“25 years ago, this week, I moved to Montreal. Miriam de Sela didn’t want her return flight, so impulsively I took her ticket (back when you didn’t need an ID to board an airplane), relocating on the spur of the moment. I showed up at lÉcole Nationale de Cirque de Montréal, explaining that I had now arrived and was there to go to their school and they thus had to take me. They in turn explained there was normally a lengthy admissions process, and I was WAY past the deadline, and the school was full. Classes had begun! I explained (again!) that I was THERE and not leaving and they had to take me. I went every day for 2 months until they let me in. (Incidentally, this is not a tactic I recommend on present day ENC).
During that time I observed trainings: André Simard — the main reason I’d traveled across the continent! And other greats of the era: Zigmund! Daniela Arendasova teaching flex! Wonderful Wawa (Warren Conley) of course too. And watching those golden-age trapeze artists that pumped me with enough inspiration for a lifetime: Sky de Sela, Adèll Nodé-Langlois , Titoune, Esther Fallu, Blanc-Brude Caroline , Caroline Therrien, Xavier Lamoureux.
I spent a month sharing beds with Ayin and Lhasa until moving in with my soon-to-be BFF of that year, Catherine Archambault.
So 25 years ago I fell in love with this city that I now call home. This city that I have now lived in longer than my own original home. I finally got used to the 6-month winters, to French and English in constant fluid motion careening about in my brain, to not turning right on a red light (though I still curse about that last one regularly)
And here, to commemorate, a totally cringe-inducing video… Early 90’s graphics and synth music and slow-mo montage and EYEBROWS and scrunchies and fluffy hair!
Plus: a very young Jan Rok Achard, Catherine Magis, Pierre Carrier, Jacinthe Tremblay, Robert Bourgeois, Marc Gauthier, Jade Kindar-Martin, Mercedes Chenard… and 22-year old me trying to be deep (some things never change)
(They also randomly grabbed footage of Salitmbanco, as it was the Cirque show that had just opened. So completely coincidentally this video manages to capsulize my entire 20’s! There’s even a shot of Huang Zhen! And underscored with the voice of another beloved friend of that decade, Francine Poitras)”