Balancing on the Edge

Pictured: Dancer/Circus Artist Amy Hull

Pictured: Dancer/Circus Artist Amy Hull

New circus and new music collide in boundary pushing, radical circus performances! 

‘Balancing on the Edge’ (BOTE) is a collaborative production featuring members of A Girl In The Sky Productions (AGITS) and Thin Edge New Music Collective (TENMC) dedicated to exploring via a deeply integrated relationship between contemporary music and contemporary circus arts, the myriad of ways in which modern humanity is precariously balanced on the edge of survival and evolution. We are interested in investigating the collaborative relationship between multiple art forms and to creating/performing work from a place of equal partnership. Balancing on the Edge aims to investigate what it means to be pushed to the limit from a wide range of perspectives through a fascinating synthesis of theatre, dance, multi-media, new music and new circus. Founded in 2016 by co-artistic directors circus artist Rebecca Devi Leonard, pianist Cheryl Duvall and violinist Ilana Waniuk,  BOTE’s has been presented at Toronto’s 2016 Nuit Blanche Festival and in association with Harbourfront Centre’s NextSteps Dance Series at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre (4 shows November 2016). In June 2018 BOTE co-presented the workshop version of ‘A Study in Exile III: Home is Not a Place on a Map’ - a work pairing Qalipu Mi'kmaq/Inuk dancer, Amy Hull with Philippines/Canadian composer, Juro Kim Feliz, which explored ideas of home and globalization. Following a further workshop period in June 2019,‘A Study in Exile’ was presented at the Ontario Circus Sessions Showcase at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.  Described as “a high-water mark for what multimedia storytelling can do “(Sarah Constant-The Wholenote), and “provocative, thrilling and thought-provoking..” (Jennie Punter-Musicworks Magazine cover story #127 Spring 2017). BOTE has received support from the Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Harbourfront Centre NextSteps, Canada Council for the Arts and Arraymusic.  

Stay tuned for updates on our newest production 'Anthropic Traces'


Dancer/Circus Artist:  Amy Hull

Music:  Juro Kim Feliz

Percussion:  Nathan Petitpas

Cello: Amahl Arulanandam

Photo Credit: Rebecca Devi Leonard


2017 Musicworks Feature Article

Musicworks editor Jennie Punter interviews TENMC co-ad's about BOTE's inaugural 2016 production.

Photos by Kevin Jones

Past Productions:

Details of our inaugural 2016 production with special guest DJ P-Love and a cast of 40 local artists!


‘Balancing on the Edge’ (BOTE), a collaborative production between Thin Edge New Music Collective and A Girl in the Sky Productions, was presented in association with the Harbourfront Centre Theatre in Toronto on Nov 18/19th as part of Harbourfront's NextSteps 2016 series. 

Featured circus artists Rebecca Devi Leonard, Natasha Danchenko, Brandy Leary, Holly Treddenick, Angola Murdoch-Ladder, Diana Lopez, Rebecca Carney, Emily Hughes, Emmanuel Cyr, and Louis Barbier showcased a wide range of circus disciplines ranging from Aerial Rock, Fire and ladder to invented apparatus and object manipulation. Our musical programme included works by John Cage, Iannis Xenakis, David Lang, and Montreal-based Nicole Lizée, with world premieres by California-based Scott Rubin and Toronto’s own Nick Storring. BOTE featured lighting design by Joe Pagnan with live projections by Evan DeRushie and video by Jason J Brown. Balancing on the Edge aimed to investigate what it means to be pushed to the limit from a wide range of perspectives through a fascinating synthesis of theatre, dance, multi-media, new music and new circus.




2016 CAST

Circus Artists:


Video: Jason J Brown

Projections: Evan DeRushie

Lighting Design: Joe Pagnan

Ghost Bicycle Dancers: 

Eric. Liu,  Kelly Mullan, Dana Lerman, Rachel David, Sarah Stark, Jonathan Neville, Hoining Chang, Emma De Bono, Meagan Gartlanster

Artistic Directors/Curators: Cheryl Duvall, Ilana Waniuk, Rebecca Leonard


Magma (2016) 
Circus Artists: Diana Lopez, Rebecca Carney
Music: Nicole Lizée (b.1973)  Phonographenlieder (2014)
String quartet, piano, percussion, voice, turntablist


Naked to the Sky (2016)
Circus Artists: Manuel Cyr, Louis Barbier

Music: Scott Rubin (b.1989) Naked to the Sky (2016)
Piano, percussion, saxophone, violin, electronics


Underneath (2016)
Circus Artist: Emily Hughes
Projections by Evan DeRushie

Music: Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001) Okho (1989)
Percussion trio



Ascension (2016)
Circus Artists: Holly Treddenick, Angola Murdoch
Soprano-Stacie Dunlop 

Music John Cage (1912-1992) Aria & Fontana Mix (1958/1959)
Soprano + tape


Excavating Meaning (2016)
Circus artist: Brandy Leary

Music: Nick Storring (b.1981) Amanhã (2016)
Piano, percussion, saxophone, cello, 2 violins


Ghost Bicycle (2016)
Circus Artist: Rebecca Leonard, Natasha Danchenko
Jason J Brown-video

Music: David Lang (b.1957) Cheating, Lying, Stealing (1993)
Bass clarinet, cello, piano, percussion + 2 antiphonal brake drum


Photography: Miklos Legrady

Thin Edge New Music Collective & Balancing on the Edge would like to thank our generous sponsor:


Balancing on the Edge's 2016 production was presented with generous support from:
The Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, Harbourfront Centre NextSteps, and Arraymusic