Young, Fit, Exuberant Guys, and One Flexible Girl?: Performing Genders in Contemporary Circus
2017 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Circus attracts wide audiences with its manifestations that relate to contemporary and historical forms of entertainment. Offering such a variety of bodies and ways of being in a body, contemporary circus should be beyond of gender stereotypes and heteronormative storylines by now. Nevertheless, as Susie Williams of Acrobatic Conundrum noted in a 2016 blog post, the stereotype of “young, fit, exuberant guys and one flexible girl” persists. In contrast to masculine virility, a part of women circus performers is still stuck in the romantic-sentimental and sensual solo performances.
This lecture discusses two themes; first, feminist performance in contemporary circus and secondly, abject bodies as political circus activism. Feminist circus as in-your-face performance focuses on a political understanding of gender remapping abject bodies and their relations to ability, age, class, ethnicity, culture, geopolitical location, race, religion, and sexuality. What are the subversive ways to act gender differently in contemporary circus? How is gender intersectionally in relation to sexuality and race understood in contemporary feminist circus? Does the skillful mastery of movements exclude disabled bodies from circus? These are some of the questions this lecture will address in the hope of a greater inclusiveness and diversity in contemporary circus and contemporary performance in general.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Contemporary circus, critical theory, feminism, gender, intersectionality
Performing Art Studies
Research subject Theatre Studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-141596OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-141596DiVA: diva2:1087607
Who Is Who on Stage? Transaccions, Catalan professional Circus Association. Barcelona, Spain, March, 24, 2017