How do we create our tribe and where do I belong?
We live in a world where childhood in many instances is becoming less easily identifiable. Whether it is in developing world sweatshops, Juku cram schools, American beauty pageants or Elite sports training institutes, the expectations we are placing on young people are steadily shifting. We also expect differently from adults now. Adults are staying at home longer and longer, marrying later, living on credit and changing values about what it is to be responsibly ‘adult.’
Do we as the western developed world lack certain rites of passage that mark the distinction between child and adult? Do we lack ritual?
It has been suggested that societies with clearer transitions from adolescence to adulthood feature lower delinquency rates. American researcher Andrew Papachristos suggests for young people without access to rites of passage, gang culture serves to fill the void. Despite their often dangerous preoccupations, Gangs provide the liminal space in which separation, trials of ability and strength, revelation, resurrection and return all provide young people with transitory frameworks for evolution.
Who or what is your gang? How do you know where you fit in the world? The physical experience of 'Nest' will be unlike previous Cirkidz shows. The global search for belonging has been translated in this production as a dissolve of the performer audience space. Audience exist in performers' space and performers claim their space in the middle of audience. Hopefully we all extend this ambiguity to our lives at large. Be Brave. Take the spot light. Question tradition. Question the status quo. And beware the trap of identifying yourself too narrowly.
Narrative has been purposefully absent from our devising process which can be disorientating at times. But an absence of narrative does not mean an absence of 'world' or 'context.' Part of my pedagogical approach with Cirkidz troupe has centred on the fact that our bodies can not but create and interpret meaning. We do not need to 'act.' We as circus artists enact truths that conventional acting has no access to. Our script through this process has been our bodies, and the wonderful discoveries the young artists have made through training, improvising, and growing what they have inside each of them.