Kimberleigh A. Holman's Common Circus turns everyday tasks into a spectacle

Kimberleigh A. Holman’s Common Circus turns everyday tasks into a spectacle

Common Circus, a Boston Dancemakers Residency Showcase performance, explores how the most routine tasks simultaneously bring chaos and order to our daily lives.

As a pandemic’s worth of at-home time passed, dancer and choreographer Kimberleigh A. Holman found herself focusing on the everyday tasks and motions she repeated regularly. As she did, she began to wonder what it would be like to throw such rote tasks as making coffee into the ultimate three-ring environment: a circus.

When developing her work, Holman posed this same question to the public through an informal survey, asking questions about their personal routines, schedules, tasks, and other daily rituals.

The responses, which consisted of stories, reflections, and histories, were then dissected and embodied by her collaborative team of dancers. What resulted was Common Circus, what Holman calls “a three-ring exploration of the mundane, in which common tasks and notions are shown through a lens of performance and spectacle.” From folding laundry to existential dread, throughout this dance work audience members are invited to notice and celebrate the mundane and ritualized bits of their own lives.

“Holman asks the dancers to consider the details of their lives, and she asks you, the audience, to consider the details of yours, not because all lives are the same but because our lives run in vaguely parallel streams, sometimes intersecting or veering away, but headed in the same general direction; we all find some way of making it through the day,” said Wanda Strukus, Dramaturg for Common Circus.

Kimberleigh A. Holman is an artist working interdisciplinarily in dance, theater and light, and Co- Founder and Artistic Director of Luminarium Dance. Her work gravitates to the exploration of human social interaction and behavior, both real and fictitious, miniscule instances or broad patterns, through comedic, dark, sensory or abstract narrative. With Luminarium, Kim’s work has been shown at many Boston venues including the MFA, Boston Public Library, and the Boston Opera House. Most recently, Kim was awarded the 2021-2022 Boston Dancemakers Residency, where she is creating Common Circus as an artist in residence at the Boston Center for the Arts.

The Boston Dancemakers Residency supports Boston-area dance artists who are striving to develop, adapt, or reinvent their creative process. Produced through a partnership between Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) and Boston Dance Alliance (BDA), the residency serves as a laboratory for ideas that are in the exploratory phase and need dedicated time and space to be fully realized. Designed to promote artistic growth and the development of original ensemble work, dancemakers are offered support for research, development, rehearsal, financial and production phases of their project.

Performances of Holman’s Common Circus will be Friday, October 7 and Saturday, October 8 at 8 pm at the BCA Plaza Theatre. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased here. Both live performances will offer assisted listening and captioning on Wi-Fi-enabled personal mobile devices.