So Long 2022! – A Year Of Breaking Through Barriers for Circus - StageLync

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So Long 2022! – A Year Of Breaking Through Barriers for Circus

As 2022 comes to its final bow, it’s time to reflect on all that we have learned this year and bring it into 2023! Much like the years prior, 2022 contributed its fair share of trials and tribulations. Nevertheless, the performing arts world and our CircusTalk community triumphantly prevailed, acknowledging the challenges yet overcoming them, and looking to the future for bigger and better tomorrows.

To get a deeper understanding of the CircusTalk community’s experience of the past year, we distributed a 2022 End of Year Survey where we looked to our amazing network of circus professionals for their thoughts, advice, and words of wisdom regarding circus and the performing arts as we approach the new year. Through this survey, our goal was to collect and share this wisdom within our CircusTalk community and help us guide each other to begin a successful and prosperous 2023. The result? Throughgaining inspiring insight from numerous artists working in a wide variety of performance disciplines, and boasting an average of over ten years of experience in the circus industry, we hope to offer you a few sentimental words to carry with you into 2023. Now, we would now like to share a glimpse of looking back on this past year alongside what your fellow community members had to say. 

While still experiencing and recovering from the long-lasting effects of Covid-19, the performing arts industry has undergone incredible changes and the reconstruction of how the world shares its forms of artistic expression. As pro juggler and multi- Guinness World Record holder Niels Duinker notes, the world is “still recovering from the pandemic. Buyers are almost going back to normal but not quite yet.”

Niels Duinker

This couldn’t be more true, as Covid-19 has enacted severe and devastating impacts on the world’s arts sector. Since the release of vaccines and decreased public restrictions, employment conditions have greatly improved for numerous artists and creative performers worldwide.

Sung Chia Cheng

Despite this, the performing arts industry is slower to recover than others due to the continuous interruption of prohibited in-person programming. However, many are still hopeful and are eager for normalcy that is sure to come. As Sung Chia Cheng, a world-renowned Diabolo and circus performer, echoes,

“In the post pandemic era, the circus industry is slowly recovering in a good direction.”

Covid-19 was not the only challenge our industry faced, as the war in Ukraine had several notable impacts, many of which extend far beyond what many of us can see. Ukrainian aerialist Viktoriia Selyshcheva highlights an important aspect of this crisis, stating, “The war in Ukraine increased competition.” Her words bring a critical point to light, as the war in Ukraine has been the main cause of the fastest employment displacement crisis within the European job market since the second World War. This war also has had especially harsh and tangible consequences on Ukraine’s art expression and culture, as Russian attacks not only affect lives, but performing arts organizations, historical landmarks, museums, and as a result, art itself.

Sincerely, CircusTalk recognizes how far the world has come since the initial effects of the global pandemic and applauds those resilient individuals who overcame these challenges.

And although, at times, these challenges may have felt impossible to surpass, many of the artists and performers within our community bring new, optimistic perspectives. Multi-talented circus performer, Broadway dancer, and TV actor Reed Kelly states,

“It feels as though 2022 brought forth a burgeoning renaissance of creativity, anticipation and excitement: for new projects, fresh voices, and unique artistic perspectives. It’s refreshing.”

We couldn’t agree more. After all, diamonds are created under pressure. When creative and determined people are enclosed into difficult circumstances, the result is very often an idea that is revolutionary, unique, and entirely its own.

Reed Kelly

Looking at the glass half full and pushing forward from last year’s troubles, there is still much to expect and anticipate in the coming of the new year. From new goals and journeys to new people and ideas, 2023 is brimming with untapped potential and the possibility to make the dreams of 2022 into reality. As Reed Kelly further comments,

“My hope [for the future] is that the global circus community continues to lean into an attitude of inclusion and acceptance across the spectrum of the many potential facets for these opportunities.”

Alonza Corona

Closely following Reed’s expectation, as a large community of widely unique and diverse individuals, CircusTalk strives to uphold a platform where art is made for everyone, by everyone. In doing this, CircusTalk hopes to unite, empower, and be a strong force in the global acceptance of inclusion and representation for all audiences, everywhere. Mexican aerialistand hoop performer Alonza Corona sums up the performing arts industry’s’ aspirations for the new year stating, 

“I hope all the circus spaces get fully back on their feet and more performances get programmed now that we are fully allowed to get together.”

Viktoriia Selyshcheva

Aside from CircusTalk’s goals on an organizational level, several members of our community shared their personal hopes anddreams, many of which revolve around self-improvement. Viktoriia Selyshcheva adds, “I will achieve my dream of a newspinning genre.” You got this, Viktoriia! Entering the new year is a time for new beginnings and new expectations, a blank slate, if you will. Setting attainable and achievable New Year’s resolutions offer a sense of hope for the future, inner peace, and control over their lives, many of which can be very personal and tangible for each individual.

To wrap up this year with a nice bow, we asked our community members to share their personal mottos and any advice that got them through 2022. We wholeheartedly wish that our community takes these words to heart, and utilizes them as powerful tools of wisdom, hope, and self-love going into 2023. 

Johnathan Lee Iverson

The last Greatest Show On Earth ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson states, “I am determined to be a vehement voice for thecause of the circus.” This couldn’t be more of a reality for the accomplished and history-making showman, as he serves on the board of Directors for Omnium, ‘A Bold New Circus.’ Johnathan Lee Iverson, first paving the way as the youngest and first Black Ringmaster, now dedicates his efforts to a circus that is the first of its kind: an all-inclusive circus that is multi-abled and diversely representative, throughout both its cast of talented performers and its eager audiences. 

Relating to the joy and excitement of a circus approaching new frontiers, Alonza Corona brings her own special plans to light: “I’m going to try to approach new opportunities with more assertiveness, plan more workshops and get them done.” As we approach a new year, this couldn’t be a better time to embrace the new experiences and exciting new challenges dancing on the horizon, and we applaud those who are! Sung Chia Cheng vocalizes, “Nothing is impossible for a willing heart,” which we believe is a perfect encapsulation of unrelenting persistence and having a mindset focused on constant growth. Be proactive and open-minded about the amazing opportunities coming your way, tell your own story, and expect the unexpected!

Finally, as Reed Kelly so eloquently reminds us, “Try not to be too hard on yourself. Everyone is running their own race and we are all on different parts of the track. Stay in your lane, work hard, enjoy the process… and always try to remember why you started.”

A very special thank you to all the CircusTalk members who took the time to participate and share their voices. Cheers!

CircusTalk

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