A modicum of contemporary circus theory

An educational program for adults which provides essential information on contemporary circus and its history. The program includes videos, pictures and a discussion.

Contemporary circus originated in France but recently, this genre has been establishing itself around the world including the Czech Republic. Foreign companies perform in the Czech Republic at the Letní Letná festival and original Czech contemporary circus projects are emerging and gaining renown, such as Cirk La Putyka, Décalages or Cirkus Mlejn. Circus arts are gaining popularity and „contemporary circus“ has become a successful marketing label. Many mouths, pens and keyboards are spelling contemporary circus nowadays but few understand its origins, know its pioneers and its evolution from its emergence to its current state during which it has shed its original label of „new circus“ to become known and respected as „contemporary circus“.

The lectures aim to acquaint the audience with the beginnings of contemporary circus as a theater genre in its own right. We follow its history since the very first impulse for its creation which came in the form of the founding of public circus schools in France, Canada and the UK. The key theater companies which once set the contemporary circus into motion are introduced, including Cirque Plume, Archaos, Zingaro and Cirque Baroque. Their work and performances serve as examples to show the differences between contemporary and traditional circus. Prior to the 1990’s, this branch of circus used to be referred to as he „new circus“. We will explore the phenomena which ultimately led to the re-labeling of the movement as „contemporary circus“ using examples of work of companies from the 1990’s: Arts Sauts, Anomalie, Les Colpolteurs, Cirque Ici and Que-Cir-Que. To give the audience a complete map of the genre, we will also introduce selected companies from the world elite of contemporary circus.

The lectures can be adjusted to your requirements.

An example lecture program:

  1. The birth of new circus: France, UK, Canada
  2. Zingaro, France
  3. Cirkus Cirkör, Sweden
  4. WHS, Finland
  5. Invisible CIrcus, UK
  6. Circa, Australia
  7. Contemporary circus trends in Europe
  8. It is also possible to design a series of lectures according to your requirements and interests. Contact us for more information!
    kontakt: Šárka Maršíková