 12th, 2014, 6:30pm
- Thinking and Writing about Contemporary Circus
Tuesday, May 27th, 2014
- Montréal Complètement Cirque Working Group Events
July 2-13th, 2014
- Circus & Its Others
October 16th, 2014, 9:30-11:30am
- Creation and Ownership in Circus
Thursday, October 20th, 2014, 7pm
- Le clown au féminin en France et au Québec
Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014, 10am
Les archives du cirque: quoi, comment, pour qui, pourquoi?
OUVERT AUX CHERCHEURS, AUX ÉTUDIANTS, ET AUX PRATICIENS, svp réserver auprès de Myriam Villeneuve.
Le vendredi 31 janvier 2014, 10h
Anna-Karina Barlatti (École nationale de cirque de Montréal) et Stéphane Zummo (Cirque du Soleil)
Pôle de référence tant au niveau national qu’international, la Bibliothèque de l’École nationale de cirque a pour mission l’avancement, la préservation et la diffusion des arts du cirque. Grâce notamment à l’aide de la Fondation de l’École nationale de cirque et de donateurs privés, la Bibliothèque peut offrir à l’ensemble de la communauté l’accès à la richesse de ses collections, à des services et de l’expertise. Elle répond ainsi favorablement aux besoins grandissant en matière de recherche sur la pratique actuelle des arts du cirque et de son histoire. Comment s’articulent les enjeux de développement d’un centre documentaire spécialisé sur une forme d’art dont le patrimoine est fondé sur l’expérience éphémère de l’expression articulée des corps en “prise de risque” et transmis historiquement par tradition orale? C’est que la mémoire vivante des arts du cirque, avec ses accents immatériels, fait appel à un langage et à un processus distinctif de préservation et de mise en valeur. Cette communication propose une réflexion exploratrice sur les démarches mises en œuvre à la Bibliothèque relatives à la collecte d’archives auprès des artistes, au traitement et à la mise en valeurs de son patrimoine unique.
Documentaliste de formation, Anna-Karyna Barlati se passionne pour la sauvegarde et la diffusion des patrimoines artistiques à caractère non conventionnel. Cette orientation lui a permis de travailler auprès du Centre de recherche et de documentation de la Fondation Daniel Langlois et à la Bibliothèque des collections spéciales de l’Université de Montréal. Depuis 2004, elle dirige le développement de la Bibliothèque de l’École nationale de cirque.
Le Cirque du Soleil est doté d’un service classique de gestion documentaire regroupant à la fois les archives historiques, les documents administratifs et une collection de livres et autres documents visant à répondre aux besoins de la Création. Mais il y a plus encore. Dans cette entreprise très prolifique d’envergure internationale on y retrouve aussi des collections de costumes et d’accessoires de scène qui traduisent la nature unique de ses activités. L’objet de cette conférence consistera donc à présenter de façon schématique quelles sont ses collections et par le fait même expliquer qui les produit et dans quel but.
Diplômé en Technique documentaire, Stéphane Zummo a travaillé à titre de Technicien aux collections pour le Centre Canadien d’Architecture de 1993 à 2003. Depuis 2003, Stéphane agit à titre de Conseiller documentaire pour le Centre de recherche et de documentation du Cirque du Soleil. Il a d’autre part entrepris depuis 2008 un BAC en Archéologie et histoire ancienne à l’Université de Leicester en Angleterre.
After the Working Group’s morning session on Friday 31 January at National Circus School, those of you not involved in the Québec Circus History sub-group are invited to attend Tracy Zhan’s talk. Friday, January 31, 2014 at 12:30 p.m. in Room H 1252, Hall Building, Concordia University.
This presentation examines negotiations over the value and meanings of the acrobatic body in Sino-US cultural diplomacy during the Cold War era. Since the 1950s, Chinese communist leaders identified acrobatics as a tool of propaganda. However, the extent to which acrobatics could be used to glorify the proletariat and Red Guards (revolutionary youth) was disputed at the peak of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1970). As a result, many acrobatic troupes were closed down, and star performers were ordered to do farm work in the countryside. Nonetheless, an agreement on reviving “traditional acrobatics” was reached after President Nixon watched an acrobatic performance in Shanghai, and in 1972 a state-run acrobatic troupe went to the United States to promote Sino-US friendship. Under what political-social and physiological conditions did acrobats prepare for their American tour? How was the local understanding of Chinese traditional art translated into an “oriental performance” that
enchanted the American audience? Drawing on oral history interviews and archival data, this presentation aims to answer these questions. It will also reveal how acrobats’ embodied practices on-and-off the stage constituted multiple sites and politics of cultural diplomacy at a delicate moment of the Cold War.
Dr. Tracy Zhang is currently a Research Associate at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute. She also holds a FQRSC postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment.
Evaluating the Socio-Cultural Impact of Social Circus in Québec – February 28th, 2014 at 1:30 p.m., McGill University, room TBA.
OPEN TO RESEARCHERS, STUDENTS AND PRACTITIONERS
Jennifer Spiegel (Concordia University)
In the 1970s, Augusto Boal famously proposed a model of community based arts programming aimed at empowering some of the most marginalized members of a society to engaged and transform their communities as active participants, rather than passive spectators. According to Boal, each artistic modality offers a different set of tools for transforming individual and collective possibilities. This presentation therefore proposes a preliminary framework for assessing how social circus interventions can be evaluated. In keeping with the insights generated over the past twenty years in arts for social change research, it also elaborates the questions that arise concerning how these ways of “doing and making” interact with the various cultural traditions, values and aesthetics germane to the populations involved in social circus initiatives.
Dr. Jennifer Beth Spiegel is a post-doctoral research fellow at Concordia University in Montreal. She is leading the social circus field study as part of a large, 5 year Arts for Social Change (ASC) research project, in partnership with Cirque du Soleil
Circus as Community
Duncan Wall (National Circus School and Circus Now)
As the circus develops as an amateur practice, the uses for it as a social practice also become more evident. “Social circus,” largely youth-based, has widespread practice, as have political circus interventions. In this session, we will explore more direct uses for the circus arts in community-building, particularly in urban areas. What are the critical elements of community building and how can circus practice and performance a play a role? What models exist in other physical practices and what distinguishes circus as a bonding experience? We’ll also discuss efforts to build community within the circus world itself, among artists, practitioners, and fans. We’ll look at various models and consider some of the challenges and small successes of Circus Now, the emerging network in the United States.
Duncan Wall, a former Fulbright scholar at France’s École Nationale des Arts du Cirque de Rosny-sous-Bois, is the National Director of Circus Now and the author of The Ordinary Acrobat: Inside the Wondrous World of the Circus, Past & Present. He teaches circus history and criticism at the National Circus School of Montreal and is a Visiting Scholar at McGill University, studying community-building through the circus arts.
In Conversation with Lyn Heward (formerly of Cirque du Soleil)
and Louis Patrick Leroux. On Art, Business, Creativity and… Circus. – March 12th, 2014 at 6:30 p.m
D.B. Clark Theatre, Concordia University
OPEN TO ALL (reservations required online)
Concordia, Globe & Mail Conversation Series on Creativity
This is not a Working Group event, but by its themes, creativity through the arts, interdisciplinarity and circus and guest speakers point to a close affinity with our other talks and events. This will be an opportunity to engage in a public discussion on fundamental aspects of contemporary culture in Québec, as understood through its circus.
Lyn Heward is the former President and COO of Cirque du Soleil’s Creative Content Division and later worked as executive producer for a variety of special projects. She was involved in producing shows such as Varekai, Zumanity, and KA. She is an active and sought-after public speaker on innovation and creativity, leadership, and corporate culture.
Dr. Louis Patrick Leroux is founding director of the Working Group. He is a professor of English and French at Concordia University, specializing in Theatre, Québec Cultural Discourse, and Contemporary Circus. He has been a Scholar-in-residence at National Circus School in Montreal where he also is affiliated as an active collaborator with the Industrial Research Chair in Circus Arts with a specific focus on circus dramaturgy and the integration of technology.
Thinking and Writing about Contemporary Circus – Tuesday, May 27, 2014, time TBD
A panel discussion at the Canadian Association for Theatre Research
Curated by Karen Fricker (Brock) and Louis Patrick Leroux (Concordia)
Formally and aesthetically innovative circus practices are burgeoning worldwide in our times, with Québec one of the global hubs of contemporary circus creation, production, and touring. New scholarship on circus, in turn, is emergent: in 2011 the circus research community in France convened a first international circus studies conference, several important American volumes (by Susan Weber and Matthew Whitman) appeared in 2012, and influential French-language journals including L’Annuaire théâtral, Jeu, Globe, and Spirale have published special issues on Québec circus. The Montréal Working Group on Circus Research, with which both panel organizers are associated (Leroux as founding director, Fricker as co-founder), hosted an international conference in 2012 and runs 4-6 seminars and roundtables every academic year; McGill/Queens University Press is considering Cirque Global: Québec’s Expanding Circus Boundaries, a reader co-edited by Leroux and Charles Batson, which will include many chapters and transcripts that had their origins in Montréal Working Group activities.
This roundtable seeks to take stock of scholarly, performance-critical, and creative activity around circus across Canada, and to bring Québec circus researchers into dialogue with their Canadian counterparts. The conveners will offer position papers followed by group discussion and exchange. We welcome colleagues working on and interested in the aesthetics, ethics, business practices, pedagogical implications, and discursive significations of contemporary circus. While particularly interested in information and exchange about Canadian circus outside of Québec, colleagues working on Québécois and international circus practices are also welcome. The panel will focus on articulating and exploring the particularities of circus research, and its relationship to theatre and performance studies; it will ask how we as performance scholars can best use our skills and experience in approaching, analyzing, and writing about contemporary circus.
Montréal Complètement Cirque! – 2-13 July, 2014
Working Group, Circus Now & Circus Historical Society converge onto Montreal
Once again, Montreal Complètement Cirque will draw the circus world and diverse audiences to what promises to be an exciting festival of international contemporary circus. http://montrealcompletementcirque.com/ In addition to its regular programming, the festival brings together circus professionals and stakeholders for various discussions, panels, and workshops. Group members will be part of a number of those panels. Including the Social Circus panel detailed elsewhere in the newsletter.
Circus Now will be converging onto Montreal, 10-13 July for a series of talks and events. For more information: Click Here
The American Circus Historical Society will be holding its annual meeting for the first time in Montreal, 10-12 July at the Auberge royale Versailles. Schedule to follow. Click here for more information.
Louis Patrick Leroux will be giving a talk on the 10th, on the historical links that have tied Québec and American circus over the centuries.
Friday 11 July, 1-2:45 p.m., under the TOHU tent, Circus Now, the Circus Historical Society, and the Working Group on Circus Research will be combining forces and hosting a Conversation: “A Big Tent: Bridging the Gap between Circus Past and Present,” with the Circus Historical Society & the Montreal Working Group on Circus Research.
Despite the circus evolutions and revolutions of the last forty years, much remains consistent in the way circus artists perform, train, and live, and in the special satisfaction that circus performance offers to fans. What then to make of this divide between “traditional” and “contemporary” circus? Where does it come from? Does it accurately reflect the changing nature of circus or is it counterproductive? What common ground can be found among the forms, and how can the different circus communities work to support each other? Come join some of the most knowledgeable circus scholars in North America for what promises to be a lively, productive discussion about a collective passion and diverse perspective.
Panelists will include colleagues from all three associations as well as circus professionals. Confirmed participants: Jan Rok Achard, Andreane Leclerc, Louis Patrick Leroux, Brian Liddicoat, Al Stencell, Duncan Wall.
July 3-6, 2014
Circus Stories – Le cirque vu par…
Initiated by En Piste, with the support of Fresh Arts Coalition Europe, and inspired by “Unpack the Arts”, Circus Stories, Le cirque vu par… is a residency program for cultural journalists from Canada and the Northeastern United States attending Montréal Complètement Cirque and working to develop critical discourse regarding the circus arts, to encourage the circulation of knowledge and to foster the role of media in relation to the circus arts. Our colleague Karen Fricker will be participating and, hopefully, giving us a report.
July 7, 2014 4-6pm
TABLE-RONDE : Le Cirque social
PANEL Discussion: SOCIAL CIRCUS
Lieu / Place : TOHU (2345, rue Jarry Est) 7 Juillet, 16h-18h; 7 July, 4 to 6 p.m.
Intervenants : David Simard (Chargé du développement de contenu en cirque social, Cirque du Soleil); Jennifer Beth Spiegel (chercheuse postdoctorale, Université de Concordia); modérateur – Louis Patrick Leroux (Professeur agréé en théâtre et littérature québécoise, Université Concordia); Anne Charpentier (coordonnatrice, En Marge 12-17); Jesse Dryden (instructeur de cirque social)
Un portrait du cirque social dans le monde sera présenté par David Simard à travers l’outil de mapping développé par le Cirque du Soleil. Jennifer Spiegel présentera les toutes dernières études effectuées sur ce type d’intervention en parallèle avec son travail de recherche autour du projet Hors-Piste. Une intervenante et un instructeur en cirque social, Anne Charpentier et Jesse Dryden, partageront leur expérience terrain, forte de leur participation à plusieurs projets d’action locale. Cette rencontre sera animée par Louis Patrick Leroux du Groupe de travail sur la recherche en cirque.
David Simard will present a worldwide portrayal of social circus via a mapping tool concieved by the Cirque du Soleil. Jennifer Spiegel will display the latest studies carried out by this kind of intervention linked with her research on the Hors-Piste project. Anne Charpentier, a social circus speaker, will share her field experience, predominantly efficient in many local projects. Patrick Louis Leroux of the Montreal Working Group on Circus Research will lead this session.
*Activité bilingue anglais/français avec traduction simultanée. Ouvert à tous.
Circus & Its Others – Thursday, October 16th, 2014, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
LB 646, dept of English, Concordia University
Exploring a new field
Discussion hosted by Charles Batson and Karen Fricker
Circus practices have long offered a celebration and an exploitation of differences, from stagings of exceptional performing bodies to the display of “freakery.” This new research project will explore the relationship of contemporary circus to this legacy, asking to what extent and in what ways circus is always-already different, and about difference. We will explore this question from aesthetic, dramaturgical, pedagogical, and entrepreneurial perspectives, looking at diversities including but not limited to gender and gender expression, ethnic and national origin, geography, able-ness, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, and species. In this initial discussion invited participants will make short presentations on their approach to these questions, followed by discussion.
Confirmed participants include Patrice Aubertin (École Nationale de Cirque), Roy Gomez Cruz (Northwestern University), David Fancy (Brock University), Yohann Floch (Freelance cultural consultant, France), Erin Hurley (McGill University), Katie Lavers (Edith Cowan University, Australia), Andréane Leclerc (circus artist, Montréal), VK Preston (McGill University), Christabelle Sethna (University of Ottawa), and Tracy Zhang (Université de Montréal).
Please confirm your presence with Karen Fricker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Creation and Ownership in Circus – Thursday, October 30, 2014, 7:00pm
National Circus School of Montreal
A panel discussion with professionals, trainers, and students
Creation and Ownership in Circus
Who truly “owns” circus acts? The artist, the director, the company, the various contributors, trainers? How to unweave the layered influences? What are some of the ethical and commercial issues? What are the models in today’s circus practice and their limits; how are these models particular to circus?
Guests will include Sarah Poole (National Circus School), Jesse Dryden (Circus Schmirkus), Marie-Louise Donald, LLB, Patrice Aubertin (National Circus School), Samuel Tétreault (7 doigts de la main), chair: Louis Patrick Leroux (Concordia University)
Please confirm your presence with Myriam Villeneuve: email@example.com
Le clown au féminin en France et au Québec – Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 10:00am
Conférence de Delphine Cézard suivie d’une discussion sur la place et l’apport des femmes clowns.
Local LB 646 (6e étage, édifice “Library”), 1400 de Maisonneuve Ouest, Université Concordia
Docteure en sciences de l’art (sociologie), Delphine Cézard est également artiste de cirque (cordiste et performeuse), grande lectrice et amatrice d’arts divers et du combat. Elle est l’auteur de l’ouvrage Les “Nouveaux clowns”. Approche sociologique de l’identité, de la profession et de l’art du clown aujourd’hui (L’Harmattan) et de nombreux articles sur le clown et la figure féminine du clown. http://nouveauxclowns.com
“The Female Clown in France and Québec”, a conference by Delphine Cézard, followed by a discussion, with Québec-based clowns on the place and the contributions of women to clowning. The conference will be held in French, without translation. As usual, Q&A will be bilingual.