Two years ago I overheard people at work talking about taking aerial circus classes, which I always wanted to try. I did my first class at The Dust Palace school and was so inspired by the community and the spirit that two years on, I am still dangling in the air attempting to look graceful. Behind this wonderful circus community is Eve Gordon and her partner Mike Edward. I am so honoured to interview Eve and hear about her journey.
I studied acting at Unitec 2000-2002 and there I met a lady who had been one of the founding company members of renowned physical theatre company “Legs on the Wall” in Australia. She taught us some basic balance acrobatics and I was super inspired by the storytelling possibilities that kind of extreme physicality had to offer. From there I sorted out any circus training I could and got more and more imputed by the superhuman capabilities of circus performance and how they might engage an audience to make them feel a story in a raw and guttural way.
To be honest I struggle to have time to teach nowadays! The biggest challenges for me have been in learning how to run a business, simply how much effort and time and money a business takes to run and how much it needs to be prioritised in my daily life.
This year presenting the Goblin Market in Auckland we got a review which didn’t say the usual things about how physically adept and beautiful we were but brought every choice back to the story we were telling, which gave us such heart that we’re getting the storytelling right and that people are able to take our work in on that level first and foremost.
Oh my gosh, every person who is with us is so so valuable in creating and maintaining the culture of a beautiful, creative, supportive, inclusive hub. Mikey and I made and continue to make a clear decision to treat any decision or situation with abundant thinking - if we can love and give and always be generous no matter how tough it is for us or the company then everyone wins. And life it too hard to make anything more difficult for anyone.
I’d never consciously thought about this. One of the amazing things about the new space is that the professional team can train during classes and I think this is not only incredibly inspiring for the newer students but it also serves to allow the core team to profess more.
It’s not only unconventional but super super difficult to survive in. I think to be a professional in circus in New Zealand you need to love it so much - it’s barely a choice.
I think getting more people involved in circus comes down to a couple of factors: supporting the notion that circus is a possible career path as best as we can, growing the reputation and perceived validity of circus as an art form in New Zealand and generally pushing awareness of the benefits of circus training: balance, confidence, flexibility, longevity, etc.
Know your value and fight for it and know that there are plenty of people in the industry that will support you and fight for you too. We all have to fight constantly to have our work valued and we need the strength in numbers to keep us all safe.
We’re very much looking forward to the time when this new space isn’t losing money and is supporting itself.
Just do what you love. If you love something no matter how hard it might be to live, you’ll at least be fulfilled in your soul.
How to not go under??? Hahahaha
The work that Mikey and I are doing at the moment is super exciting for me, well for both of us to be fair! It's a long slow process but we should come up with a result that no one has seen before! In addition to that, we're hoping to take our family to Tokyo and at some point walk the Camino Real in Spain. I also want to prioritise breaks and sanity...
Rochelle Mangan, Mikey Edward, Ella Edward or Edward River Clendon