Circus is an international art form par excellence. Artists of different nationalities form companies together, and successful Flemish productions tour mainly abroad. Circuscentrum is therefore an active member of various European networks and projects, and works to promote the Flemish circus at major international festivals.
Circus Without Circus is an interdisciplinary research project driven by encounters between circus artists and artists from other performing arts fields. It emerges from a set of simple observations shared by the project partners: that the circus field is both intensely creative and somewhat shut-off from the broader arts; that artists of all disciplines struggle to find good working conditions for research; that interdisciplinary work is a vital but under-supported source of change and renewal.
From these ideas, we developed our core project design. 8 emerging artists from circus and 8 from the performing arts will be selected and paired as duos. These duos will benefit from two complementary programmes: a residency programme (in total, 16 two-week residencies; 2 per partner, 4 per country), and an accompanying support programme (with artistic mentorship, feedback sessions, meetings and networking). In this way, there is both a heavy focus on artistic exchange / cross-boundary research, and on enabling artists to pursue sustainable careers.
CWC is supported by Creative Europe and has Circuscentrum (B) as project leader. Co-organizers: KIT (DK), Le Manège de Reims (FR) and Room100 (HR). Associated partners: KC Nona (B), Dynamo Workspace (DK), Césaré (FR) and Arts Academy Split (HR). www.circuswithoutcircus.eu
CircusNext (formerly known as Jeunes Talents Cirque Europe) is an annual programme of artistic and financial support that aims to discover, accompany and support the next generation of circus authors. Over the years, Jeunes Talents Cirque Europe / CircusNext has become a key scheme in the development of contemporary circus, and a central advocate for the acknowledgement of circus as an art form. The supported artists have developed diverse and innovative aesthetics, and have distinguished themselves as creators experimenting with new forms. Circuscentrum is an associated partner of CircusNext (centre pole) and is a member of the jury. www.circusnext.eu
EYCO (European Youth Circus Organisation) is the European umbrella for national youth circus organisations based in European countries. It aims at stimulating and supporting European Youth Circus on a national and European level, working on:
– The (process of) recognising and structuring youth circus and its actors.
– Improving the quality of youth circus and its actors.
– The promotion of youth circus – by its nature a popular/accessible art form – as a means for children and young people to take an active role in society and engage in social citizenship.
Circuscentrum is one of the founding members of EYCO. www.eyco.org
Circuscentrum is an active member of the following circus networks:
– Circostrada: European network for street arts and contemporary circus, dedicated to information, observation and professional exchanges. Today representing 65 members from 22 countries, the network is working to develop the structuring and recognition of these sectors in Europe. www.circostrada.org
– CARP: Circus Arts Research Platform (CARP) is a free resource Web site for academic research and studies related to the circus arts. Published online at www.CircusArtsResearchPlatform.com, the platform stimulates and strengthens collaboration between scholars and professionals interested in circus arts studies across all academic disciplines.
– FACE: Fresh Arts Coalition Europe is an international network of arts organisations that supports contemporary cross-disciplinary art forms and facilitates international collaboration. It covers fresh and ground-breaking practices such as live art, immersive or participatory projects, site-specific arts, contemporary circus, and physical and visual theatre. www.fresh-europe.org
– INCAM is an informal network of circus arts magazines dedicated to advancing the role of media within the sector. Working collaboratively and with an international scope, the members exchange information and best practices, promote one another’s work, and undertake collective projects reflecting the network’s core values and objectives. www.circusartsmagazines.net
– ECA: the European Circus Association was established to promote circus arts and culture, thereby protecting this important part of our shared cultural heritage. The ECA believes that circus is a universal and an ever-changing form of art which offers a broad variety of expression. www.europeancircus.info
– FEDEC: founded in 1998, the European Federation of Professional Circus Schools (FEDEC) is a network of 41 professional circus schools and 14 circus arts organisations located in 24 different countries. FEDEC’s main vocation is to support the development and evolution of pedagogy and creation in the field of circus arts education. www.fedec.eu
Circuscentrum was the project leader of Unpack the Arts, a European project (2012-2014) that provided residencies for cultural journalists in the context of ten major festivals programming contemporary circus: Ny Cirkus Festival (Copenhagen, DK), CIRCa Festival (Auch, FR), Festival novog cirkusa (Zagreb, HR), Subcase (Stockholm, SE), Hors Pistes & La Piste aux Espoirs (Brussels & Tournai, BE), Cirko Festival (Helsinki, FI), Circusstad Festival (Rotterdam, NL), Humorologie (Marke, BE), Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Edinburgh, UK) and London International Mime Festival (London, UK).
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. Cultural journalists, critics and chief editors from any form of media could apply for the project. It had a great outcome: 120 articles written by 120 journalists. You can read them all on www.circuscentrum.be/unpackthearts.