My Circus Story

Circus for me was always more about going back than being high up.
It was more about a place than the object that swung.
It was more about a friend than an applause
Circus was always more about lost friends than loud applause.

I still have not gone back.
I have no tricks, no bones for knotting, no soaring limbs.

No tricks.

Seven years on and not one trick that distracts from my size or one feat to mask my face.

Bruises still come in their hard fashion

But only the circus gave bruisy delight. Stains of triumphs not defeat
Seven years on and not a trick

And no one to hold my feet.

I don’t get it!

I’m writing about Wyndham Lewis and his view of the body/Bergsons theories of autonomy and please someone cleverererer than me sort out my brain woes.

Both state a split between body – true self and mind- fabricated acting personas.

I can’t work out if they are saying the primitive body is the true individual self or, without personas they are just bodies without identity being part of a non intellectual herd.

What they harping about??? V

I’m so failing this essay……

Anyone on interweb land have the answer?

Dream Makers Boat Builders and Vaudevillians

For those that don’t know I am a (mildly) partially sighted performer and writer who has recently been rehoused in a block for the visually impaired after some mishaps and dodgy landlords. . It turns out to be a an exquisit dumping ground for addicts and severely mentally ill people. I can not escape the smell of urine and exasperated aura of lifelessness.
But I have a Plan. I wish to escape.

Don’t get me wrong, my little flat itself is lovely, a furnitureless space for circus practise and green view. But I am now stuck on benefits which unless I get the salary of a brain surgeon I will depend on forever.

So this is the glorious idea. At the least I hope its ludicrous ambition makes you laugh or at the most some of it may actually happen.

I want a boat.

Not just any boat but a narrow boat to live on.

Not just any narrow boat to live on.

I want to use its deck as a performance space, a floating theatre I can sleep inside. Instead doing street theatre we can moor up a canal theatre.

It requires some bank robbery to plausibly afford but I keep thinking more of a small army in the way that warehouse communities are formed.

Daft isn’t it?

But I have just spent 3weeks of no sleep listening to a mentally ill drunk puking and wailing without pause for up to 10hrs at a time, not a moments silence from wailing in baritone at his walls. The staff police and council all told me to put up with it until his eviction, blatantly ignoring a severe case of mental illness that required hospitalisation

The staff of this ‘charity’ block flippantly said after he moved’he’s someone elses problem now.

But while I listen to the fuzzy music of his schitzophrenic, recovering addict neighbour as I type, I see my ambition isn’t crazy. They are crazy. The old men talking to themselves and peeing in the elevators are crazy.

My idea is productive and sharing.

I want out.

I’m far from blind yet.

I want my boat, our theatre.

Any ideas?.

Circus: regaining flexibilty

I started losing my sight and taught myself to dance with
fire. I damaged my legs and ankles and taught myself to walk en
pointe. Now I’ve decided with a lower spine as aligned as a game of
Jenga to do beginner backbends on a mission to get my feet to my
head. When I was a teenager I could back bend without ever warming
up and with my thighs on the floor, place my toes on my forehead.
Probably how I’ve ended up the human Jenga girl. While I don’t
encourage ‘have a go’ at risky things I think with lots of
research, patience and precaution things can be achieved. I have a
‘the damage is done, what’s the worst that happen?’ attitude with
my body. For the last week I have been stretching for about an hour
each morning; bits of yoga, bits of things I learnt in circus
school workshops. I warm up waist hooping. Living in a flat with
only a sofa bed and view over parks I like exercising in the
morning sun with space to move. My main goal other than feet
touching head is the splits, a lifelong wish. There is 3inches
between lady bits and floor! But It’s frustrating not getting that
bit further, I tip sideways and bend my back leg. Back bends have
given a bit of pain down one side today. I’m starting from cobra
pose as I don’t have balance from stand. I can feel wisps of my bob
haircut on my toe tips. It’s kind of a good feeling all the spline
sinking into a bend. I also like laying on my back doing straddle
splits against the wall, heels hooked over two doorframes along the
wall. I have little triumphs. Today my face touched my knees on
both legs doing a hamstring stretch, seated with one leg bent. Not
since circus school have I felt face softly touching knee with a
deep breath and no pain. Also leaning forward in a seated straddle
I can now lean forwards and get my elbows on the floor. Last week I
couldn’t move forward at all. It’s small progress but rewarding and
has got me over my constant hunger to be doing aerial or feel
miserable not hanging around.

Circus begging

Hi this is to anyone in the UK circus community. I am looking for somewhere in the London area to do regular aerial training at low height.

I am utterly broke. I am applying for funding but this
still means weeks on the ground.

I spent the last two years devising aerial dance in a bedsit I have now left.

Recently I performed a WIP at Jacksons Lane after a week residency which was fabulous to be around other performers, have enough space and build my confidence that what I do is what I do. And now I would like to develop my ideas further.

There are no classes in what I do and due to back problems I can’t do most of the conditioning in classes and haven’t the funds even if I was built like He-Man.

If anyone spectacular can help and there is anything I could do in return for some riggable space please put the word out or get in touch.

Love

Ariadne

Strike

An extract from my next book on London memoirs; Steps Through a City

They strike so I walk. Drizzling cobbled detours stumble to a misplaced church named ‘Garlycke’. A statue of a man and swan and the brassy wealth of Leadenhall Market linger.
There is no market, only damp ‘suits’ sticking their bellies out over expensive pints and middle aged chuckles.
From Liverpool Street to the Southbank I step. Listless greys and the bloodstain brown of riverside buildings weigh heavy on the banks.
Wood, stone, steel, slate: all mashed together as though the Thames unrolled itself and shoved all of modernism to a tidal line.
Even the yellow Klee sign on Tate Modern is a bitter, aged mustard in the rain. Posters promise excitement, something new on every level beside the sight of a wharf jetty. its silt riddled posts rise from the mud like gammy bowed legs.
Do not misread, all these sights bring a precious calm compared to the whir of life on the opposite bank.
This is London with the illuminations off like the seaside in winter. Midweek afternoons. A kind of bliss in the sparsity

Along the river promises a book market. Tilt your head and crabstep along the titles beneath Waterloo Bridge. Hope for Eliot, dear Wyndham only to find padlocked bins and puddles. Only shadows and wordless spaces.
Over the river the people are striking. The pay is not enough. I have no pay, not even a teapot or a sheet. The crumpled fiver hoped for dear Wyndham. The purse snapped shut.
He wasn’t there. .