View “Flexion” (2007)
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“Superhuman…pushing the limits of what’s physically possible. ”
-Cynthia Archbold, Miami Sun Post
“Wise Fool…guarantees that your eyes will pop, your mouth will gape, and most of all – you yourself will feel a sense of unlimited potential.”
-Local Flavor Magazine
“Their zany exuberance is tempered by their desire to transmit a serious message”
-Santa Fe New Mexican
SeeSaw is a 25-30 minute outdoor theater spectacle set in a landscape of interactive sculptures. A collaboration between WFNM’s daring physical performers and pioneer kinetic sculpture artists Christina Sporrong and Christian Ristow, SeeSaw explores the human dimensions of migration, immigration and our innate search for “home”. Acrobatic theater artists in the air and on stilts inhabit an ever-changing environment, drawing in, disarming and instilling audiences with wonder and compassion, ultimately opening the door for new ideas and dialogues.
WFNM’s inspiration to create SeeSaw comes from its commitment to theater that offers new insights on the human condition within our nation’s evolving society. WFNM’s strength and history lies in its ability to combine physical dexterity and daring with visual splendor in a way that draws in, disarms, and imbues audiences with a sense that anything is possible, thereby opening the door for new ideas while releasing preconceptions.
Commissioned by Miami’s Carnival Center for its inaugural outdoor performance in January, 2007, Flexion was created for Wise Fool New Mexico by Sydney’s David Clarkson. Recognized in the aerial and physical theater world as a leader in the field, Clarkson’s Flexion is an outdoor, aerial and stilt movement spectacle. Featuring five acrobats on stilts rolling into backbends, splits, and a myriad of sculptural forms, Flexion stretches one’s perception of the human body. Strutting and dancing, suspended and flying the performers’ pincer-like metal legs slice the air as they spin and swim like fencers in a seas, barely missing each other in their fervent exploration of their metal home. Shedding layers of armor, the acrobats slowly transform from superhuman warriors to fragile nymphs balancing high above the audience, hanging precariously from straps, the cage, and each other and finally descending to earth. Flexion is designed for outdoor venues and runs 25 minutes.
Wise Fool New Mexico (WFNM) is an award winning physical theater company that produces highly visual performances and public spectacles. WFNM reaches audiences over 10,000 annually, through tours of repertory and site specific productions across North America, and performances and educational programs in our local communities of Northern New Mexico. From Bumbershoot to the Bioneers Conference, International Dance and Visual Arts festivals to public libraries and prisons, WFNM has successfully engaged audiences of all ages in physical, thought provoking, and visually stunning theater for over 12 years. It is WFNM’s mission to ignite imagination, build community, and promote social justice through performances and hands-on experiences in the arts of circus, puppetry, and theatre. Our commitment to accessibility of the arts leads us to focus on creating work for outdoor events and alternative venues.
Wise Fool New Mexico’s outdoor aerial-stilt spectacle Flexion has reached over 20,000 audience members of all ages touring across the US and internationally to venues including Flint Hills Children’s Festival, St Paul, MN, B-Live, Miami FL, Detroit International Arts Festival, MI, Artown, Reno, NV, Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Denver, CO, Santa Fe Opera, NM, Bumbershoot, Seattle, WA, Columbia Festival of the Arts, MD, Discovery Green, Houston, TX, Bayou City Arts Festival, Houston, TX, International Festival of the Arts, Valencia, Venezuela, and DansEncore, Quebec, Canada.
Born in New Zealand, David Clarkson began his theatre career in Christchurch in 1982. He worked in several seminal theatre companies in NZ, developing his skills in physical theatre and theatre management. In 1985, Clarkson formed the Stalker Theatre Company developing it into one of Australia’s top national and international touring physical theatre companies. Clarkson has performed in and co-conceived many of their works, involving stilt and aerial dance and acrobatics as well as ground-based choreographies.
Christian is a professional performing and visual artist, teacher and community activist. A founding member of Wise Fool, Christian has served as a co-Director, core artist, producer and administrator since 1989.
In her time with Wise Fool, Christian has conceived, organized and directed outdoor and indoor theatre events, taught public workshops in mask making, stilt walking, puppetry arts and processional theatre, performed throughout the US, Mexico and Europe, built hundreds of giant puppets and supported an uncountable number of cultural and social change groups and events.
Christian has also guided community and cultural organizations through the conception and creation of public events. In 1995, Christian founded IN THE STREET, the San Francisco Street Theatre Festival. A three-day free event, celebrating accessible theatre by bringing high quality performances into the streets of the Tenderloin. IN THE STREET is now in its sixth successful year, changing the face of this “dangerous” neighborhood by bringing the community together in dialogue and shared celebration.
Currently Morris is working in her seventh year with Wise Fool New Mexico as a principal performer, teacher, choreographer, Production and Booking Agent, Studio Manager and she is in her fourth year as the Producer of the Women’s Summer Circus Workshop Intensive. Morris has also been a member of the Production team for a program in Miami, Florida titled “Walking Tall Circus”, where she has been working with at risk youth in the Miami county area. Morris is currently working on a new performance project to be premiered in September 2006, tentatively titled Ashes & Snow: a study in the Alchemy of Hope.
Alessandra Ogren has been creating puppets, masks and performance works as a core member of Wise Fool since 1993. She is a professional performer, artist, lighting designer, teacher and accomplished aerialist.