Unreal limbs

Erin Ball and the extended body in contemporary circus

Katie Lavers, Jon Burtt, Erin Ball

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Innovative and imaginative prosthetic limbs which extend the body out into the world of the surreal are playing a part in the generation of new possibilities for artists, performers and athletes with adaptive bodies. Artists such as Aimee Mullins in her work with Alexander McQueen and Matthew Barney, and performers such as Viktoria Modesta in their work with Sophie de Oliveira Barata of The Alternative Limb Project are leading the way in exploring this terrain.

This chapter explores the experiences of Erin Ball, the Canadian Contemporary Circus artist, in her determination to re-imagineer her adaptive body to perform in circus again, and to explore the creative world of surreal prosthetic limbs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCircus, science and technology
Subtitle of host publicationdramatising innovation
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020



  • Prosthesis
  • Circus
  • Adaptive Body

Cite this

Lavers, K., Burtt, J., & Ball, E. (Accepted/In press). Unreal limbs: Erin Ball and the extended body in contemporary circus. In Circus, science and technology: dramatising innovation London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.