As we get ready for the Spring session 2016, I wanted to take the opportunity to share some thoughts on creativity, performance, and circus!
The focus of the Spring session is Creativity. That doesn’t only mean that we’ll be having recitals and student showcases (more on that later), it means that we’ll be focusing on the fact that circus is not simply an athletic endevour. When you come to a circus school, you are not there to “just” work out, or “just” learn tricks. You should also be there because some part of you appreciates the value of performing arts, and of creative and expressive movement.
Gymnastics is a sport. A very entertaining sport. You get to see amazing athletes do incredible things, and your expectations of the capacity of the human body are adjusted accordingly.
Circus is an art. Circus exists not only to expand our expectations of the “possible,” but to express fundemental pieces of the human experience. Circus teaches us about trust, about strength, about risk, about hard work. Good circus acts leave us feeling empowered and inspired…not because they contain brillant stunts, but because athleticism is contained and presented within emotional and meaningful context.
To experience circus without performing or watching others perform is like taking a Pilates class and saying you understand ballet. Yes, Pilates is valuable and serves an amazing purpose…but to mistake ballet for an athletic endevour is to miss the point.
So in the Spring session get ready for some different stuff!
You may be asked to climb like a monkey. You may be asked to get to sitting on the trapeze without using your left hand. You may have to move your body instinctively to music. As you encounter these things, I ask you only to keep an open mind, laugh and roll with the punches. Class will be more fun! You’ll have more of an adventure as we ask you to create your own shapes, tricks and sequences. You wouldn’t be at PSCA if you did not contain a rebel, if you were not willing to take risks…you ARE that person already. Performing is just a different, and sometimes scarier, kind of risk.
In the Spring session, there will be two types of classes: regular classes and Performance Prep classes.
Regular classes will essentially be business as usual. We’ll incorporate creative movement exercises, you may be asked to work with partners to create new poses and transitions, but the class will maintain basically the same thing. In the last week of classes, we’ll have an informal “recital,” where each class will perform a sequence or set of tricks they’ve been working on for everyone else in the room and anyone they happen to invite. This will be a super casual way for us to all clap for each other and share our small victories (and a chance for the teachers to compete and see who’s class is coolest.).
Performance Prep classes are a bit different. These classes are Open Level, but are specifically for people who would like to perform a solo, duo or small group number in a Student Showcase. The Student Showcases are on May 13th-15th, and will be actual performances! We’ll break out the theatrical lights, hang the black curtains all around the space and sell tickets. Any level of student can participate…the showcases are not about being amazing circus stars, they’re about being empowered, proud and creative students of all ages who want to perform some of the work you’ve worked on so hard. In performance prep classes you’ll be expected to do some independent time with the coaches guidance. You may request to learn specific tricks, or get help with specific sequences, or ask for advice on music, theme or choreography. Think of Performance Prep classes as shared private lessons where you can develop a solo, duo or group number with your friends with the guidance of the coach. You should NOT come to Performance Prep classes expecting a class led by the teacher with tricks and sequences; Performance Prep is a collaboration between you and coach to create a piece for a student showcase! That being said, if you develop an act and don’t want to perform it…you don’t have to.