PhD project

Circus as Practices of Hope by Marie-Andrée Robitaille

Researcher: Marie-Andree Robitaille

Circus as Practices of Hope is a PhD project by Marie-Andrée Robitaille. Marie-Andrée is a PhD candidate in Choreography.

The context of my research is in response to the growing complexities emerging from the convergence of the fourth industrial revolution, the sixth mass extinction, and the eco-socio-political turmoil of our time. It asks: How may circus arts contribute to the development of embodied practices to help navigate the current significant paradigm shift in this contemporary planetary context? The project is rooted in circus choreography, pedagogy, and artistic research, spanning the fields of live, visual, and electronic arts. Through an ecology of nomadic practices such as sensing and technopoetic practices, material-semiotic performative experiments, and body re-orienting practices, the project seeks alternatives to outdated modes of composition such as ones based on linear logic and binary oppositions.


The project engages with process philosophy, critical and philosophical posthumanism, and neo-materialist movements of thought to explore modes of composition that emerge within a post-dualist relational ontology, thus seeking to revise what qualifies as risk, how mastery is embodied, and where virtuosity is located. I currently explore the potential of the circle as an element for composition, fabulation as a circus narrative strategy, and hopepunk as an ethical posture in circus arts. The project aims to contribute to the need to recompose the notions of human subjectivity and embodiment in circus arts and the broader perspectives of futurities on Earth. The doctoral artistic research project will be documented and disseminated as circus practices of hope for becoming differently human in a more-than-human world.

Link to Marie-Andrée Robitaille's 50% seminar "A Circus Meditation Fabulation, Hopepunk and Circomposition" 

Link to Doctoral candidate Marie-Andrée Robitaille contributes to the digital exhibition HOW TO BECOME A POSTHUMAN.