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Imagine Otherwise: Lauren Rile Smith on Feminist Circus Art

Imagine Otherwise: Lauren Rile Smith on Feminist Circus Art

retro
March 9, 2016
Lauren Rile Smith wearing an orange scarf and glasses

Guest: Lauren Rile Smith

Lauren Rile Smith is a poet and performer, and the founder and producer of Tangle Movement Arts.

She has trained trapeze and other circus arts at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, the New England Center for Circus Arts, and LAVA Brooklyn.

When not on a trapeze, Lauren edits poetry for Cleaver Magazine.

Tangle Movement Arts is a Philadelphia-based circus arts company with a contemporary twist, whose performances mix traditional circus like trapeze and acrobatics with dance, theater, and live music to tell a multi-dimensional story. Tangle’s work is devised collaboratively by its all-female ensemble, and reflects individuals of diverse identities, with an emphasis on queer and female experience.

Lauren Rile Smith wearing an orange scarf and glasses. Text reads: Aerial dance is a way of telling stories that creates a sense of magical reality when you see someone upside down, spinning in the air, doing something you might not think is possible.

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People and projects discussed

About Imagine Otherwise

Imagine Otherwise is a podcast about the people and projects bridging art, activism, and academia to build better worlds. Episodes offer in-depth interviews with creators who use culture for social justice, and explore the nitty-gritty work of imagining and creating more just worlds. Check out full podcast episodes and show notes at ideasonfire.net/imagine-otherwise-podcast. Imagine Otherwise is hosted by Cathy Hannabach and produced by Ideas on Fire, an academic editing and consulting agency helping progressive, interdisciplinary scholars write and publish awesome texts, enliven public conversations, and create more just worlds.

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    Transcript

    Cathy Hannabach (00:03):

    Welcome to Imagine Otherwise, the podcast about the people and projects bridging art, activism, and academia to build better worlds. Episodes offer in depth interviews with creators who use culture for social justice, and explore the nitty gritty work of Imagining Otherwise. I’m your host, Cathy Hannabach.

    Cathy Hannabach (00:23):

    Hello and welcome to episode five of the Imagine Otherwise Podcast. Today our guest is Lauren Rile Smith. Lauren is a poet and performer, as well as the founder and producer of Tangle Movement Arts. Tangle Arts is an all-female Philadelphia based circus arts company with a contemporary twist, whose performances mix traditional circus like trapeze and acrobatics, with dance, theater and live music to tell a multidimensional story. Tangle Arts’ work is devised collaboratively by its all-female ensemble, and reflects individuals of diverse identities with an emphasis on queer and female experience.

    Cathy Hannabach (01:01):

    Lauren has trained in trapeze and other circus arts with the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, the New England Center for Circus Arts, and Lava Brooklyn. When not on a trapeze, Lauren edits poetry for Cleaver Magazine. Today, Lauren is here to talk with us about queer feminist circus performance, poetry, and what it means to imagine otherwise.

    Lauren Rile Smith (01:23):

    Thank you so much, and thank you for that lovely introduction.

    Cathy Hannabach (01:27):

    You’re obviously the director and the founder of Tangle Movement Arts, so can you just tell us a little bit about that group and what you all do?

    Lauren Rile Smith (01:34):

    Absolutely. As you mentioned, Tangle is part of the contemporary circus movement, which means that we are interested in taking some of the traditional vocabulary of circus arts, which historically is associated with the big top spectacle, and bringing into more intimate dance theater context to tell stories about ordinary people’s lives. Tangle was founded in 2011, because I saw a radical potential in circus arts to question our usual assumptions about people’s bodies. From the literally sight of someone spinning upside-down 20 feet in the air, to more subtle questions like ideas about how strong women are, whether they can lift their own bodies, lift other people’s bodies. From stories that we can tell when we bring that literal metaphor of physical support, or lack of support onto the stage.

    Lauren Rile Smith (02:31):

    So Tangle is really deeply invested in telling stories about women’s relationships and strength in all sorts of ways. We have a broad palette using different types of circus arts, and also using our 10-woman company to tell these stories. Our last show was part of the Philadelphia FringeArts Festival, it was called the Girls Guide to Neighborly Conduct, which used aerial storytelling to unfold the drama between two sets of neighbors. This show started because we were just in passing in the company, talking about how every household is its own little universe with distinct rules about how to wash dishes or where to put your shoes, or what’s polite and what’s passive-aggressive.

    Lauren Rile Smith (03:17):

    We realized that we all had great stories or sometimes stressful stories about people who share intimate spaces, like roommates and neighbors, and sometimes collide in spectacular ways, even when everyone has the best of intentions. So for this show, we found that dynamic was instantly recognizable, and really fun to play with. So in our show, at one point, a character who isn’t receiving household help from her new live-in girlfriend grits her teeth and climbs a rope with a broom between her toes to sweep the ceiling all by herself. That always got a laugh from the audience, but we were also interested in digging a little deeper into the idea that human social behavior, at home and in public, is structured by rules and expectations that are sometimes oppressive, sometimes empowering, and sometimes contradictory.

    Lauren Rile Smith (04:09):

    We were interested, we were really invested in having a show that didn’t take one, there’s one right way to be a neighbor, or one right way to start dating someone new, but rather the idea that all of our behavior as humans are structured by rules and expectations that are worth questioning and bringing to light. Whether we ultimately celebrate them or try to change them in our lives. So that’s an example of the kind of feminist backbone behind the aerial storytelling that we do.

    Cathy Hannabach (04:42):

    That sounds awesome. I was privileged enough to be able to go see that, and it was an absolutely fantastic show. And you’re right, hilarious in those moments of recognition, when you’re like, “I’ve definitely had that experience with a roommate, or I’ve had that experience with a partner.” But also, touching, these tender moments of friendship and of caring for each other, which was fantastic.

    Lauren Rile Smith (05:05):

    That’s wonderful to hear, that means a lot.

    Cathy Hannabach (05:09):

    Why circus, what possessed you individually, but also obviously a critical mass of people enough to be able to put together a company, to get into wanting to fly around in the air?

    Lauren Rile Smith (05:26):

    That’s such a good question. The contemporary circus movement is actually very new, I’d say in the past 10 or 15 years it’s completely been transformed in America. I think that it’s absolutely exploding in popularity, and even just in the five years that Tangle has existed. I remember when I first founded Tangle, I would connect with venue owners or presenters, and have these conversations, and people would say, “Wait, I just don’t understand. Can you show me a picture?” They would think I was talking about trampoline, because trapeze and trampoline both start with T.

    Lauren Rile Smith (06:05):

    Now, people say like, “My five year old does that. I saw Pink doing that on the Grammy’s.” I think it’s really exploded in visibility, which has certainly made my conversation with those venue owners a little bit easier. But it’s been really interesting to see all the different reasons that people are drawn to circus arts, in terms of wanting to watch them or wanting to participate in them. There’s absolutely an aspect in which for some people, it’s an exciting fitness experience, which I think is absolutely worth celebrating. But I think that there’s really a way of telling stories that is made possible when you have this sense of magical and reality, when you see someone again, upside-down spinning in the air, doing something that doesn’t seem physically possible.

    Lauren Rile Smith (07:04):

    I think that has given us a platform for metaphor, for literalized metaphor that’s been really powerful in terms of telling stories, the stories that we’re interested in. I think that I love, I truly think there is a powerful platform for questioning our assumptions about gender in the fact that circus arts is a discipline in which women build muscle and compare how many pull-ups they can do, and men build flexibility, and everybody gets held. It’s a platform for adults to connect physically in a way that isn’t sexualized, that’s playful, and that’s really rare I think in many people’s adult lives. So that’s part of the backbone of both the excitement [inaudible 00:07:59] to each other as company members.

    Lauren Rile Smith (08:02):

    Initially when I founded Tangle, and I was like, “I just have this vision for a feminist circus show.” I really wanted to emphasize women’s relationships and explore stories from our ordinary lives in the form of trapeze solos. So I found a community of people who were really hungry to use those platforms to tell these stories, and it’s also the backbone of the adult trapeze classes that we teach under the same umbrella of Tangle.

    Cathy Hannabach (08:39):

    Nice. How do you teach those classes? Is that more of the fitness reason that people get into that you’re talking about, or are they related to shows in any way?

    Lauren Rile Smith (08:50):

    I think that people come from really different perspectives. The class that I teach is a trapeze technique class that’s mixed level and open to everybody, it’s a really body positive and queer friendly space for play and physical empowerment. So it’s truly focused on building strength and technique on trapeze that can be used just for fun, that can be used as a chance to connect with these friends you’re making in this specific space, that could be used for performance. So I love this class and the community that we’ve built, and it feels like a really special opportunity.

    Cathy Hannabach (09:32):

    That’s awesome. You’ve mentioned a little bit about how, certainly how feminism shapes the work that Tangle does and the reason why you wanted to put Tangle together, and I love the phrase that you said, “Everyone gets held.” And that teaching us, particularly as adults, some important lessons that we have perhaps gotten away from since we moved out of childhood. I love also the way that connects to questioning gender norms. I’m curious how concerns of social justice or progressive better worlds, whatever that means to you, how does that shape the work that you do with Tangle, but also how does it shape the work that the company does collectively?

    Lauren Rile Smith (10:23):

    I’d say that one of the central questions that Tangle is always really interested in, so our shows can really range in terms of subject and style. Sometimes, like the show that you most recently saw, they’re very storyline driven, and sometimes it’s more abstract and about exploring movement. But the central question that our shows begin with is depicting female strength and relationships between women. Though this sometimes feels really basic, it also feels deeply essential to us, in part because we live in a world in which relationships between women are underrepresented in media or squashed into stereotypes, even in sometimes places where we would expect to have them made central.

    Lauren Rile Smith (11:19):

    So I think that is really part of the backbone of our mission when we make creative work. I would say that one of the other ways that our commitment to feminism is central in what Tangle does is the fact that our company is a collaborative experience, all of our work is devised by the entire company in a longterm cooperative process. We get started by identifying one question or concept that sparks ideas collaboratively, and then over a long period of back and forth, develop the work together. I think our commitment to really collaborative work is part of our feminist values.

    Cathy Hannabach (12:14):

    Collaboration is challenging, right? It’s fantastic, it’s something that we certainly strive for in the name of the ethics and politics that we’re committed to, particularly coming out of social justice movements like feminism. But as you know, it’s sticky. There’s a nitty gritty complication to it. So one of the things I like to talk with people on this podcast about is that nitty gritty on-the-ground work of collaboration, where it sounds lovely of course, everyone wants to collaborate, everyone wants to be in community, but those of us who particularly come out of activist traditions, we know how difficult that is and how much labor collaboration is. It’s important labor and it’s labor we are committed to doing, but can you talk a little bit about what it means to actually work in collaboration? Are there challenges that you all have found? How did you work through them? Both work within the company, but also when the company interacts with other people, either venues or audiences or things like that.

    Lauren Rile Smith (13:22):

    I think that’s a really important question. It is absolutely work. I think we’ve been incredibly blessed in Tangle and in our relationships with other people or organizations, with just incredible people and relationships. We’ve had wonderful experiences, but it’s absolutely work. And especially relating to the theme of our last show, it’s especially difficult to collaborate across differences of expectations, of purpose, of cultural background. Sometimes just personality can make communication difficult when everybody has the best of intentions.

    Lauren Rile Smith (14:05):

    I think that’s something that absolutely, even inside the company, we have spent a lot of time thinking about and putting work into. I think we really value the context that we’ve built in Tangle and have a sense that bringing our best intentions and our most generous listening, and our willingness to give back and forth is something that is just as important in terms of the labor we do together, as rehearsing for our shows, or de-rigging after a performance, or carrying things to the car, which are all many tasks that we do over and over together for the company. I think that taking that really seriously, and not thinking of communication as something that should be effortless or always will be effortless is an essential insight.

    Cathy Hannabach (15:05):

    One of the things I really love about Tangle is you take that behind-the-scenes collaboration and that feminist commitment to that kind of collaborative work that happens behind-the-scenes, but you also put it on stage. So it’s both the theme of your various performances, even in all of their narrative differences, it’s definitely a common theme across all of your works, but it’s also the method through which you perform those works.

    Lauren Rile Smith (15:35):

    I think that’s a wonderful way of putting it, thank you. It’s definitely something we’re obsessed with, I think probably forever. But we’ve had really rewarding experiences also working with people and organizations that sometimes have very different backgrounds or purposes, but that we’ve been able to connect with on individual projects. For example, a few years ago I met an installation artist, Julia Wilson, who I just happened to come across this beautiful structure she had built out of wood framing and yarn. I approached her and I said, “I know this is really off the wall, but would you be interested in collaborating with some acrobats?” Because I find that really warms people up, they’re not expecting that.

    Lauren Rile Smith (16:24):

    Julia had never thought of herself as a set designer, but she was willing to play with us. She ended up making these really cool visually abstract set pieces for two of our shows, so that was a really fun example of collaborating with a person who had a completely different background and expectations, because she was highly trained as a visual artist with a completely different timeline for her work, and style of collecting resources, et cetera, than this aerial dance company. So that was really rewarding.

    Cathy Hannabach (17:02):

    Wow.

    Lauren Rile Smith (17:02):

    Another example might be this past year, we worked with the City of Philadelphia, which commissioned a performance in part of its Performance in Public Spaces programs, which brought arts and entertainment to Philadelphia’s public parks. Their agenda was simply bringing activity and entertainment to a public park location, which was exciting to us as part of one of our … A part of our mission is, in terms of outreach, bringing free circus theater performances to various locations around Philly, particularly West Philadelphia, which is where we’re based, and connecting people who might not spend money to see circus or might not even know that circus is a genre that they might be interested in, and bringing again, depictions of strong women and relationships between women, and just sharing the thrill of seeing someone flip in the air.

    Lauren Rile Smith (18:02):

    Bringing that to communities that might not otherwise have arts going on in their backyard. That felt like a really wonderful chance to connect with a similar but different purpose, and collaborate with the City of Philadelphia.

    Cathy Hannabach (18:18):

    That’s awesome. So you are an incredibly artistic person, obviously, but you also come from a family of artists, right?

    Lauren Rile Smith (18:28):

    That’s true. I have three younger sisters who are all artists, one is a playwright and actor, one is a violinist and violist, and one is a glass artist who makes jewelry as well as sculptures out of flameworked glass. My mother is a writer and an editor and the founder of Cleaver Magazine, which is an incredible online literary journal. So I absolutely came from an artistic family, and I think it shaped me in a way that was a great privilege.

    Lauren Rile Smith (19:09):

    I think that having a family that had a strong value of artistic expression, and access to the resources that made this possible, gave me a sense that I was entitled to my vision of my own work. Not necessarily entitled to success, that’s for sure, but entitled to the chance to put my own imagination and planning and work into a project I care about, and see what happens. I think that especially in a discipline as young and as uncommon as contemporary circus arts, that was a great advantage to say, “I have an idea, let’s see if we can make this work.” I think it’s been incredibly rewarding.

    Cathy Hannabach (19:52):

    Did you also bring that sense of wanting to create projects, believing that you can create projects, into the poetry that you produce?

    Lauren Rile Smith (20:03):

    I think to be honest with you, poetry is the discipline that I grew up inside of as a young person, and was professionalized in before I became interested in circus arts. It’s always been so close to me emotionally, and of course, the experience of reading and writing poetry is very individualistic, it can be done in a room by yourself, that I think it was difficult for me to have, just in terms of production, in terms of getting a finished project into the world and connecting with other people, it was almost too close for me emotionally to have the perspective that I have as a producer now.

    Lauren Rile Smith (20:51):

    I think that a lot of the same questions that I’m interested in as a poet, I get to attack in a sideways way as a circus artist, and as a circus producer. But of course, I will not lie, it is way easier to market a circus arts show than it is to market your poetry.

    Cathy Hannabach (21:16):

    I would imagine.

    Lauren Rile Smith (21:19):

    That was …

    Cathy Hannabach (21:19):

    For better or worse, right?

    Lauren Rile Smith (21:21):

    Absolutely. That was the thing I discovered and was like, “Oh, maybe if I can package the ideas I’m interested in representing about bodies and relationships and women and feminism, and what it means to have a body …” Which I think is something I’ve always been obsessed with, in part because of my background as someone with chronic pain. If I can package that in a way that involves spinning through the air, that truly gives me a great leg up in terms of connecting with people.

    Lauren Rile Smith (21:58):

    But I think that one of the things that I, as someone who comes from a literary background, and absolutely the other members of Tangle who come from … We have gymnasts and dancers and theater artists, but we also have people who are PhDs in contemporary literature, excuse me, in comparative literature and scientists and many different backgrounds, which inform our work in ways that I find to be amazing and exciting. So I think that Tangle does have a really interdisciplinary spirit, and brings in techniques and inspirations from all different types of artistic fields.

    Cathy Hannabach (22:37):

    You mentioned several of the performers, the company members coming from the world of academia, and I know you have a particular connection to academia as well, can you tell us a little bit about your connection and then maybe how you see some of the ideas maybe, or the methodologies of academia showing up maybe unexpectedly in Tangle’s work?

    Lauren Rile Smith (23:02):

    That’s a wonderful question. So speaking for myself, I work in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Pennsylvania, and my job specifically involves coordinating between curators and conservators and the Public Services Department to house and protect our collections and keep them organized and findable. So I think, I believe strongly that archival work has an activist aspect to it. Archival work is preserving our cultural heritage, and choosing what cultural heritage is on the table for preservation, what kind of resources are given to it, and what populations these resources are made accessible to, are all really close to my heart.

    Lauren Rile Smith (23:54):

    I will put in a plug and say that the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Pennsylvania is an incredible resource that is open to the public, and you only need photo ID to use our collections. So I think that’s radical in of itself, many rare book and manuscript libraries are only accessible to scholars with a letter of introduction and so forth. I’m proud of being part of that organization.

    Lauren Rile Smith (24:18):

    But I’ll also say that for me, my job there fits into the puzzle of my life in that it is a stable endurable day job that makes it possible to put energy into my artistic work without fear. So every artist strikes their own balance, but this has been a major part of the puzzle for me. I think that it’s been interesting to see how that settles out for the rest of my company, or for the rest of my friends who are professional circus artists. As well as my friends who are artists in general, or just people putting their lives together in general. That is what that means to me.

    Cathy Hannabach (25:03):

    Okay. I’ve talked with so many artists about the difficulty of supporting yourself financially, monetarily, while also producing art. There’s a million different ways that people have gone about trying to do that, everything from getting grants for particular projects, particularly because there aren’t a whole lot of grants for artists, artists as humans with shifts in the NEA, but there are grants for projects, so going that route versus trying to get a company together versus forging partnerships with institutions versus bootstrapping it. All of these different, and of course, it’s usually a mix of whatever you can scrape together in a moment, project to project, year to year.

    Cathy Hannabach (25:59):

    But it seems like more and more people I know, at least artists that I know are doing essentially what you’re doing, holding down a day job or stable position. Hopefully it’s something that they enjoy and they are fulfilled by in some way, but it’s what basically enables them to produce their art.

    Lauren Rile Smith (26:18):

    Absolutely. I think it’s, just to speak to Tangle, the members of our company are all employed outside of our company, and in ways that generally really commit them to the City of Philadelphia. Which to be completely honest with you, when Tangle began, that’s something I was a little self conscious about. As if it said, it implied, “These artists are not full-time artists, they have this other life, maybe it compromises their artistic vision or whatever.” But I realized that I think that was just a classist hangup I had, to be frank.

    Lauren Rile Smith (27:00):

    But down the pike, a few years into Tangle’s existence, and after many conversations with other artists, particularly circus artists, I realized that in the field of circus arts in particular, employment is so frequently structured by short term contracts that move people around geographically, that it’s very hard to create lasting partnerships with other artists, because you’re working on an act that’s made from a sense of love and fascination with a particular idea or driven by a particular mission. Then your flyer says to you, “I just got a contract, I’ll see you in two months, I’m going to France.”

    Lauren Rile Smith (27:39):

    I actually, I came to realize that it’s absolutely a strength for our particular company where we are at this juncture, that the members of the company have many ties both to each other and to the location, the City of Philadelphia where we’re located. So I’ve come to actually feel that’s a real strength for us. But as you say, there are so many solutions, and artists find the ones that work for them.

    Cathy Hannabach (28:07):

    I’m curious about the connection to Philadelphia, beyond just it keeps a tight knit company or it ensures that people are committed, are going to stick around. But what is the relationship between the very specific geographical place that you’re producing this kind of work in, that you all are producing this work in? In some of your shows I’ve seen, Philly almost seems to be a character of some sort, much more than a background. There’s so many very Philly specific references and things like that. But it also seems to maybe bring up an issue of another kind of social justice question, is that commitment to community and to being accountable to the community from which you come, in which you are embedded, rather than being an artistic troupe that just happens to be working in a space for now, but next week, who knows, we’ll be somewhere else.

    Lauren Rile Smith (29:04):

    That’s a wonderful perspective, I think that is a subtext that has come up in our conversations, or that we feel as a company that really is rooted in this community. We’ve absolutely I think grown and discovered and developed a community increasingly as we’ve existed. Again, contemporary circus being such a young field, I think when Tangle began, many people who are now part of Tangle’s community had no idea that this type of work even existed. So I think that’s something that is very meaningful to us, and does make our stories more specific sometimes. As you said, again, in our last show about neighbors, we really were very rooted in the sense of the Philadelphia row house being a very specific environment for this story that we wanted to tell.

    Cathy Hannabach (30:00):

    That’s great. So we’re getting to my favorite question that I get to ask guests in the podcast. Obviously, this podcast is called Imagine Otherwise, and one of the things that I’m really excited that I get to talk about with guests is their version of a better world, that version of a world that they’re working towards when they make their art, when they teach their classes, when they write their books, when they produce whatever kind of amazing stuff that they produce in the world. So what’s the world you’re working towards? What do you want?

    Lauren Rile Smith (30:32):

    I love this question. I’m going to take a little step backwards first and tell you a little bit more about my background, what brought me to circus arts. Which is that, as I mentioned briefly earlier, I’ve experienced chronic pain my entire adult life, mostly joint pain, but it has really fluctuated and sometimes really compromises my mobility or ability to do everyday tasks, and sometimes doesn’t. I’ve had a long road of no diagnosis and so forth. So before I connected with the world of circus arts, I had really settled into a strategy for managing it, in which I was a brain in a jar. I had no connection to my body, I just flipped that switch, and I felt like, I thought of my body as this apartment that I lived in that I rented from a slumlord.

    Cathy Hannabach (31:28):

    That’s such a great metaphor.

    Lauren Rile Smith (31:34):

    It was like, “The water’s not running today, whatever. Don’t step on that floorboard.” But it doesn’t really matter, because it’s not who I am. When I discovered circus arts, I realized that I could have a different relationship with my body, and that relationship has been, I felt like a completely different dimension was opened to me, and I realized that my body is a partner. It’s a creative constraint. It’s something to take care of, like a beloved pet. It’s something that has information for me, sometimes whether I want to hear it or not. And it is me, I know nothing other than body.

    Lauren Rile Smith (32:27):

    I think that was a revelation that was a little terrifying, and yet very seductive and exciting. So I had so much anxiety when I started circus arts, because I had so much anxiety about my body and pain. I also, as a human being who was socialized female in this time and place, was very hung up on what my body looked like and what that meant in terms of what my value was and so forth. I realized that as I slowly became stronger through training circus arts, and I really started at zero, so anyone can become a trapeze artist, I truly believe this, as I became stronger through training circus arts, I had less pain. Which I think is one feminist footnote to my story, because all the doctors that I had seen, none of them ever said, “You need strength training to stabilize your joints.”

    Lauren Rile Smith (33:30):

    I think they saw a young woman in pain, and that didn’t even occur to them as a possible solution, so that’s one of my takeaways from the story. But I also realized that I cared about what my body could do, and not necessarily what it looked like. Or what stories it could tell, or how it could connect to other people. That opened up a sense of capacity and freedom that I’ve been addicted to ever since. So I think that my story is not that unusual, I think that there are many people who for whatever reason are disconnected from their own bodies, and have very limited ways of interacting with other people’s bodies. I think that especially, as you mentioned earlier, in adulthood we have really prescribed scripts for interacting with other adults’ bodies, and it’s frequently sexualized or envious or proprietary or judgemental.

    Lauren Rile Smith (34:29):

    So part of my picture, my contribution to a vision of a better world is a world in which embodiment is a source of power and of stories and of positive connection with other people, that is creative and loving and playful. I want that to be free, and I want it to be prevalent. It’s part of the work that we do when we make shows or teach classes or bring our free shows to the public.

    Cathy Hannabach (35:00):

    I love that. I want that too. Well, for those of you who haven’t had a chance to see Tangle Arts, I highly recommend it, if for no other reason, and there are a million reasons, but yet one more is you actually get to see an example of this body politics on stage, which is just phenomenal to watch. Do you have any upcoming shows that folks might be interested in?

    Lauren Rile Smith (35:27):

    I’m really excited about our next full length show, which will be in March, March 16th through 19th, and it will be our five-year retrospective. So we’ll be taking some of Tangle’s greatest hits and reviving and remix them to tell a few new stories. That will be at Christ Church Neighborhood House in Old City Philadelphia, and we’re really looking forward to sharing it.

    Cathy Hannabach (35:51):

    Where can we find you online, learn more about Tangle Arts, perhaps hear about upcoming shows and the like?

    Lauren Rile Smith (36:00):

    Well, we have many ways in which you can connect with us online. I think you have the URL for our website.

    Cathy Hannabach (36:08):

    Yep, and this will go in the show notes too, but it’s nice to hear you actually say it.

    Lauren Rile Smith (36:13):

    Excellent. So our website is Tangle-Arts.com, we’re on Facebook under Tangle Movement Arts, and we also are on Instagram and Tumblr and Twitter as Tangle_Arts. We have a mailing list if you just want the facts, which is accessible on our website. It’s really fun to connect with people across the globe who are interested in contemporary circus or feminist performance, and we have a lot of very beautiful photos to share.

    Cathy Hannabach (36:51):

    Awesome. Thank you so much for being on the podcast, this has been fantastic.

    Lauren Rile Smith (36:56):

    Thank you, this was quite a pleasure.

    Cathy Hannabach (36:59):

    Thanks for listening to another episode of Imagine Otherwise. Editing for this episode was done by Julie Lenard. Be sure to check out our website at ImagineOtherwise.com to listen to full episodes, read show notes, and see links to the people, books, and projects discussed on the show. You can also subscribe to us on iTunes.

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    John Hina (Prime) wearing a blue shirt and lavender jacket, Abigail Romanchak wearing a black shirt and brown pants kneeling on the floor making art, and Solomon Enos wering a black shirt with a yellow fruit on his head
    June 28, 2017

    Imagine Otherwise: Solomon Enos, Abigail Romanchak, and John Hina (Prime) on Native Hawaiian Food Security

    Host Cathy Hannabach interviews Native Hawaiian artists Solomon Enos, Abigail Romanchak, and John Hina about the 'Ae Kai Culture Lab.

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