Contemporary Circus Education
當代馬戲教育


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John Ellingsworth is a writer and editor working in contemporary circus. He runs the website and magazine Sideshow and a company called CRKO working at the intersection of circus and technology.

約翰·艾利斯沃斯(John Ellingsworth) 是專注於當代馬戲的作家和編輯,他創辦了線上雜誌《Sidehow(雜耍)》,還有關注科技與馬戲結合的CRKO公司。


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ART.ZIP: How do you get into contemporary circus?

JE: I sort of fell into it. Back in 2006 I started doing an internship with an organisation called Total Theatre that was advocating for physical and visual performance, circus, mime, puppetry, street arts, devised and site-specific work, live art, and so on. Back when Total Theatre was founded, in the 1980s, all of those things were on the fringes of theatre in England; today they still exist as independent sectors, but they’ve got much more influence on mainstream practice. Anyway, I did this internship with Total Theatre and worked on the magazine they produced, and at the end of that internship they gave me six weeks of trapeze lessons as a leaving present. I did those for a while, got the taste for it, and ended up going to a circus school for a year. After I left I started a circus magazine and website, Sideshow, as a platform for writing and thinking about circus. I ran that for a few years and then ended up meeting Duncan Wall, the author of a book about circus, ‘The Ordinary Acrobat’, which was published by Knopf last year. We found we had a common background: both of us went to a circus school for a year (he went to one in France) and then embarked on these big writing projects. For him it was the book; for me it was Sideshow. We were both engaged in thinking about circus as an art form, and we both wanted to try to get people to talk about circus as an art, so we started a company together, CRKO, that’s dedicated to looking at the intersection of circus and technology. The big project we’ve been working on is an online course called ‘An Introduction to Contemporary Circus’. The goal of it is to give everybody working in the circus sector the same basic level of knowledge so that circus can start to talk about itself as an art form in a more confident and coherent way.

ART.ZIP: 當初您是如何開始從事當代馬戲的呢?

JE: 我覺得是機緣巧合吧。2006年我在Total Theatre(全劇場)當實習生,這個組織致力於肢體與視覺表演,馬戲、默劇、木偶劇、街頭表演藝術、特定場地的裝置藝術、行為藝術等等。Total Theatre在80年代初期成立,那時候表演藝術在英格蘭并不流行; 時至今日,表演藝術雖然還是以獨立群體而存在,但已經對主流藝術有了非常大的影響。總之,我在實習的同時,也幫Total Theatre出版的雜誌工作。實習快結束時,公司送給我一個空中飛人的課程。我學習了一段時間覺得還不錯,最後跑去馬戲學校學習了一年。畢業以後我建立了一個關於馬戲的雜誌和網站叫做《Sideshow》,以此作為寫作和思考馬戲的平台。就這樣經營了幾年,直到我遇見鄧肯·沃爾(Duncan Wall),他是《一位平凡的雜技演員(The Ordinary Acrobat)》一書的作者,該書去年由諾弗出版社(Knopf)出版。我覺得我們倆還挺像的,大家都在馬戲學院學習了一年(他在法國學習),最後也都從事寫作,他寫書,我辦雜誌。我們都認為馬戲應該被視為一種藝術形式,我們也希望人們可以這麼來看待馬戲,因此我們一起成立了公司CRKO,致力於研究馬戲和科技的結合。線上課程《當代馬戲入門( An Introduction to Contemporary Circus)》是我們目前一直在做的一個大項目,目的在於讓每位馬戲從業人員對馬戲都有基本的認識,如此一來,人們就能更自信地、更有條理地把馬戲當作一種藝術形式來看待及探討。


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