The field of circus arts has seen its scope considerably strengthened on a European Union level, expanding far beyond France and Belgium, the historical bastions of its development. The languages of creation have become enriched and numerous general institutions have added the ‘circus’ parameter to their programmes. However, quite a large number of problems continue to exist: little or no development of pathways for young artists linking their training to their entry into the world of work, a lack of international mobility for productions developed by these same artists, lack of distribution of contemporary circus acts beyond the main urban hubs, as well as towards audiences who are only aware of circus in its more traditional forms.

The “[CIRCUS] WORK AHEAD!” project aims to develop its activities at the meeting point between training and distribution networks, for the benefit of young circus artists seeking to embrace a European wide career.

In order to ensure the development of its aims, “[CIRCUS] WORK AHEAD!” intends to focus on the following four objectives:

-         - Reinforce relations between the sphere of professional circus schools and that of creation and development networks for young artists who have just finished their training, thus promoting the further training of young professionals by means of materclasses;

      -intensify mobility and distribute the work produced by contemporary circus artists to decentralised audiences which, since they are not connected to distribution and programming networks in big urban centres, continue to harbour a circus experience which is out of step with our times;

-          - evaluate and document the question of audiences and locations in the reception of contemporary circus through collaboration with a university research centre;

-          - promote in terms of distribution (cultural stakeholders) and in terms of cultural policy (local decision-makers) the raising of adequate financial means needed by the specific economy generated by circus productions (equipment, large teams).


Four distinct activities will be put in place by the project partners:

1) masterclasses;

2) an international distribution initiative focused on artists who experience difficulties in breaking through into an experienced professionalism;

3) a local decentralised programming initiative aimed at conquering new territories for the circus arts and calling on local government authorities;

4) the development of a documented and analytical axis on the development on contemporary circus audiences in relation to given areas.

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