• MFA at FLIC Scuola di Circo: Final Project

    by  • August 10, 2014 • Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    Part One: Creation Week
    It was the last week of circus school (also the last week of the semester, signifying the end of our first year of graduate school) and a mere 6 days before the show when we began to work with our directors Johnny and Francesco to figure out what the show will look like.
    Each day of creation week, we came together to collaborate and choreograph the transitions between each of the different pieces in the show, which are comprised of routines each student created using their specialty circus skill, and to discover how everything fits together. During this time we dedicated more time to figuring out how to structure our routine: what kind of music, if any, should be played, whether an additional prop will be required, and all of the MFA students creating one ensemble routine.
    In addition to partner acrobatics, circus specialty training and regular acrobatics, dance played a major role during our time at FLIC. Every day we attended a “fly low,” modern or classical dance class (ballet and waltz). All of these elements found their way into the show as we were able to use the choreographies that we learned over the last weeks to enhance the transitions we created, as well as help showcase the skills we worked on during our time at FLIC.
    With 6 days to create a show we divided our day between working separately on our solo, duet, or group pieces and together rehearsing the ensemble numbers. It’s about what you would expect in any rehearsal room, and with the guidance of our directors we know that we will be able to meet our 6-day deadline and tie it all together.
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    Part Two: Album Leaf

    On Saturday, June 14 the MFA cohort performed their last show of the school year, marking an end to their 5 week training at FLIC. During the week, Johnny Torres and Francesco Sgró found inspiration for the show through the concept of an album leaf, where the audience could “flip” through the different stories throughout the show. With this in mind, we wove the overall performance together using moments of stillness, as if someone was looking at a picture taken just a moment too soon and then coming to life.

    The show opened with such an image, the cast frozen in time, and as the music played we each came to life and left the stage leaving only Sean to begin his juggling routine. The routines themselves worked, in a loose way, to propel the “story” of the picture forward until the next moment when the ensemble came together to change the photo.

    The common thing between the aerialists, tightrope, trapeze and the lyra was a sense of play and dreams. Rhianna personified dreams whereas Alyse took the air to escape her story. The trapeze and tightrope walkers performed together where they brought a sense of play and enjoyment into their routine. The ball jugglers brought a sense of the wild west as they created their partner juggling routine to be reminiscent of a showdown. By combining juggling balls and ordinary object, Sean played with the joy of discovery in his routine whereas Cassandra mesmerized the audience with her whirling fans. Sarah’s love of doing different dances on the rollo bolla was brought to life and Sam created a modern circus routine where he combined his unicycling skills while manipulating a single pin.

    The is only a sweeping overview of the evening and barely does the show justice. Looking back on this night we will remember five weeks of hard, intensive work that challenged us on several levels. We will remember day in and day out practicing, creating, throwing out ideas and working tirelessly for this single performance. At the end of it, we felt exhilarated and proud. Exhilarated because the show was a success and proud of ourselves because we met every challenge we were presented with. Album Leaf, our final show of our first year of graduate school as well as the representation of an entire year’s worth of work was a fantastic way to to end the school year.


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