Joel Melendez & Heidi Kirchofer are the founding members of Matica Matica was born in 1999 in Palenque, Mexico. In the early days, Matica traveled throughout Central America and South America street performing, playing music and carving drums and making unique jewelry. Matica's performances were driven by live percussive music fire performances. Matica traveled to the US via the Caribbean in 2001 and saw a great in 2002. The worked to develop a family-friendly circus show- they temporarily extinguished their flaming torches and grabbed colorful, family-friendly clubs. Matica also began working with Oddfellows playhouse and the Children's Circus of Middletown. Throughout the early 2000's Matica honed their circus show, worked in many schools and built a lot of equipment and costumes. The spent a few winters in Central and South America touring, training, and learning local traditions. In 2005 They spent 6mos living in the South End of Hartford and started a renegade Unicycle club there where they taught and lent unicycles to the kids of the South End. Heidi began working on a Creative Movement and Music program. Joel continued working at the Children's circus of Middletown. In 2005 Instruments of the World as formal program was born. Matica also premiered Sonic Fire to a large and thrilled audience! Quite a buzz followed. Heidi began teaching Somatics at the Hartford Conservatory to Musical Theater students. Joel continued in drum classes, drum making, capoeira, circus and body balance at various institutions.
In 2007 Matica returned to the Children's circus- Heidi to stilt-walking and Joel became a teaching artist in the Children's Circus' Advanced Circus Program. Sonic Fire premiered a new show in June that was a huge hit- Sonic Fire, Into the Jungle. Matica spent late summer '07 touring in Germany, France and Spain. They returned to their various teaching posts at arts' organizations and schools and continued performing. Inti Jack Melendez-Kirchofer was the newest addition to the Matica circus troupe born June 18th 2008 at the Matica abode.
Fall 2009-Matica founded the Connecticut School of Circus Arts at Oddfellows Playhouse! A weekly intensive training program for kids 12-18 at Oddfellows Playhouse.
Joel continues training in Capoeira with Mestre Pinga Fogo and Heidi trains in trapeze, tumbling and inversions at NECCA. They are both very busy performing, creating and teaching.
Winter 2011- Heidi is awarded a scholarship to attend her second Yoga Teacher Training, this time at West Hartford Yoga. She also continues training in trapeze at NECCA. She has also designed and created costumes for Artfarm's new show- "Submerged."
Matica's dream of having a studio space to train and share their love of the circus arts was realized in the summer of 2014 when they open Thrive Movement studio. Yahooo!!! see more at www.thrivemovementstudio.net
Matica Continues to perform throughout the Northeast, build better and better costumes and practice expand and hone their crafts
I call on Heidi and Joel to accomplish a tremendous task: to dissolve the barriers that exist between teens from Hartford and and teens from rural Connecticut...it's magical to see these teens that arrived on two separate buses from entirely different environments come together over a drumming session or to practice juggling...Heidi and Joel are amazing people and excellent role models for teens to look up to.