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My Journey to the Circus (by Pamina Milewska)

Papina Milewska, Nipai Circus Day Cpmpetition

What do I want my audience to remember from my essay?

My journey to the circus? Is it about my path to a circus tent, to a circus performance, to the education in a circus school? Is it about training regularly, is it about the art of living? So is it actually about my life? How I am using the systems’ holes to live, to live artistically?

Circus for me is a frame to learn and to fail publically. It is about being sensitive and sensual. It is about a connection to an object as a partner. In my case something I can climb on - mostly an aerial fabric and of course the floor. There will always be something more to learn.

My memories of the intense training at the circus school in Portugal include natural states of highs while training physically up to 8 hours a day and very low lows on week-ends consisting of sleeping and eating. So one part is a very practical and technical one - how to eat, sleep and take care of my body in order to be ready to work on technique, strength, flexibility and endurance. Another part is connected to creation - having ideas, inventing a character, rehearsing and performing. And there is another invisible part - which is the selling of a piece or the advertising of oneself or getting the chance to perform. This last one is the one I am least educated in.

So the solo I created at the circus school is waiting to be invited and shown again… a piece about cleaning including the use of different languages and live-music.

Writing about circus feels unusual for me, as it is mostly something I do on stage: at the moment participating in an inclusive theatre piece with other people where I climb a pole and sing up-side-down representing a change of perspective.

So how did I arrive to working as a circus artist? Step by step, following an inner guidance and observing that I do not like to be squeezed in one box. I studied contemporary dance and dance pedagogy, elementary music and movement pedagogy, I started to work at this inclusive theatre using my aerial acrobatic skills I discovered in Spain and recently finished the second year of the circus school in Portugal. I collect foreign languages since my childhood and explored the connection between language and music in a PhD - frame I did not finish.

My journey to the circus is a continuous one, it feels ephemeric and endless at the same time. It is the poetry of life, the laughter while tears are dropping.

(c) Pamina Milewska

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