It felt so good to connect with new friends, and reconnect with old friends through so many exciting events this fall!
Cirkaskina, the national youth gathering by Cirque Hors Piste, brought so many of our friends here to visit us in St. John’s, just in time for the St. John’s International Circus Fest! While our extended circus family was in town, we took advantage of this unique opportunity to make some new friends, partnering with Stella’s Circle to offer a fun social circus intensive to a group of eager learners, and offering a relaxed performance with the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Stella’s Circle: A social circus intensive where we were prepared to move, and be moved
Our fall began with a super fun social circus intensive led by our leading clown Danielle, and the amazingly awesome Daphné Morin of Cirque Hors Piste. Through this social circus intensive, our new friends from Stella’s Circle learned how to hula hoop, juggle, and flip upside down all while filling our bellies with laughter and our hearts with love. Through playing games and clowning around, we were able to transcend the barriers of languages and limitations to share moments of vulnerability, and to experiment and explore, while confirming that laughter indeed, is the very best medicine.
Cirkaskina: Circ/Cirq + Kaskina = Together, through circus
The word Cirkaskina combines both the English and French words, “Circus” and “Cirque,” with the Atikamekw word “Kaskina,” which means “together,” and through the young leaders’ conference with Cirkaskina, we were certainly reminded of how good it feels to be together again. The energy, effort, and experience of our young leaders really showed through in their participation in the Social Circus panel at the St. John’s international Circus Fest. If you missed seeing the panel live, a digital version can be found here: https://www.stjohnscircusfest.com/digital-festival
A relaxed performance with the Autism Society, Newfoundland and Labrador
Recently we dug a little deeper into the philosophy of what exactly makes a relaxing performance so relaxing, and as a result we had the most wonderful afternoon teaching, playing, and performing with old friends and new friends in the safe and familiar space the Autism Society provided us. Through this collaborative effort, were also able to experience first-hand the importance of connectedness, and community.
The performance at the Autism Society created a unique opportunity where we could share the stage with students past and present, mentors, and members of our extended circus family through Cirkaskina. The show opened with an amazing act by a phenomenal young magician from Ignite Circus, followed by high flying aerial acrobats from Green Fools Theatre Society in Calgary and Toronto’s Look up Theatre, dazzling diabolo acts by a quartet made up of performers from Halifax Circus, SoCirc, and Cirqiniq, a vivacious vola rope performer from Wemotaci, and jugglers, clowns, and people flipping upside down from St. John’s to Nunavik.
Some of the highlights of the show included a magic trick by our young magician, intended to help control nerves during times of stress, performances by Tupiq ACT, and a dance off by the fabulous Fern that got everyone, audience and performers alike, up and moving and grooving to the music. One of the coolest things about this show though, was that despite the mix of experiences and backgrounds on the stage, no one could tell who was on that stage for the very first time, and who had been performing for the majority of their lives. It was a beautiful opportunity to share what we love most with our community, to collaborate in the most organic way, and also to share the spirit of how social circus brings us together through sharing experiences and exploring new things together. We can’t wait for the next opportunity to reconnect with our friends and extended circus family once again!
We’d like to express gratitude to the City of St. John’s for their financial contribution in enabling our activities, and a special thanks to Jared Reid for capturing such great photos of the events of Cirkaskina and our relaxed performance at the Autism Society!!