Artist Profile Series: Esther de Monteflores
Esther de Monteflores is a Bellingham-based circus artist whose work has been performed at Lookout Arts Center, Art on the Atlanta Beltline, Seattle’s Moisture Festival, the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts, and more. She specializes in slack-wire walking, and is also trained in aerial arts, juggling, and stilts.
Esther’s most recent show, Tiny Cities, premiered at Bellingham’s Cirque Lab in April. The show tells the story of a Mail Carrier Pigeon as he tries to take his integration into human society to the next level by taking over the life of a person. Esther says her inspiration for the show grew out of a costume idea and that exploring the character further made her realize how well it tied in with her past work and themes she’d been hoping to explore. “I have a fondness for the creatures that are so completely integrated with human society that we can forget that they are wild animals,” she explains.
In addition to receiving a GAP award in 2014, which helped her create Equilibrium, Esther also received a 2017 Fellowship from Artist Trust, which helped her spend time training in San Diego and will allow her to take part in a show-creation residency at Anchorage, Alaska’s Church of Love theater in January 2018.
Asked how the fellowship impacted her career, Esther says the award gave her a sense of empowerment. “In the field of circus arts in the USA, it often seems as though there isn’t an awareness of contemporary circus, of circus performance that deviates from the traditional,” she says. “Having work in the field of circus recognized by arts institutions is really important to me and I hope will increase the audience for contemporary circus in this country.”
Esther is currently touring Tiny Cities at arts festivals around the country, including Art on the Atlanta Beltline and the Luminaria Contemporary Circus Arts Festival in San Antonio, TX. She is about to start developing a new show with shadow puppeteer and fellow circus artist Ariel Schmidtke, which will premiere at the end of January 2018. View the teaser for the show on vimeo.
To learn more about Esther’s work and current projects, check out her website.
Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.