Performative Research and Dissemination : Contemporary Circus Dramaturgy

Performative Research and Dissemination : Contemporary Circus Dramaturgy

The “Poetics of contemporary circus: a dramaturgy of writing in (and of) the movement,” a three-year research-creation program has allowed a team of Concordia University and National Circus School researchers, specialized teachers, academic students and students in the professional circus program to work together in a process-driven, research-creation setting to explore the specificity of the language, movement, discourse on creation and performative qualities of contemporary circus emerging out of Québec and elsewhere. This new circus is a hybrid of dance, theatre and acrobatics, very far-removed from nostalgic images of yesterday’s act-based and animal-based circuses. We have been working on the meeting of art and sport. 

Emerging from intensive research and analysis of hundreds of hours of performance, public discussions, interviews, the team has come to the conclusion that the results of this research cannot be limited to strict normative academic talks, scholarly articles or books. One of the principal questions asked by this public outreach and performative research dissemination will be “how is research into contemporary circus meaning-making, dramaturgy and its relationship to the performing arts in Québec relevant to academia, the general public and, indeed, to the circus milieu itself?”

Consequently, for two weeks, July 3rd to 13th 2018, Concordia became the site of an innovative, multifaceted research dissemination and public outreach event involving: 1) public demonstrations of embodied research into the contemporary circus creative process, 2) a museum-type exhibition of significant themes and findings emerging from both the research-creation and research components of the program developed and designed by graduate students, 3) a take-home exhibition booklet, 4) public panels and discussion involving the broad community, Montréal Complètement Cirque audiences, and the international circus community already assembled in Montreal for its international marketplace event, and 5) an international graduate seminar offering students an opportunity to learn and enact different qualitative research methodologies in the performing arts though experiential knowledge by being embedded as an integral part of the research dissemination. Further a posteriori compiling of the research allowed for publications to emerge from this ambitious program.

Chercheur principal


  • Connexion (CRSH)
    2018 - 2019