Articles tagged with: circus

  • Brock prof and alumna explore circus performance in joint publication

    Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts Karen Fricker and MA graduate Hayley Malouin at the conference Circus and its Others II in Prague this past August. The two have recently published a special double issue of Performance Matters, titled “Circus and Its Others,” exploring questions around circus performance and gender, difference and dis/ability. (Photo by David Konecny)


    (From The Brock News, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 | by Alison Innes)

    For many people, the circus is a place of mystery and wonder, filled with the extraordinary, unusual and strange.

    But what does it mean to be different and what does it mean to perform those differences?

    For Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts Karen Fricker and Brock alumna Hayley Malouin (BA ’15, MA ’17), these questions have led to a joint publication in the emerging field of circus studies.

    The pair launched a special double issue of the journal Performance Matters, titled “Circus and Its Others,” Aug. 28 in Prague at the similarly named Circus and Its Others II conference.

    Inspired by the inaugural Encounters with Circus and its Others conference organized by Fricker with assistance from Malouin in 2016, the publication features contributions from established scholars, graduate students and circus artists from around the world. Many of the contributors were in Prague to participate in the second conference and celebrate at the launch.

    The conference series brings together scholars from around the world to explore questions about the place of difference and “otherness” in contemporary circus.

    “We’re asking questions about circus in a way that allows people who have been working at these questions from different perspectives and different places to jump on board,” says Fricker.

    Malouin, who has an undergraduate degree from Brock in Dramatic Arts, explored ideas of public performance, political protest and public performance of the grotesque as part of her MA in Studies in Comparative Literature and the Arts.

    “Circus is an interesting cultural touchstone because it reflects societal norms about people, community and politics. This is in contrast to the image of circus – which circuses themselves cultivate – as existing on the margins of society,” says Malouin.

    The special issue of Performance Matters was her first foray into academic publishing. In addition to co-editing the issue with Fricker, Malouin worked with other circus scholars, including Brock student Taylor Zajdlik (BA ’15, MA ’17), on a section of the journal exploring questions of queerness and freakery in the circus.

    “It was a great experience to establish myself as someone with those skills,” says Malouin. “I really care about the work, I feel it’s important. It’s a substantial contribution to an emerging field.”

    The special edition also includes work by DART Associate Professor David Fancy on disability and the circus, making reference to a creative research project in which he participated involving intellectually disabled survivors of institutional abuse.

    The questions Fricker and Malouin are researching have application beyond the circus to culture as a whole.

    “What we’re looking at is how questions about difference and otherness play out in certain practices in the contemporary moment,” says Fricker. “And more broadly we’re asking, how do we work to make culture more inclusive?”

    The full issue can be read online for free.

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    Categories: Alumni, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Brock Professor Collaborates with Dramatic Arts Graduates on New Circus Theatre Show in Niagara Falls

    MEDIA RELEASE
    David Fancy, a faculty member of the Department of Dramatic Arts at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, is no stranger to new ventures.

    A veteran creator of new theatre productions that explore current events and engage the Niagara Region, he joined forces with former Cirque du Soleil performers Kosta Zakharenko and Christine Cadeau in 2010 to form Zacada Entertainment.

    “We wanted to combine theatre and circus in new ways,” says Fancy, who’s equally comfortable in the classroom as in the rehearsal studio. “The fusion of genres really permits some unique opportunities for dynamic forms of contemporary expression,” he notes.

    This year, the Zacada Entertainment crew will present a new Cirque Cabaret show, entitled Shotgun Wedding, at Niagara Falls’ 650-seat Greg Frewin Theatre.

    Shotgun Wedding features the story of two star-crossed lovers forced to get married by their deeply religious parents. On their way to Niagara Falls for the ceremony they each secretly decide to have one last fling with the person of their dreams.

    “The production deals with perennial concerns of love and relationships,” says Fancy, “but also shines a humorous and probing light on issues pertaining to Niagara, including migrant labour, tourism, and gambling.”

    Zacada is particularly happy to be working with three recent graduates of Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts (DART) who will be taking up the acting and singing roles in Shotgun Wedding.

    Mitchell Allanson, Marley Kajan, and Sean Rintoul have all finished their Honours Dramatic Arts degrees over the past three years, and have gone on to further training and professional creative opportunities around the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

    Kajan, a native of Welland, is pleased to be joining the company. “All three of us DART grads are super-happy to have been brought aboard to help bring this show to life,” she says.

    “These kinds of opportunities for intensive professionalization are gold,” says Rintoul, a 2- year veteran of other Zacada productions.

    Marly Kajan, DART Graduate

    Recent Zacada show Fancy has written and directed that have toured Ontario include Circus Revolution, a story about Marxist clowns who escape a gulag by means of their circus prowess, and Circus Labyrinth, a piece that explores creative responses to contemporary forms of social control.

    For its part, Shotgun Wedding features original Niagara-themed musical theatre numbers with support from a seven-piece band, as well as high-octane performances from over 10 cirque artists from Zacada Entertainment’s extensive pool of talent.Silks artists, contortionists, acrobats, and a host of other highly skilled cirque performances each grace the stage for every performance of Shotgun Wedding.

    The production team for Shotgun Wedding is currently in high gear with rehearsals and development for the June 9th opening. The show will be performed sixty times over the course of the summer.

    “We’re deeply excited about this new show,” says Vittoria Wikston, General Manager of the Greg Frewin Theatre, “Especially with how it offers national level talent and serves as a unique reflection of the many strengths and talents of our region.”

    “We couldn’t be happier about having this exciting new addition to our roster of shows,” says master magician and theatre owner, Greg Frewin.

    He adds, “It’s going to be an awesome summer.”

    Website: shotgunwedding.ca
    Brock Promotional code for 20% discount is ShotgunBrock

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Department/Centre News, Media Releases, News