Circuscentrum does a lot. Really. We are a knowledge centre, we offer educational programmes, we support artistic creation, we publish CircusMagazine and our annual Yearbook, we protect and promote the circus heritage, we are internationally active, we organise a festival and a convention, and we represent the circus sector for the Flemish authorities. Here’s a selection of some of our projects:
Smells Like Circus is a five-day focus on circus arts in co-operation with Arts Centre Vooruit in Ghent. The first edition was held in January 2015 and was instantly a huge success. With great shows (e.g. by Cie Nuua, Chloé Moglia, Alessandro Sciarroni), interesting try-outs (e.g. from Cie Ea Eo, Bert & Fred), good meetings (e.g. FACE, CircusNext), and a workshop in mentalism, Smells Like Circus was a gathering for the international circus sector and the regular public. www.circuscentrum.be/smellslikecircus
With a circulation of 4500, CircusMagazine is one of the most widely read circus arts magazines in Europe. In this quarterly publication we cover new and traditional circus, professional and youth circus, the work of artists and programmers, national and international news, and the past and future of circus, with beautiful pictures and great articles. All in Dutch, but a selection of articles is translated in English.
Our Yearbook of Flemish Circus Companies is published every year, in trilingual format (NL, FR, EN), and gives an overview of all professional circus companies in the region. This publication is primarily produced for both national and international programmers and organisers. The 2015 edition contains no less than 95 companies. www.circuscentrum.be/en/yearbook
A very nice project – a documentary of five ‘old’ Flemish circus families by director Gerrit Messiaen: Magic Circus, Circus Rose-Marie Malter, Circus Pauwels, Circus Ronaldo and Wiener Circus. The portraits give a unique and honest insight into the world of traditional circus – not only its past, but also its present and future. DVD available at Circuscentrum. All in Dutch. More information.
Circuscentrum offers a few important educational programmes, both pedagogical and artistic: BIC (a 20 day course to become a circus teacher); Training the trainers; Masterclasses for artists; ESAC-stage (a 10 day course for young talent) and more. More information: peter[at]circuscentrum.be.
Circuscentrum was the project leader of the European project Unpack the Arts (2012-2014). Unpack the Arts provided residencies for cultural journalists in the context of twelve major festivals programming contemporary circus. The goal of the project was to facilitate the circulation of knowledge and experience, to develop the critical discourses of its participants, and to further the role of the media within the circus arts and contemporary society. The project had a great outcome: 120 articles on circus written by 120 European journalists. All available on www.circuscentrum.be/unpackthearts.
Traditional circus is an important aspect of circus today. Circuscentrum supports the few traditional circuses who still travel across Flanders. We bring them together and give them advice. We promote and support them in relation to local authorities. We created a great publication for the local authorities to optimise the hosting of a traditional circus in a town or city. We also have the project ‘young talent in the tent': we drop a young artist (a graduate from a circus high school) into a traditional circus for a few weeks. That way, both parties come to know each other’s realities and the worlds of ‘new’ and ‘old’ circus can converge.
Together with the youth circuses in Flanders we annually organise the Unicycle Convention in Dommelhof, Neerpelt. It’s a two-day gathering of more than 300 practitioners, with workshops (also in techniques other than unicycle), trick sharing, competitions, a circus show, and the big unicycle basketball tournament. www.circuscentrum.be/1WC
Circuscentrum offers creation space to circus artists who have a strong link with Flanders. We’ve got two big studios, basically equipped, located at De Expeditie in Ghent (where Circuscentrum is also located). There are no sleeping facilities in-house, but hey, who needs to sleep when working 24/7 on circus? www.circuscentrum.be/en/2015/03/24/residencies
Our documentation centre consists of approx. 1200 circus books, publications, DVDs and magazines. More information: mui-ling[at]circuscentrum.be.
Alongside to Unpack the Arts (see above) Circuscentrum is also an active member of important international projects and networks: CircusNext, EYCO (European Youth Circus Organisation), Circostrada, FACE (Fresh Arts Coalition Europe), INCAM (International Network of Circus Arts Magazines), ECA (European Circus Association), FEDEC (European Federation of Professional Circus Schools).