The circus is coming to town
The festival for contemporary circus will be held in Hadera next week.
As the saying goes, life happens when you’re busy making other plans. Next week, Hadera-based circus troupe ON was meant to be rehearsing in France before going on tour to South America. When their engagement was canceled, founder and director Orit Nevo decided to seize the opportunity to do something she had dreamt of for years – organize a festival in Israel for contemporary circus.
For many, the word “circus” calls to mind big tops, lion tamers, elephant parades, clown cars and trapeze artists. Classic circus shows were once comprised of quick, dazzling acts that left the audience stunned and awed.
Over the years, the circus form has been whittled down, evolved and refined to produce what is known as Cirque Nouveau, or contemporary circus. In this quirky and communicative genre of live performance, techniques from the yesteryears of circus are employed to convey a narrative. Emotional and political content replace animals, and artists are encouraged to not only to come up with an act but also to bring their entire selves into it.
For Nevo, contemporary circus is a vehicle through which she can explore and reflect upon the world around her. It is much more about being real than being pretty or incredible. A coach and cultivator of fellow artists, Nevo believes in letting each performer discover and describe himself or herself.
Next week, Nevo will host the first contemporary circus festival, the ON-time Festival, featuring two Israeli premieres, a children’s show, a master workshop and more.
“Contemporary circus can change the world,” she says.
Nevo, 45, moved to Hadera six years ago with the goal of establishing a center where likeminded artists could convene and create. She is passionate about the impact live performance can make.
“Circus is a place where everything is possible. It’s a place where things that are hard to talk about are possible. Maybe we talk about them with humor or satire, but circus affords people the space to ask questions, criticize and discuss our society,” she explains.
During the days of the festival, Nevo will reveal two of her own productions – Revolt and Somewhere and Nowhere. The latter is the result of a collaboration with legendary French troupe Archaos.
Somewhere and Nowhere tells the story of five immigrants who meet while being detained at a border crossing.
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