Cirque en Déroute is more than a performance troupe. They are three fascinating artists dedicated to continually honing their crafts, human beings searching their souls, formidable clowns who honor the long history of circus with the intentionality, attention, and grace. Faeble Kievman, with tattoos on his head, face, and limbs, has a smile that reaches into your heart and pulls the parallel smile you’d forgotten was there. Jonah Katz has a juggling tap-dancing number that will literally make your mouth fall open. Or at least, that’s what happened to me. Laurie Roger flies through the air over cobblestone as though she’s from some other plane. The synergy amongst these three had me gasping, laughing, and clutching my heart, while they were on stage and while we were all around the dinner table alike. What a treasure to see such a demonstration of the results of deep personal and spiritual journeys coming through artwork, even when the work itself is not overtly spiritual. I’m going to go ahead and say it: these clowns are Artmonks!
I especially appreciated the mini-training Faeble, Jonah, and Laurie gave us in the beautiful and complicated history of both clown and circus. The power of clowning came vividly alive to me: through this history in a variety of cultures, I saw clowns as shamans, as teachers, as leaders, as revealers of the truth, as challengers of the status quo and powers that be.
It was also a real treat to hear each of them speak about their personal relationships with their clowns.
Jonah developed his character, Charles, over a long time, asking himself at each step how to be vulnerable. “Charles is arrogant, thinks he’s knowledgable, and is controlling. These are aspects of myself that I don’t like. So I expose these things about myself and I hope that the audience can reflect on that.”
Laurie says of Faeble and Jonah, “They are the clowns. I am not a clown. I am the funny girl. My dad was a clown so I feel I am not there yet. I am not vulnerable at all. It may be because of that. I don’t feel that I’m a clown yet. I might get there but I don’t know if I want to get there.”
Faeble says, “It takes a long time to become a clown. It takes real life experience, depth in life, depth in personality, depth in your soul for you to really go there. The audience wants to see the complexity of you. In my clown I want to represent the intricacies about myself that are real — they actually come from my family and history and life experience and they come out in performing as a heightened state of energy and awareness.”
We at Art Monastery Italia were honored and delighted to host Cirque en Déroute this week and hope that all our discussions of the possibilities in the future come to full fruition!
To learn more about Cirque en Déroute, please visit http://cirqueenderoute.com.