This week, there has been some wildly interesting stuff going on in Montreal. It is the Complètement Cirque festival, the 4th year of Montreal's excellently-curated collection of circus performances. This year, the fledgling organization Circus Now gathered a small flock of Americans to come to the festival, and coordinated a whole series of special events for them, like panel discussions and tours.
Being 2.5 hours away in Ottawa, I couldn't attend everything, but Greg, the kids and I drove up to see the performance of Croisé, and I spent a full day with the discussion and tour groups afterwards.
Kyle Driggs, previously a beloved member of our Philadelphia community, is a featured performer in Croisé, which is a truly excellent piece of circus theatre. It was created as a special project at ENC between their second and third years. Originally performed in the fall of 2012, the Complètement Cirque festival asked them to re-produce it this year. It's a shining example of the innovative ensemble work these young people are capable of, and a vehicle showing how marvelously Kyle has come into his own as a performer.
Then, today, a rich day of idea-sharing. It began with a panel discussion at ENC about contemporary circus & circus education in the US vs Canada, continued with a tour of ENC and incredibly interesting presentations by the executive director of ENC, the research head, and the librarian. In between were long coffee chats, brainstorms, and impassioned discussions. True networking is happening here, sowing the seeds for the future collaborative growth that is needed for circus in the United States.
I am thrilled to be a part of it, and wish that I could be there for all of the events. A great shout-out to Duncan Wall, who is the mover and shaker behind today's gatherings.