Circuscentrum does a lot. Really. We are a knowledge centre, we offer educational programmes, we support artistic creation, we publish CircusMagazine, 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.
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 and published on the English pages of our website.
Some people possess so much expertise and experience around a certain craft that they can be described as ‘living human treasure’. Capturing and sharing their knowledge and stories is the ideal way to keep the intangible cultural heritage alive. On the circus level we like to speak of ‘Living Circus Treasures’: valuable circus figures that carry a wealth of information. Circuscentrum records the testimonies of these people on a regular basis.
>> www.circuscentrum.be/livingcircustreasures (sorry, mostly in Dutch)
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.
>> www.circuscentrum.be/vorming (sorry, only in Dutch)
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 a Circus Convention in Dommelhof, Neerpelt. It’s a two-day gathering of more than 300 circus practitioners, with workshops, trick sharing, competitions, circus shows, and more.
>> www.circuscentrum.be/dekonvensie (sorry, only in Dutch)
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?
Our documentation centre consists of approx. 1200 circus books, publications, DVDs and magazines.
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).