I Want To Learn Circus – Part 2: Circus in the UK

Many people these days want to learn circus, whether it’s just for fun or fitness, or professionally because they want to be a performer.

Regardless of why you want to learn circus, the circus arts are a fantastic set of skills to have and to learn. Training in circus skills is great for strength, flexibility, stamina, dexterity and coordination, and is also incredibly social. Circus skills are used to develop physical, mental and social skills in young children are used around the world as a tool for social change with disadvantaged youth.

Depending on your age, experience and your intention (do you want to be a professional performer or do you just want to do it for fun/fitness?) there are many skills you can learn and lots of places you can learn them.

Through this short series of posts I’ll direct you to a variety of places where you can learn them. Rather than trying to list every place or circus company in the world that offers circus skills training (which I’m pretty sure would be close to impossible) I’m going to try to point you in the right direction. If you can’t find anything on your doorstep, get in touch with something in your region and they can probably tell you about more local groups.

Following on from Learning Circus – Part 1: London, I thought you’d probably be interested in some places to train circus skills outside London, around the UK. So if you’re not in London and want to learn circus skills either professionally or for fun and fitness read on… Continue reading “I Want To Learn Circus – Part 2: Circus in the UK”

Circus Futures

For those of you who may not be aware there’s a large (for UK standards) circus event happening at the end of November which could prove to be very interesting….

Circus futures is a showcase/conference taking place on the 30th of November and 1st of December in Bristol designed to bring policy makers, producers and artists together.

The event will consist of keynotes, showcases and panel decisions centring around,

“…the creation and distribution of contemporary circus work in this country and beyond.”

I shall be there, probably sharing my thoughts on Twitter as I go. Hopefully there will be more artists in attendance at the discussions than there were at circus open spaces earlier this year.

http://www.circusfutures.org/

Circus Open Space

Funny I should find myself writing this on a bus on my way home from Bristol after just reading Jessie’s blog post about the very same commute.

But I’m not on a national express coach, I’m on a bus kindly organised by Circus Space to take anyone who wanted to attend Open Spaces, an event at Circomedia.

It’s Circomedia’s 25th anniversary and as part of the celebrations they have organised a networking/conference event for people interested in the future of British circus.

I’m a little surprised at the lack of artists on the trip but unfortunately it coincides with the 3rd year show at Circus Space so I suspect that didn’t help numbers and the coach also left at 7:15. Us circus artists are a driven bunch but morning people we are not!

The day was run on the Open Space method hosted by Improbable. The over all title of the day was ‘Devoted & Disgruntled. What are we doing about circus in the UK?’. Anyone can suggest issues they want to be raised and set up their own conversation at a given time and place in the room. One can drift in and out of conversation as one please and interject if feeling inclined. You can read more about it here.

The intro to Circus Open Space

I suggested a topic about ‘Circus & The Internet’ which a handful of interested people came and listen to me rant and rave about the failing of circus to embrace the internet and the various free useful web tools available to circus artists (watch out for an essay on this in the near future). It was great to meet the brains behind Sideshow Magazine and hear of some future projects they have planned.

Overall I found the experience a little frustrating, it felt like the conversations didn’t produce any clear outcomes or future goals – an action plan. While I think it’s great that people interested in circus actually meet each other and share opinion, it’s all rather academic if there is no real change. You can easily share opinion in the comfort of your own home and be far more concise and clear. Solution takes longer to work out and benefits most from dynamic conversation. I’m not convinced the conversations I heard produced real steps that people could undertake.

It’s too early to tell if there will be any lasting positive change from today’s Circus Open Space but I really hope there are. I enjoyed meet new people and listening to other passionate people talk about circus.

Thanks to all those who came and contributed and special a thanks to Circus Space, Ciromedia and Improbable.

Funny I should find myself writing this on a bus on my way home from Bristol after just reading Jessie’s blog post about the very same commute.But I’m not on a national express coach, I’m on a bus kindly organised by Circus Space to take anyone who wanted to attend Open Spaces, an event at Circomedia. It’s CMs 25th anniversary and as part of the celebrations they have organised a networking event(?) for people interested in the future of British circus.

I’m a little surprised at the lack of artists on the trip but unfortunately it coincides with the 3rd year show at CS so I suspect that didn’t help numbers and the coach also left at 7:15. Us circus artists are a driven bunch but morning people we are not! BTECH?

The day was run on the Open Space method hosted by Improbable. The over all title of the day was ‘Devoted & Disgruntled. What are we doing about circus in the UK?’. Anyone can suggest issues they want to be raised and set up their own conversation at a given time and place in the room. One can drift in and out of conversation as one please and interject if feeling inclined. You can read more about it here.

I suggested a topic about ‘Circus & The Internet’ which a handful of people came and listen to me rant and rave about the failing of circus to embrace the internet and the various free useful web tools available to circus artists (watch out for an essay on this in the near future).

I found the experience a little frustrating, it felt like the conversations didn’t produce any clear outcomes or future goals – an action plan. While I think it’s great that people interested in circus actually meet each other and share opinion, it’s all rather academic if there is no real change. You can easily share opinion in the comfort of your own home and be far more concise and clear. Solution takes longer to work out and benefits most from dynamic conversation. I’m not convinced the conversations I heard were real steps that people could undertake.

It’s too early to tell if there will be any lasting positive change from today’s Circus Open Space but I really hope there are. I enjoyed meeting new people and listening to other passionate people talk about circus.

Thanks to all those who came and contributed and to Circus Space, Ciromedia and Improbable.