Emilia TauAs part of our partnership with El Circense, the Spanish language digital circus arts magazine, we will be republishing some of their original content, in English.

This week, we present an in-depth interview with foot juggler (also known as antipodist) Emilia Tau from the August, 2011 edition of El Circense. Interview by Nico
. Photos by Guidu – Anne Coudron – Bertrand Depoortére

Who is Emilia Tau?
I am a woman from the south of Italy, with dark hair, passionate and romantic, that loves to pick up wild flowers. I am an antipodist and juggler. I try to do my job with honesty, trying to be pure. I like justice, equality and being disoriented in remote countries. I like laughing and watching when the audience look at me with big eyes.

How did you start with juggling and which is your artistic formation?
I get in touch with juggling and circus world 12 years ago in France. In University, by evening, there were circus workshops and a friend, Carlos Caro, who invited me to participate. We used to make up impossible passing patterns with all kind of objects. I like it so much. Back then I wasn’t thinking about developing a career. I only thought of my love and the activity that I dedicated  most of my time to. It came free and alone, like the natural course of things.

I consider myself self taught. I was helped and supported by important meetings and by the lucidity and strength of my instincts. I started learning from other jugglers in the park, going to juggling meetings, practicing in a circus school in Madrid, and also other workshops of dance, theater and juggling.

Finally, in Berlin I found the mime corporelle dramatique and my teacher Oliver Pollack. Although I don’t practice this in its pure and classic form, it helped me get to know the possibilities of the body physically and expressively. I found poetry in movement and the scene. I received much from the Butoh dancer, juggler and poet Jean Daniel Fricker. I took part of the FAAAC (Formacion Alternative Autogerée aux Artes du Cirque). I always trained my technique. I heard, read and saw different shows, which also challenged me.

Why did you choose antipodism as a discipline?
I lived in Nantes, France and Julien Chénè, my neighbor and friend, was in a circus school.  He had an antipodism workshop. We started playing together, and throwing unexpected objects with our feet. I worked with clubs and then balls. I was encouraged to go on by some artist friends. I was trying to use the balls but with no references. This gave me huge freedom in investigating and experimenting. After a time I noticed that I wasn’t just juggling.

Who were your references in this discipline?
As I told you, my skill was born in a spontaneous way, without references. Only later I started watching classic videos and meeting artists with other methods, such as Michael Menes. Today I educate with technique and teaching method in different countries. A lot of people are interested. Some of them try to create new forms and add personality to the technique. Regrettably, others only take figures and don’t go further. It is unfortunate when you have too much influence.

How do you train?
I used to train for many hours a day. I didn’t even notice the seasons changing! Now my training is focused on creation periods; warming the body, stretching, dancing freely with and without objects, working pure technique, improvising, writing, and always searching.

What do you think about juggling scene these days?
Certainly, the technique level has increased. There is a lot of research in figures, studying methods and many festivals. There is a big quantity of interesting, fresh and passionate projects. Anyways, compared to other arts, you still see the limits. We have not found full freedom in doing, squeezing and exploiting.

Which are your future projects?
I am writing a show with the Bertrand Depoortére et Francesca Palombo company. It is called “World Autobiografia” and all about our world perception. For this project we are travelling a lot, meeting people taking images and sounds. It’s a show that combines object manipulation, antipodism, dance, projecting images and live music. We are working to perform it for first time in spring 2012.

Other project born under the Angeline Soum include the music and personality of Kurt Weill. We are three jugglers and three musicians, one of them that is also lyric singer.

For more about Emailia visit her site: www.emiliatau.blogspot.com

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