Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Circus Harmony

For my photojournalism course I sought an essay subject that spoke to my heart and discovered Circus Harmony. As a student of American Culture studies I am curious how our environment shapes us; Jessica Hentoff's Circus Harmony shapes students through circus...what a unique concept! Her foundation offers classes to underprivileged and privileged children, Jessica explains, "The life skills we learn, as children, are the tools we take with us into adulthood. If we teach children when they are young to overlook differences and focus on similarities, to focus on working together to fix something rather than abdicating responsibility and blaming instead, those skills could result in a more peaceful future. When you are trying to do a human pyramid, you need to know the technique and the terminology so that you and your partner are speaking the same language physically and verbally. You learn fairly quickly, that to succeed in performing the pyramid, you cannot blame each other if something goes wrong but you must figure out what you can do together to make it work. Whoever you are and wherever you are from, there is some circus skill that you can accomplish because circus is an art made up of a variety of skills.
Circus teaches life’s lessons. Participation requires cooperation, individual and group responsibility and control over mind, body and emotions. Children learn these skills through circus arts and apply them to everyday life."

Circus teaches the art of life.

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