Mission Statement

Modern Circus, as a genre, has no finite definition. It's a "sky's the limit", "no holds barred", "anything goes" kind of affair. It's connotation implies any combination of elements. In this day and age of multimedia entertainment it's certainly .the logical progression. I endeavor to cross pollenate Modern Circus and theatrical elements into the realms of Concert Dance, Theater, Commercials, Music Video and Modern Circus Companies. I especially enjoy working with trained dancers, who's sensitivity, to things like line and aesthetics, lends itself well to circus apparatus. A high level of acrobatics isn't necessary to achieve an enchanting end product.

My approach to Modern Circus uses the apparatus and/or acrobatic element as a plot device. I won't use it unless it serves a dramatic purpose. A dramaturgically sound narrative idea can be conveyed through a seamless marriage of stagecraft, dance, storytelling, circus arts (including Clowning) and even puppetry. While it doesn't take on Chekov or Ibsen my work is a spirited, light hearted representation of identifiable human truths with a touch of whimsy. It has been performed at various New York venues including the MMAC, the Muse, Dixon Place, the historic Saint George Theater and Circus Warehouse's 'Caught In The Act' series where it has become a mainstay.

My take on the genre is based on a long performing career spanning the mediums of ballet and concert dance, musical theater, film, video, and 2 1/2 years as the iconic "Target" character in Cirque du Soleil's "Quidam". The acrobatics in my background and my exposure to Circus Arts led me to actively train in various disciplines. In solo acts and several musical theater productions I've performed floor tumbling, straps, fabric, tight wire, stage combat, main a main, static and swinging trapeze.


About Select Pieces

"OK, Cupid"
Young lovers in need of guidance from an ancient deity.

"El Toro y La Luna"
A bull falls in love with the Moon from her reflection in the river.

"Send me an Angel"
She yearns for an Angel, be careful what you ask for....

"If I Were a Bell"
Sky Masterson and Sister Sarah in Havana - sung by Joe Williams and Sarah Vaughn with the Count Basie Orchestra.

"Curds and Whey"
Karma befalls a spider in the vicinity of a tuffett.

"Matt Baker is a quick witted nimble-footed treasure. He makes solid use of his classical ballet, Cirque du Soleil, and Broadway chops to produce hybrid gems of choreography encompassing every possible dimension of theatre."

Suzi Winson
Director of Circus Warehouse


Matt Baker

An early dance training, mentored by former Vaudevillians which stressed solid ballet technique and versatility, laid the foundation for a long and varied performing career. This began in the Joffrey Ballet's "farm system" and led to American Ballet Comedy's "Funny Feet" (off B'way Lamb's Theater '87), numerous dance companies, 25 musical theater productions in 23 years, film, TV, and a featured dance/main character role in a Cirque du Soleil touring show. In those musical theater productions a niche was developed as a "go to guy" for physical comedy, acrobatic stunts, and the occasional circus skill. It has included the choreography of Jerome Robbins, Bob Fosse, Susan Stroman, Dame Gillian Lynne, and Agnes DeMille in venues like the Kennedy Center (Eisenhower Theater and the Opera House), the Ford's Theater, the Guthrie, the Alliance, the Asolo, Madison Square Garden, Radio City, the Metropolitan Opera House, New York State Theater, the Signature Theater, Artpark, 2 Cirque du Soleil Big Tops, the Ed Sullivan Theater (Letterman), and the South Lawn of the White House. These stages were shared with the likes of Tim Curry, Lipsynka, Roddy McDowell, Fernando Bujones, Roger Daltry, Ann B. Davis, Cathy Rigby, Andy Williams, Ben Vareen, F. Murray Abraham, and Davey Jones.


Circus Arts Technique Teaching

Aerial Straps, as a circus prop, best combines and enhances upper body strength and fundamental acrobatic technique. Such can apply to and serve one's work on any number of apparatus. My teaching method focuses on body control, specific isolated muscle groups, the ABCs of acrobatic theory and artistry. Adept at spotting I can lay the groundwork for the hard tricks and with an eye for the whole picture make you look good along the way.

As a coach I can offer guidance, polish, choreograph transitions, and work out the kinks all the while developing your act. Any good act contains a beginning, a middle, and an end. the composition of which I am well versed in.

My former students have gone on to perform with Cirque du Soleil, Aerial Edge UK, Peter Pan 360, Signum ARG, Fovarosi Nagycirkusz HUN, Dzul Dance, the Acrobatic Conundrum, and the cruise lines Norwegian, Celebrity Cruises, and Pullmantur Cruceros.

"Matt's depth of knowledge and his clear and concise correction are delivered with a wry wit that makes class fun, whether you're an adult beginner or an experienced dancer"

Kerry Ann King
Managing Director EXOS G-Fit at Google NYC

"I always wanted to do beginner ballet. Matt's patience and style of teaching helped me open up and approach it with courage. I love how he drills the technique but always ended the class with a piece of choreography that was light hearted and gun, keeping us excited for the upcoming week."

Ting Ting Yan
Blogger "Dancers of the World"

"Matt can teach any level artist and will always have creative and diverse ideas to add to your repertoire. There's a reason so many students keep coming back to class every week."

Alex Rothstein
Working Aerial Artist

"In a world in need of art, Matt Baker teaches with artistry inspiring you to create."

Javier Dzul
Artistic Director Dzul Dance

Ballet Technique Teaching

An Iron Hand in a Lace Glove. Ballet offers the occasion for expressive elegance built on the strengthening foundation of a centuries old technique. The basics are simple and based on body alignment. I pass them on in a gentle gradual method that leads to improved posture, coordination, core capacity, and stamina. Circus Artists, in particular, can benefit from an enhanced sensitivity to line, body picture, nuance, and connecting movement.

I stress that this is a communicative art form and although I can teach any level I have a fondness for introducing the basic beginner level to this regal discipline.


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415 W. 47th Street, Apt B, New York NY 10036, US