Seven creators will take part in the National Circus School’s creation week, to be held from November 2 to 7. The goal of this week is to open students’ minds and immerse them in as many different creative universes as possible. By observing several creators at work and discovering their ways of expressing themselves, students will be able to learn new working methods and improve their versatility and creativity as artists.
Coming from diverse backgrounds, the creators accepted the challenge to create a 10-minute show in five and a half hours. Each guest will work with a group of about ten students. No theme is imposed, as long as they work with the students and their circus discipline.
Every evening, the show created during the day will be presented in the School’s studios in front of a very limited audience and will be broadcasted live for students and teachers who are unable to attend. The learning continues the next day during a virtual feedback period for the group that presented the day before. This period is crucial because it allows for a constructive review of the creative experience and for drawing lessons learned.
Mirroring the characteristic versatility of circus arts, guest creators have worked in a variety of artistic environments such as circus, dance and theater, both on stage and in creative and production roles.
Three graduates were invited to return to the School to pass on their knowledge to the higher education students. Émilie Émiroglou (1995, aerial hoop), Évelyne Laforest (2007, hand balancing) and Mélissa Colello (1995, dance trapeze) each have a unique background that will allow them to bring their vision and artistic sensitivity to the creative process.
Acrobatic designer and artistic director, Émilie Émiroglou has been working in the circus and performing arts industry for more than 25 years. Graduate of the National Circus School and UQAM École supérieure de théâtre, she won the silver medal at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris in 1993 and has toured extensively with Cirque du Soleil and Cirque Éloize. Following her career as a performing artist, Émilie participated in the creation of shows and special events with Cirque du Soleil, and then became involved in the artistic direction of Cirque Éloize’s creative shows.
Driven by the pleasure of pushing her physical limits, Évelyne Laforest was a member of Canada’s rhythmic gymnastics team before joining the National Circus School from which she graduated in 2007. After continuing her studies at the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal, she collaborated with the Compagnia Finzi Pasca on various creation projects, tours and operas. She also explores her own creative work, in collaboration with Rémi L. Ouellette and various emerging choreographers and directors.
First student to create a dance trapeze act at the National Circus School, Mélissa Colello received the “Coup de Coeur” award at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris with a quartet act on triple trapeze. Her extensive stage career ranges from the German cabaret circuit to traditional circus, major events, acrobatic dance and contemporary circus. Through her creative, directing and touring experiences, she co-founded CirkVOST, an aerial circus company, and specialized in aerial choreography.
Joining this trio of circus creators is a teacher from the field: Nicolas Germaine. Initially trained in physical activity sciences and techniques, Nicolas has been teaching circus arts since 2006. He collaborates notably with the artistic director of the National Circus School and choreographer Estelle Clareton to give acrobatic research workshops to dancers, acrobats and also to different dance and circus companies. Since 2017, Nicolas has been a coach, acrobatic designer and casting agent at Cirque Éloize’s artistic department.
As for the creator Reda Guerinik, he will share his acting knowledge and stage experience with the students. Reda studied drama before perfecting his stunt skills with Cirque du Soleil and completing internships in Comedia del Arte in Venice, as well as Capoeira and Jiu-jitsu. Multidisciplinary artist, he participated as master of ceremonies in two internationally renowned Cirque du Soleil productions. Reda also was an actor in numerous television series and performed in several film and theater productions.
Contemporary dance and circus being two artistic fields that are becoming more and more influenced by one another, Dana Gingras and Sovann Rochon-Prom Tep were invited to share their vision of the body in movement. Throughout 30 years of career, Dana Gingras has earned her reputation as an artist who pushes limits. She co-founded The Holy Body Tattoo, a company that has changed the Canadian dance landscape and has won numerous awards and honours for her choreography and film works. In order to focus on her passion for new media and film, she also founded Animals of Distinction, a company whose creations have been presented in various forms in Canada and abroad.
As for Sovann Rochon-Prom Tep, alias Promo, he grew up in the hip-hop scene since his childhood. Until now, he has accumulated more than thirty victories in dance competitions and is regularly invited to take part in events around the world, sometimes as a participant, sometimes as a judge. Passionate about body language and eager to pursue his artistic research, Sovann refines his approach to dance through his own creations and various workshops he teaches.
The week will also be punctuated by expert workshops on a wide range of topics related to circus arts. For example, students will learn about music with Éric Forget, about dramaturgy with Sebastian Kahn and about the circus performer-creator relationship with Gisle Henriett. Marie-Chantale Vaillancourt, Lino and Martin Labrecque will also give workshops respectively on costume, creativity and light.