DOCH, School of Dance and Circus

Jonathan Priest, Doctoral Candidate in Choreography: 50% seminar

The text under discussion looks at the ‘Trick’ in circus practice as a tautological mechanism. In asking the question “Is it possible to speak circus?” a speaking subject is highlighted who appears trapped within the ‘gravity’ of language.

In translating the trick into a form that could be spoken or written a discussion of restriction and resistance has emerged. The text seeks to explain the thinking behind the different modes of translation that have been most useful in this research.

It then goes on to make comparisons with mechanisms in other fields that use the ‘knotting’ or ‘folding’ of a system of restriction back on itself to achieve previously unavailable mobility; jokes that subvert assumed meaning and pranks that subvert assumed behaviours are also looked at as possible iterations of the circus trick again in language but also in the social field.

The question arrived at here is one, which acknowledges the trick as something that becomes inoperable within a formal system that is itself full of tautology, and asks if the system of Circus became a form of gravity pulling you down, what tricks would it be necessary to perform to counter such a force?

Opponent: Helen Stoddart

Time Schedule

13.00-13.15: John-Paul (supervisor) says welcome and Jonathan makes a short introduction 

13.15-14.15 Discussion with the you (based on your questions to the material)

14.15-14..30: Break 

14.30-15.30: Discussion with the other participants