The Resilient Body in Social Circus: Father Jesus Silva, Boris Cyrulnik, and Peter A. Levine

By Katie Lavers.

Published by The International Journal of Arts Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: September 5, 2014 $US5.00

Social circus has a radical agenda. It takes the notion of “circus for everybody,” the catch cry of New Circus, out onto the streets, and involves some of the most deprived and abused people in society. Usually, but not always, social circus is undertaken with young people, primarily youth in perilous situations, and traumatized young people. This paper explores the evolution of social circus, which is traced back to Father Jesus Silva in Spain in the 1950s. The author draws together the work of Boris Cyrulnik and Peter A. Levine to create the notion of “the resilient body,” a concept which provides a theoretical context for social circus, for Father Jesus Silva's success, and for the extraordinary results that social circus is achieving worldwide in social intervention with young people at risk.

Keywords: Social Circus, Resilience, Trauma, Youth at Risk, Boris Cyrulnik, Peter A. Levine, Father Jesus Silva

The International Journal of Arts Education, Volume 8, Issue 3, December 2014, pp.47-55. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: September 5, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 218.175KB)).

Katie Lavers

PhD Candidate, Faculty of Education and Arts, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Katie Lavers is a director, producer, deviser, and writer of inter-media performance integrating interactive technology, video, dance, circus, electronic sound scores and text. Her creative work has toured widely throughout Australia and Asia to public and critical acclaim. Katie is completing her PhD investigating notions of the body in contemporary circus. Her current creative research explores embodied and virtual states of being.