Grounded with Suzon Gheur
It was really nice to hear from Lindsey in March 2021.
But wait ….. she wants me to participate in the Grounded aerial blog!! What? Me? Really? Am I a note worthy aerialist? Is my journey interesting? What the F can I say?
I’ve always had those inner thoughts and the pandemic exaggerated them.
Lock down, isolation, lost of sense, no more reference, incapacity to project myself in the future, lack of motivation, fear of training, body falling apart,.… You know the thing.
And yes, the impostor syndrome has me tight in his arms.
Here is a quick peek of my journey of circus life.
My name is Suzon Gheur, I’m 31 years old, I would feel better and happier in a world with no gender but I identify as a woman.
I do aerial dance trapeze and Cyr wheel. I love movements in general, in the air, on the floor, with objects.
I’m from Belgium – Brussels, which is were I live at the moment.
I grew up next to the circus school ESAC, I started circus at 12 years old, I found in it the physical challenges I’ve always craved (I wanted to do competitive gymnastic as a child but my mom didn’t allow it by fear it would aggravate my competitive behaviour).
I auditioned for schools but failed, became a certified circus teacher (with the pedagogy training of the ECB), then finally decided, for real, after meeting Fidget Feet and their encouragements, to pursue a career as a circus artist at 26. I did 2 schools (NECCA and Carampa) and BOOM!!! – All the facts are there now for me to call myself a circus artist!
I’ve been kind of having a falling out with circus since just before the pandemic. I lost the fun in a sea of self pity and judgment. I feel I don’t have the level I should for someone who has done all the training I have, and it makes me feel awkward to train in front of others, to sell my work, to call myself an artist. That sea blocks me creatively and technically, I can’t find the motivation to train.
So thank you Lindsey for calling me an aerialist!!!!
Even though that is happening, I found the time in the pandemic to develop a project I had in mind for a while, I got funding for it, (thank you Europe) and my first full length solo show is almost finished!!!!
It’s crazy how contradictory it feels, that it’s in this time of struggle that I decided to create my own circus show.
Nonetheless I really enjoy seeing that dream coming true and I’m really proud of it’s message! “TEARAWAY – DON’T PUT YOURSELF IN A BOX”
I have to thank Chantal McCormick, for the bit of magic she brought back through the weekly creative chat she organised with the artists who were supposed to have a residency at the Irish Aerial Creative Intensive, during the 1st lock down. These magic chats helped me (re-)start TearAway*.
To my younger self, and to any other emerging artists, I would say:
“if you want something, go for it but don’t do it alone! Don’t be scared to ask, the circus community is made of awesome people so ask for help, talk to people around you, listen to their advice, get support and make a proper plan.
Just because you can’t do it something straight away that it doesn’t mean you can’t do it at all. Some things take time. So don’t judge yourself, be patient, and allow yourself to learn and maybe to fail. Do not let the fear stop you, be brave, see what your are lacking and work on that.
And more important, don’t lose the joy!!!!”
There is one more thing I want to talk about: How gender binary the aesthetic is in aerial.
It took me a really long time to appreciate my style. Even though I really enjoy developing it and I dream of it inspiring younger artist toward their own style, I recently realised how present the pressure to look elegant is still in my mind every time I move in the air.
I did a Chinese pole workshop last week and I felt free and light. I had 3 layers on, I was sweating like crazy, had black marks on my face for the rubber coat, bruises and burns on my biceps and I felt great. No one was looking at my belly, my ass or the fluidity of my inversions, not even me.
That’s when I realised the aesthetic weight was still there.
My goal is to find the joy back and feel 100% free with myself in the air. The community around me is joyful and free, I’ll get there I’m sure. And my show TearAway is gonna awesome, check it up. ;D
Follow Suzon and find out more about her work:
Photo credit: Alex Allison in the Gare Maritime – Brussels.
Image description: Caught mid flow, Suzon, pale skinned with short cropped dark hair arches backwards with joyful abandon over her trapeze, arms outstretched, with one foot wedged into the trapeze elbow and the other arcing towards the floor below. Dressed in blue/black shorts and a long sleeved yellow top she colour coordinates with the pale blonde wood and metal beams from which she hangs in the maritime museum courtyard.