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Film Festival

Circus! Circus!

By 21st January 2021No Comments

Week 42 : Notes

Traditionally, women circus artists have been sexualized and viewed as lesser performers by the mainly male audience though the twenty-first century has seen an increase in equality and respect for circus women.

Lindsey Stirling, a US- American violinist, songwriter and dancer opens the programme. Dea Birkett, British writer, journalist, broadcaster and former circus performer, discusses women’s roles in the history of circus with British performers Nell Gifford, the owner and co-founder of the Gifford’s Circus, who died in 2019, Jasmine Smart, an equestrienne, Vanessa Toulmin, Director of the National Fairground Archive at the University of Sheffield and Rebecca Truman, a retired circus performer, costume designer and writer. Kristina Walsh, is a US – American born artist based in London who works across sculpture, film and design. The young girl engaged in a village circus balancing act in Telangana, India, is just as skilled at what she is doing as is drag artist L’Amour in the Cirque du Soleil. This Montreal-based entertainment company is the largest contemporary circus producer in the world. Brazilian artist Danila Bim, is a hair suspension artist who has worked for both the Cirque du Soleil and the famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circuses too. These professional circus entertainers from commercial circuses are followed by a glimpse into a Melbourne-based feminist profit organisation that provides circus performance training and social arts projects for women, trans and non-binary people. 60% of all performers at The Great Golden Circus from Ahmedabad in Gujarat, India are women, but behind the scenes the stories reveal that all the glitters is not pure glamour. Another out-of-the-public-eye report engages us in wistful goodbyes to the Historic Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus that gave its final show on May 21, 2017.

* being open source or obtained from a permitted uploader to either YouTube or Vimeo