Today we’d like to introduce you to Morgan Rossi.
Morgan, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born and raised in Atlanta by my two moms alongside my triplet siblings, Scott and Skylar. My parents are incredibly supportive and stuck me in all kinds of activities when I was young, soccer, basketball, karate, dance, gymnastics, singing, you name it. I was always athletic but even as a kid, my heart was drawn to art rather than competition. I attended Druid Hills High School where I was lucky enough to constantly be surrounded by the diversity that I feel makes Atlanta so powerful. I met so many motivated individuals that inspired me to be my best person. I was lucky to have the opportunity to learn from those who were different from me there.
I started training in aerial arts when I was nine years old under a NECCA (New England Center for Circus Arts) trained professional, Liana Repass. At first, my interest in aerial silks came from a desire to mimic the beautiful flowing performers in circus shows, but as I grew older, my relationship with the movement grew into something more significant. A passion blossomed and I stuck with my training throughout middle and high school. I started to work professional gigs around the age of 15 under Liana’s performance group Infinity Circus Productions. I spent summers and long weekends training at the Circus Warehouse in Long Island City in New York. When I moved from Atlanta to attend college at UGA, I had to leave my home studio and find a new place to train. Training on my own is when I feel I really began to develop as an artist. Performing at corporate events, parties, openings, galas, etc. is exciting but not exactly the kind of work that is artistically fulfilling. I began to invest more into developing my own concepts of movement and expression on the silks, creating pieces that spoke to a message I felt mattered.
Having the opportunity to perform all over the southeast has been amazing. I love to collaborate with events and other artists to try to create something significant or interesting. I will always love traveling to perform at events but coming back to my roots in Georgia to invest in the artists who came from the same soil as me has been the most rewarding of all. Now, I work for several performance companies based out of Atlanta, as well as independently. I invest my spare time in collaborating with other up and coming artists to create media and movement projects.
Has it been a smooth road?
Because I started so young, I was highly impressionable and still trying to figure out who I was as an artist and individual. Unfortunately, I had adult influences who would criticize my talent, body, and character in such a subtle way for such a long time that I grew up using those judgments as definitions for who I was. It took a long time to begin to gain REAL confidence in my art. I still have a hard time claiming successes or acknowledging my progress. I was being held back by insecurities that someone else had planted within me. Uprooting them has been a process, and not a unique one. I think most people are burdened by someone else’s influence, and sometimes that person is disguised as a role model which makes shedding that weight really hard and complicated.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
I am a professional aerialist and contortionist. I specialize in aerial silks and choreography. Some of my most signature shapes on silks are made possible by my additional training in contortion. I believe this combination makes me a stronger performer in both capacities as well as gives me a unique look in the air. Aerial has gained popularity in the past few years in more commercial capacities (aerial yoga, aerial classes,etc.) so there has been an increase in variety of aerial performance available for hire. I pride myself in the fact that I was trained by a highly experienced and impressively trained athlete in a small group setting for the extent of my formative training years. This, along with the opportunity to begin performing professionally rather young, has molded me into a qualified professional at a relatively young age. I was also given opportunities to explore movement choreography from the beginning which has allowed me to grow extensively as a creator of movement as well.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I hope that the professional realm with continues to strive to be more creative and more expressive. I hear about new shows all the time that are exploring things like race, gender, and emotion through circus. I think that is so important. SO much can be said through art. I can only hope that my fellow performers share my desire to continue to use our art forms to express what we cannot quite say.
- Website: rossicircus.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @morganrossi127 @m.rossi_circus
Kyler Vollmar, Kristina Guede, Bala Sarasvati, Joseph Stunzi