Krin Haglund is a keen multi-disciplinary artist—at home on the stage as a soloist; in the company of big-names like Cirque Éloize, 7 doigts de la main, and the infamous Soleil; or traveling an alternative circuit with Amanda Palmer and the Dresden Dolls. Krin’s career first took off from her training grounds in San Francisco where, courageously sporting a bald look while juggling wigs (an empowered response and ownership over alopecia rather than mere style), she landed her a first major role in the New Pickle Circus show “Circumstance”, directed by Gypsy Snider and Shana Carroll of 7 doigts. After that came Cirque Eloize’s “Rain”, which she describes as a “revolutionarily beautiful and emotional show” directed by the legendary Daniele Finzi Pasca. This creation period challenged Haglund to learn high wire and Cyr wheel, and to work extensively on presence through Daniele’s style of neutral clown. She went on to spend over 4 years in “La Vie” with the founders of 7 doigts, coached wheel in “Traces”, and performed in “Loft” in Japan, among other notable achievements.
Known for her one-of-a-kind stage presence and comedic timing, most recently Haglund’s full plate is split between an exciting performance career, coaching new talent, and working behind the scenes as founder/director of the fresh company Le Radiant. Aided in part by recent grants from Canada Council for the Arts and Conseil des artes et des lettres du Québec, she is focusing the remainder of 2014 on personal numbers, research, and group creations, including a collaboration with shadow puppet artist Janaki Ranpura and getting back to the workshop on Cirque Prom, her company’s pet project that premiered earlier this year.
When asked about her current focus, Haglund responds, “I think the big thing for me right now is that I am motivated to work really hard and follow these different ideas. There’s a lot of blind trust, and this is what I really learned from “The Rendez-vous”: to trust my weird instincts, flights of fancy, and go with these ideas and where they take me, rather than having an overarching story. To me, the images, ideas, and feelings are clear.” Highlighted at the Irish Aerial Dance Festival as well as at the prestigious Montréal Complètement Cirque, Krin’s solo show “The Rendez-vous” is in many ways the model for her working process—a combination of humor and acrobatic skill alongside prop-induced imaginative happenings. While “The Rendez-vous” focuses on a central character—stood-up by an expected guest, but entertained and entertaining in her choices to fill her idle time—Cirque Prom is a group piece amplifying the humor and vulnerability of that teenage rite of passage. Originally performed by a cast of four in 60 minutes, “Prom” just made it’s full length debut to high comedic acclaim.
Off-stage, Krin’s years of high-level experience translate well into mentorship, and beyond technique, she is gifted with guiding individuality and presence in performance. As an artistic consultant and “counseiller artistique,” she was behind the scenes for award-winning acts on stage this year at Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris, France, and at the Aerial Acrobatic Arts Festival in Denver, Colorado, USA. Working one-on-one and in workshops, Haglund looks for ways to “maximize and celebrate what artists have that nobody else has and put that on stage.” As an overarching theme of our conversation, we spoke often of the importance of the audience as a contributor. A terrifying prospect to many performers, Haglund’s practice and advice is to, “show work a lot before it’s ready, which a lot of people don’t do enough of in circus. It’s hard when you want things to be really nice and perfect, but it’s impossible to measure your connection with an audience when you’re training. Whenever I’m a directing artist, I’ve learned you need to show a number at least three times. The first time is going to be great, your eyes are open and so you’re on. The second time is going to be terrible, because the energy’s not the same as the first; it’s harder to keep the same spirit. The third time is when you finally figure out which notes you were able to hit and develop. You learn a lot, especially with character and clown. You learn what goes wrong.”
All things considered, despite the challenges of balancing an independent performance career, new creations, and a company, Haglund reflects on how much pleasure she derives from watching people build their acts. With humor she says, “When I’m working it’s a catch 22, I am more creative and I’m more productive, but it’s really hard to find time to do simple things like stretch my foot!” Of her own career on-stage, she says, “I plan to be drinking wine with my feet till I’m 80 years old, after my third hip replacement!” And surely, we will enjoy watching.
Find out more about Krin Haglund at http://www.krinhaglund.com/.
Sarah Muehlbauer is a performing circus artist, visual artist, freelance writer and curator with an MFA from Tyler School of Art. She performs and produces solo under the title “Lionorfox” and regularly collaborates with artists and companies nationally and internationally. Visit www.lionorfox.com for more info.