Jonathan Lee Iverson is on the mic! Ringling Brother and Barnum & Bailey’s youngest, first New Yorker, and first African American ringmaster joins the podcast today to wax philosophic on raising children, singers as athletes, and the evolution of the circus industry.
One of the original choreographers of aerial dance in the Bay Area, Joanna Haigood, talks about her influences growing up on the east coast and then moving to San Fransisco (20:20). She expounds upon her fascination of architecture as an access point for telling the stories of place (24:00), highlighting the African American experience (31:00) and using her art as activism (37:20)
Lisa Lottie is a one woman show who has traveled the world for over a decade with her hula hoops. In this interview, we dive into how she got her start at a traditional circus in India (9:36). She then goes on to share some important lessons she learned while attending circus schools in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (22:34) and London, England (25:25) that ALL those considering circus school should hear. Later in the interview, we dive into the art of street performing (31:16) and how capitalism and COVID-19 have changed the landscape of performance (50:29). Featuring a guest appearance from Lisa’s foster cat.
Jon Stranks started his professional career at the age of 6 years old. (7:18). He went on to be in a winning acrobatic troupe on Britain’s Got Talent (13:54) before making the transition from competing to performing (17:09) on Cirque du Soleil’s stages, most recently in Messi 10 (25:52). During quarantine he has taken his work online and begun coaching handstands (31:24). Oh , yeah! And he has the real dirt on the Ellen Show (23:01)!
Born in China under the rule of Chairman Mao Zehdong, Guang Rong Lu began his circus training at the age of 11. After a long career as a performer, Mister Lu arrived in Australia to bring with him systems of teaching circus. He aided in establishing The National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne, Australia and worked as head coach in the program. In this interview, Mister Lu outlines how the financial philosophies nations adopt influence how circus artists train and work they create, and how he and circus have changed over his 55-year career.
Listen in as hoop artist and self-proclaimed sparkling garbage, Julie Marshall, grapples with the question: WTF is ART anyway? And how the heck can circus artists make work that channels individual expression while maintaining technique, clarity of vision, and a relationship to the audience? This interview addresses “the taste gap” (as defined in the quote below) as well as topics such as body image, mental health, and the importance of being totally ridiculous.