During 2020 BNCN will develop and produce masterclasses for theatre and festival technicians in the Baltic-Nordic countries. The project explores gaps in the technical knowledge for contemporary circus presentation in the Baltic-Nordic countries and starts to bench-mark the existing knowledge in the Baltic-Nordic rigging community.
During 2020 two masterclasses was carried out in Stockholm and in Riga conducted by professionals from Cirkus Cirkör (SE) and Cirko Centre for New Circus (FI).
Project Partners: Manegen (SE) (lead), Cirkus Syd (SE), Riga Circus (LV), Cirkus Cirkör (SE), Cirko Centre for New Circus (FI) and Dynamo (Dk).
These masterclasses went through the fundamental and specific information needed in order to safely present a circus performance with its various disciplines, as well as discussed and highlighted the various ambiguities or difficulties presented to festivals and performance venues when presenting circus work in relation to national and international legislation of safety standards and practises in 2020. The aim was for the participants to feel confident to read technical specifications of circus companies and subsequently received companies at their venue feeling confident that they possess or know where to acquire the expertise, knowledge and capacity needed to support presentation.
These masterclasses were designed to support technical staff who work in venues/festivals who do not already programme circus arts to have the opportunity to build their capacity and acquire this knowledge OR those riggers hired frequently by theatres missing circus rigging expertise and who are in a position to through their expertise are able to facilitate presentation of circus in new venues across the Baltic Nordic region. For this reason the course is free of charge. The course was run by Fredrik Deijfen, Head Rigger at Cirkus Cirkör, Stockholm, Sweden.
The project has been made possible by the support of:
Nordisk Kulturfond and Nordic Council of Ministers
Dramatic Fields explores the structures and practices of meaning making in circus, ie. circus dramaturgy.
Circus is traditionally associated with the spectacular: quantifiable feats of astonishing physical skill that defy gravity and flirt with danger of death. Contemporary circus positions itself in the larger context of contemporary performative arts and ultimately contemporary art. This positioning places demands of artistic thinking on the artists that circus training does not always necessarily provide. In order for the art of contemporary circus to develop further and be artistically and societally relevant, the members of BNCN agreed to create a series of workshops with and for Nordic and Baltic contemporary circus artists that aim to experientially develop the artists’ understanding of context, structure and possible meanings of the art they create.
Dramatic fields is a project that, together with the participants from Baltic and Nordic countries, explores the structures and practices of meaning making in circus, ie. circus dramaturgy.
The project consists of an online kick-off seminar and two workshops that are organised in a hybrid format where participants can participate either in person on location or attend online. The participants are actively involved in forming the content of the workshops based on topics they find important to deal with in relation to contemporary circus dramaturgy. Dramatic Fields workshops are facilitated by Jarkko Lehmus, dramaturg and producer of Cirko – Center for New Circus (FIN).
Jarkko Lehmus works as the producer responsible for the artistic programme of Cirko – Center for New Circus in Helsinki (Fi), and as a freelance dramaturg, director and choreographer specialising in non-verbal performative arts. He holds an MA Dramaturgy & Writing for performance from Goldsmiths, University of London, MA Arts Policy & Management from Birkbeck, University of London and BA (Hons) Theatre from Guildford School of Acting.
Over the past three decades Jarkko has worked internationally in the performing arts. His professional experience ranges from physical theatre to neoclassical ballet and conceptual performance art to acting on the stage and in front of the camera. In his work regardless of the professional title he concentrates on physical effects of imagination, emotions and empathy and the collaboration between arts and sciences.
This project was supported by: Nordic Culture Point – Norden 0-30
Cirkus Syd – cirkussyd.com
Cirko Centre for New Circus – Cirko.fi
Rigas Cirks – Cirks.lv/en
Arts Printing House –menuspaustuve.lt/en/
Dynamo Workspace – www.dynamoworkspace.dk
Ørkenfortet/AFUK – www.afuk.dk/
Estonian Contemporary Circus Development Centre
Baltic Circus on the Road
This project responds to a need to build capacity for Baltic artists to export their performances in the international touring circuit and raise awareness and visibility of Baltic contemporary circus scene in Europe.
Baltic Circus on the Road (BCR) aims to build capacity for professional circus artists active in all three Baltic countries to produce tourable performances and show their work to international audiences. They will develop their network and enter the touring circuit of contemporary circus in Europe. The “Baltic circus on the road” project started in 2021, when an international jury chose four Baltic companies: Sabok cirkus, Kanta company, Taigi cirkas and Big Wolf Company – artists with great potential to represent the quality of the Baltic circus arts in European scope.
A catalogue of available performances in the region is now available for international programmers. International producer Lina B. Frank is engaged in the project as an international touring expert.
Coordinator – Rigas cirks (Latvia)
Partners in the Baltic states:
Festival Re Riga (Latvia)
Arts Printing House (Lithuania)
Estonian Contemporary Circus Development Center (Estonia)
ARTiculate Circus Education
ARTiculate Circus is BNCN’s current pedagogy development strand. Under the ARTiculate strand we explore how to develop circus education across our region, with specific focus on artistic thinking in circus education. How to train to make circus arts, to use circus as creative tool to make art in addition to equipping students with technical ability.
Currently we have three projects under the ARTiculate strand.
This project brings together experienced circus pedagogs from 9 countries in the Baltic Nordic Sea Region to develop methods for artistic thinking in circus training and education.
The project bridges practises of contemporary, social and traditional circus training with theatre, dance and contemporary circus practises of pedagogy.
In 2021 4 day workshops were organised bringing circus teachers together from the 8 countries in our region to develop new methods to facilitate and develop artistic thinking in circus education. For ARTiculate 1.0 we will create a publication on the topic of creating increased focus on artistic thinking in circus education which will be published by Cirkus Syd and downloadable here on our website.
Project Partners: Cirkus Syd (SE), Riga Circus (LV), Sirkunst (NO), Arts Printing House (LT), Nycirkus Öst (SE) Finnish Youth Circus Association (FI), Sirkus Studio Folie (EE), AFUK (DK).
The project has been made possible by the support of Nordisk Kulturfond and Nordic Council of Ministers.
ARTiculate Pedagogy Network - Strategic Meetings in the Baltic Nordic Region
The ARTiculate Pedagogy Network organises a meetings and learning labs to co-create a strategy for BNCN and partner’s contribution to the development of Circus Education in the Baltic Nordic region for the years 2022-2026.
ARTiculate Pedagogy Network
The Articulate Pedagogy Network was formed out of the Baltic Nordic Circus Network (BNCN) pedagogy workgroup. The members had an ambition to extend the pedagogy and education collaborators within the region and include different collaborators from the circus education sector. In particular working with people who could not join BNCN because they were not part of an organisation, individuals.
In this mission we have found a core group of committed and energetic individuals who have taken up this opportunity and are driving it forwards.
This has been expressed through the 3 strategic planning meetings which have culminated in this document.
Increase international engagement
Inspire youth to circus engagement
This project was funded by Nordic Council of Ministers and Nordic Culture Point.
New Horizons Leadership Programme
NHLP is a mentorship and leadership project dedicated to supporting emerging leaders in the Baltic-Nordic Region.
NHLP was initiated by organisations representing contemporary circus in eight countries within the region, with the goal of engaging young project managers and producers to support the growing sector.
The programme envisioned young confident persons who are able to develop into leaders employable by the field and ready to take on tomorrow’s challenges as producers, project managers, tour managers, board members and also able to hold organisational development processes.
NHLP centred on matching 14 young fellows with leading organisations in the region, for mentorship experiences. In addition, the project established sharing platforms (website, digital meetings and activities), where fellows and other participants were able to connect and also produced a handbook for self-evaluating leadership.
Cirkus Syd (SE), Rigas Cirks (LV), Cirkus Cirkör (SE), CircusInfo Finland (FI), Hringleikur (IS), Upsala Circus (RU), Estonian Contemporary Circus Development Centre (ECCDC), Acting for Climate (NO), DYNAMO (DK).
NHLP was supported by: Nordic Culture Point, Nordic Council of Ministries, Stenkrossen, Nordisk Kulturfond, Lunds Kommun
CircusLink brings together 4 different regions of Europe to create pathways for increased and sustainable touring contemporary circus productions.
Lead by Archaos and the International Biennale of Circus of Marseille (FR) we work to develop a digital platform and new pathways for diverse contemporary circus to meet audiences.
Project Partners: Baltic Nordic Circus Network (Cirkus Syd), Archaos (FR), Teatro de Didascalia (PT), Letni Letna (CZ) and Dynamo (DK). The project has been made possible by the support of: The Creative Europe Programme of the European Union
(Riga's International Conference of Circus Education)
International Conference on Circus Education was held at Latvian Academy of Culture’s Theatre House of LKA in Riga, Latvia. Organised by Baltic Nordic Circus Network, Riga Circus, Manegen and Latvian Academy of Culture.