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Performing Arts Group | Eye Catching Circus

  • Date:2023-06-12
Performing Arts Group | Eye Catching Circus

Chinese Name: 創造焦點

Founded: 2015

Founder: Max Li (李仕洋)


Did You Know?

Eye Catching Circus was founded in 2015 by Max Li, who graduated from the National Taiwan College of Performing Arts, specializing in stunts and circus performances. Li brought together a group of enthusiastic individuals to create this circus performing group.

Eye Catching Circus is dedicated to creating a new generation of circus performances and fostering the idea of contemporary circus art. By blending professional stunts and theatrical talent, they have accumulated numerous domestic and international performances. Their aim is to retain tradition, innovate for the future, and bring together talents from various performing arts fields, actively promoting and developing contemporary circus art in Taiwan. Eye Catching Circus was honored as an outstanding performing arts group by the Taichung City Government from 2018 to 2020.

Their most iconic works include "Endless (鳧遊Endless)," "#Since1994," and "Keep in Touch! (保持聯繫Keep in Touch!)" Among these, the most distinctive is the female circus "#Since1994," which was created by one of their members, Mei Chih-ling (梅芷菱), to discuss female issues through physical art.

In an interview, Mei mentioned that there's a significant gender imbalance in the circus industry in Asia. However, in schools, there are many more female students learning circus arts than males. Where had all those talented female performers she knew from school gone, she wondered. Why weren’t they performing on stage after graduation? Her own experiences in the industry finally provided her with answers to these questions, which led to the creation of a platform for female circus performers.

Circus training systems often have unwritten rules filled with gender stereotypes, rooted in the requirements of traditional circus performances. Traditional performances usually follow a sequence of strong, masculine acts followed by softer, elegant female performances. Circuses also have strict physical requirements for female performers. Mei Chih-ling revealed, "In school, female students would be punished if they gained 0.1 kilogram, so we were afraid to even drink water before weighing ourselves."

Understanding these issues, Mei proposed to Max Li, the leader of Eye Catching Circus, the idea of creating a "female circus platform" to help female artists in the circus field develop their creativity and get recognized by the audience, providing them with opportunities to be themselves. On this platform, the female performers can no longer worry about gender inequality and body limitations. All they have to do is focus on their performances.

Their production, "#Since 1994," has been performed since October 2020 and resonates most with female audiences aged 20-40 who are disliking, trying to accept, or having already embraced their own body image. Mei explained that those female performers presented their own experiences on the stage and received sympathetic responses from the audiences.

One of the most memorable scenes of the performance is the finale, where performers step off the stage and let the audience draw lines and write words on their costumes using lipstick, symbolizing the frameworks and expectations imposed on women. It encourages women to reexperience their unique selves and to reconcile, accept, and love their original appearances.

Through "#Since 1994," Eye Catching Circus plans to establish a platform for female circus performers, focusing on creation and cultivation, helping creators within the platform to gain more performance opportunities. Through this series of plans, Eye Catching Circus hopes to stimulate different thought processes and creative contexts, presenting a diverse range of performance styles.

"Keep in touch!" is Eye Catching Circus's latest creation. It explores how technology has changed intimate relationships. The advanced technology seems to make more convenient for people to keep in touch with their loved ones, but it also has the impact on interpersonal relationships, the physical and mental state when people communicate with each other, and our understanding of reality and virtuality. What does such a change mean for people living in the new technological age? Does it strengthen the intimacy with people we love or virtualize people’s relationships and spread them to various digital community spaces? Through this new work, Eye Catching Circus combines traditional circus stunts and modern dance to brilliantly present the philosophical theme and physical skills.

(Photo courtesy of Eye Catching Circus)