See You Yesterday (MAY 16-19) is a complex story, reclaiming the lost history of the Khmer Rouge that the performers’ parents and grandparents left behind. This is a story of healing and by remembering the past, these performers, their families, and even Cambodians worldwide have the ability to move toward the future.
What is particularly unique about See You Yesterday is the performers themselves. Through a partnership with Global Arts Corps, the cast developed a physically stunning and cathartic theater experience. Their acrobatic feats represent the stakes of the Khmer Rouge, as audiences watch anticipating the danger of falling and the performers take the risk because this story needs and deserves to be told. It’s a collective moment of inhale and exhale, audience and acrobats together. Acrobatics possesses a narrative quality that heightens storytelling — sometimes literally — that fosters empathy perhaps what words can hold.
Boston is incredibly lucky to have several circus organizations in our midst. Esh Circus Arts, located in Somerville, MA, invited us to their studio to continue the conversation regarding acrobatics and storytelling, while also demonstrating a few tricks tucked up their sleeves. In addition to performances, Esh is also a training center for both professional and recreational circus performers. Much like See You Yesterday and Global Arts Corps trained young Cambodians, Esh does similar work with ordinary Bostonians and guides them toward extraordinary feats.
The reoccurring theme between Esh and See You Yesterday, beyond the gravity-defying moments of awe, is the understanding the anyone can perform circus. Whether you are just beginning your circus journey or have been performing for years, everyone has the ability to tell their story.