NEXT DOOR CIRCUS presents artists and workshops in Positivus festival

NEXT DOOR CIRCUS is going to present daily performaces on Arts and acoustic stage as well as circus workshops during three days in Positivus festival from 17th to 19th of July!

Contemporary circus, or Cirque Nouveau is a genre of performing art developed in the later 20th century in in which a story or a theme is conveyed through traditional circus skills. Born in France, it is still very new thing in The Baltic States. For the first time Next Door Circus – platform for contemporary circus in Baltic states – brings together the first proffesional contemporary circus artists from Baltics on the same stage. Not all of them acould be here, but we are very happy for those who are. Besides the daily performances artists will propose a great number of workshops: juggling, poi, aereal acrobatics, hoola hoop, theater anc cyr wheel. On Friday and Satuday night a special guests Finland and France are going to enrich the program.

In the program:

Voodooflame (LV) – Voodooflame is a highly skilled, passionate hula hoop dancer, currently residing in both – Switzerland, Austria and Latvia.

She discovered the hula hoop art at 2010. After a year of an intense training she started to travel all over the world, performing in more than 10 countries, teaching and sharing, doing hula hoop performances on the street, different festivals, clubs and private events.
She continues to develop her skills through regular training sessions, workshops and by attending conventions all around the Europe.

Maria Netti Nüganen (EST) – Maria Netti Nüganen has studied dance, circus, theatre and music. Her interest is to explore the potential of these arts on contemporary performative scene.

There is a distant and cold world. And there is an open and warm one. “Noland” is located between Those two worlds, Those two contrasts. You cannot see it. But you might feel it is there. Even maybe it does not exist. Maybe I made it up. But if you jump from one world to another, you can feel “Noland” quite well. “Noland” is an exploration of the invisible Rules and limits Which surround us. When one part of you is still in jetlag, in the First World. And another part of you arrive to the second one. But what happens if we ignore Them?

Aleksandras Lempertas (LT) – Aleksandras Lempertas is a performer whose practice focuses on juggling andobject manipulation.He is one part of the young contemporary circus group KUT-AUT, made up of two lithuanians who are currently based in berlin. He is presenting is a serie of short juggling pieces that ask the question-what happens when an unstoppable force meets a very short attention span.

Lizeth Wolk (EST) – Lizeth Wolk was born and raised in Estonia, Tallinn. After many years of being involved with visual arts and music she found the circus world through a youth circus in Tallinn (Folie). In 2012 life brought her to Finland to study in Koulutuskeskus Salpaus to become an aerial artist. In 2015 she finished the school specialized in aerial hoop. On the side she likes to play around with fire, doing double staff, breathing and eating fire. Still passionate about visual art, Lizeth brings her handycraft skills into circus by building puppets, making costumes, using her paintings and by finding quirky technical solutions.

Grete Gross (EST) – Grete started in year 2003 with circus at Circus Studio Folie in Tallinn. After three years of studies at Salpaus Further Education Circus department (Lahti Circus School in Finland), she is now working on several international and national group and solo projects. She concentrates mostly on aerial acrobatics, doing double-hammock as main discipline, but also researches combining different art forms, for example poetry and visual arts with circus.

And our foreign friends:

Sylvain POTIRON (FR) – Sylvain is a young, fresh, French circus artist who has been living in Estonia for the past year teaching juggling and training in contemporary circus skills. In this show (possibly featuring a banana, but certainly a lot of ‘’wahouu’’) he will use a mixture of dance, diabolo and theatre to speak about the opportunities that we meet in our lives.

Otto Tammivaara & Amandine Doat (FI/FR)

Otto and Amandine are a young circus duo. Otto is from Finland and Amandine is from France. With different artistic backgrounds they met in Lahti circus school in Finland and are working together since. They zill present a show about a travelling salesman who makes magic potions mixed with the Elixir Mixing System (cyr wheel) that he has developed. He is looking to collect enough money to build an automated system instead of the manual one. He picks a “volunteer” from the audience who he uses to demonstrate the effects of my mixtures. Fun things happen.

Next Door Circus Magazine #2 Is Out!


Sharing good practices, encouraging and inspiring new projects.

It seems that Tallin is becoming a capital for circus arts in Baltics. Three new festivals taking place, an umbrella organisation for circus has been founded—lots of things are happening! That is why this issue is largely dedicated to Estonian circus arts.

Winter is the quiet season for circus festivals, so we took some time to look back at festivals that Next Door Circus attended this year.

The Second issue of “Next Door Circus Magazine” is here. It has been one year since Next Door Circus was officially founded. Here you can read about what we have done in our first year, as well as about what we are preparing to do in future.

We want be a place where good practices and inspiring stories of our colleagues, in Baltics and abroad, are shared.

Let’s start the year with great examples of successful circus adventures!

Click here to access the online version!

Latest news

Collectif Mallunes in Festival RE RE Riga.  By Uldis PavulsBaltic Performance project team has been working a lot this summer. We have done a Baltic tour and gone to Klaipeda for a street circus festival, to street art festival RE RE Riga in Latvia and this weekend Māra Ganģe and Didzis Pāvuls will go to New circus weekend in VIlnius.

Soon coming up – videos from our trips and interviews with artists from Baltic states.

In meantime some articles about contemporary circus:

What is New circus?

How the new circus differs from the traditional circus known to us?

France – the birthplace of contemporary circus

France – the birthplace of contemporary circus

This is the story of contemporary circus, or nouveau cirque, how and when it had begun. As a result of hard work, determination and circumstances, a new artistic discipline was born in France under the name “Nouveau cirque”, or contemporary circus.

Contemporary circus is the result of creative experiments. Its founders are the artists and troupes, such as “Cirque Nu”, “Cirque Bonjour”, “Le Puits aux Images” (that later became “Cirque Baroque), “Cirque Aligre”, “Cirque Plume, “Archaos. In the late 1970′s, inspired by contemporary dance and theatre, they began experimenting with the circus.

The old circus had no place in the new world

Until the 1970′s, circus in France existed for 200 years almost unchanged. What had changed, was the audience. 20th century society had experienced two world wars and the development of technology that offered new ways of entertainment, like cinema and television. It was no longer the same world, where the circus had arisen.

In the seventies, circus in France underwent major crisis. Beside various other available forms of entertainment, circus had nothing new to offer to the public, which at the time gradually began to lose all interest. Tastes had changed and in the eyes of the audience circus was aesthetically and morally obsolete. Traditional circus was also no longer suitable for current economic conditions. During this time, several traditional circuses went out of business, also so well known ones as “Amar Circus (restored in 1991). Circus had to change in order to survive.

Survival through change

In this difficult moment circus industry was given a helping hand by the French government. Initially the objective was not to create something new, but just the opposite – to rescue the centuries long tradition from extinction. In 1978, responsibility for circus trade went from Ministry of Agriculture to the Ministry of Culture. This way circus finally was accepted as the form of culture and most importantly circus artists acquired same kind of rights as artists in other fields, becoming eligible for the status of “intermittant de spectacle”. This status allowed an artist receive financial grants for preparation of the show, before it creates any revenue. This reform was paramount to the advancement of the circus as a form of art, as it gave a chance to the artist to work on the shows development and direction, instead of repeating same old performances in order to earn a living.

At this time the first circus festivals were organised and the first awards for innovation in the circus arts were introduced. In particular, we should mention festivals, such as Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo (International Circus Festival de Monte-Carlo) (1974), Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain(The World Festival of the Circus of Tomorrow) (1978) and Lui M’s grants for up-and-coming circus artists (1977). One of most important aspects in development of contemporary circus was opening of the specialised circus schools. In 1974 in France was opened first school for circus artists in western Europe – AlexGruss & SilvaMonfortCircusSchool and AnnieFratellini & PierreEtaixNationalCircusSchool. Although initially there was no intention to fundamentally change the circus tradition, this change had made possible studies of the circus arts for anybody interested, whereas in the past it was reserved only for the circus dynasties. In France since have been established numerous state universities and national circus arts centres aiding the development of the trade.

Very important work is being done by keeping the general public informed. In France, there always were few specialised periodicals for circus arts. Today, most of this work is done by the various national circus arts centres and a publishing house “Hors Les Murs”.

The era was not a coincidence

Of course, one can not forget the cultural factors. Hippy culture brought along interest in Eastern cultures, glorifying the vagabond lifestyle and street artists, and also more importantly animal rights movement. The upkeep and transport of circus animals has always been expensive and complex. Most contemporary circus artists choose not to use animals in their performances, due to these moral and economic considerations.

Currently contemporary circus, or “nouveau cirque”, continues its development. The last available data shows that there are 450 individuals practising this form of art, and 942 different shows offered by circus companies.

Useful addresses:
National Centre for Circus Arts, CNAC
Toulouse Municipal Centre for Circus Arts

CircusSchool Federation, France
Publishing House “Hors les Murs” and material resources dedicated to street art and circus

Trade Union for Circus Artists, France
NationalCircusSchool of Châtelleraut
National Circus School of Rosni-sir-bua
Fratellini Circus Academy

For a curious mind, here is the history of the contemporary circus in the UK, in the aesthetically pleasing form:

General history of the circus in chronological order:

How the new circus differs from the traditional circus known to us?

The new circus roots in street culture where it is a necessity to attract spectator’s attention and to retain it. On the street there is no certain space for the play and maintenance of animals is impossible. The artist has to adapt to the urban environment laws, however, he has the ability to move, to choose a place and he has a chance to determine how will the audience’s point of view form.

As the hallmark of the new circus is searches, changes in it continue. Considering that the basic elements of the traditional circus and the new circus remain the same, the second one changes view on them.

First of all, the new circus keeps many traditional circus disciplines – acrobatics, manipulation of objects, etc. – and gives more theatrical nature to them, and highlights any artist’s contact with the audience.

Secondly, since the show develops as a whole story, it tends to address the spectators with a certain topic or problem, rather than just display unusual abilities.

Third, circus artists get special education. Even if the new circus company cooperates with circus families, most artists are professionally trained in circus schools or they are ex-professionals who have been specialized in other sectors (sports, dance, etc.).

Fourth, the circus involves and combines the most fantastic arts and sports. The canon of performance disappears – everyone can implicate more and more new shows in their presentations. According to the loss of this canon, new companies which develop and demonstrate a mastery of one particular discipline originate.

Fifth, music, lights and costumes are applied for each spectacle and create the atmosphere of the show. But the most important thing is that the circus do not merely demonstrates and admires human abilities, but creates an alternative world. The aesthetic approach has changed and it is important not only to surprise or scare, but also to provide an aesthetic and emotional experience. If traditional circus exceptionally allowed to involve some kind of  topic or especially designed costumes etc., it was mostly done to show the mastery of the artists. But the goal of the new circus is to use the artist’s skill to reveal the artistic and ideological concept of the performance in the most effective way.

Text by Māra Pāvula initially written for