Circus Overseas is a project funded by ERASMUS + programme for building capacities of youth and social circus organisations.
The project was initiated by CARAVAN and aims to contribute to the professionalism of youth circus trainers and managers while fostering creativity, liberty, and intercultural dialogue. Youth workers and educators, future professional artists, and project coordinators from 6 circus schools from the Caravan network have been invited to participate.
The duration of the project is earmarked to be 22 months and includes 4 modules/training activities (TA) comprising of:
(1) CIRCUS ARTS TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENT (5 – 12 April 2022) – Zip Zap Circus, Cape Town South Africa.
(2) MANAGING AND LEADING YOUTH CIRCUS ORGANISATIONS (24 – 1 June 2022) – Phare Ponleu Selpak, Cambodia
(3) PEDAGOGY – ART OF TEACHING (25 July – 1 August 2022) – AltroCirco, Palermo, Italy
(4) DIRECTING AND STAGING CIRCUS (18 – 25 September 2022) – Le Plus Petit Cirque De Monde, France
Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions the in-person launch was postponed for several months, however, the project commenced in South Africa in April 2022. Zip Zap is honoured to be participating and the 3 modules already completed have been a resounding success!
Demain’s Volunteers an initiative supported by performers at the annual Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain, aims to bring the global circus community closer together. Through collaboratively growing and developing the valuable and inspirational work done in the sphere of Social Circus, the project hopes to increase capacity in the Professional Circus arena over time.
Within the sphere of Social Circus, there is a huge need for skilled artists to grow technical and pedagogical skills, and help to develop circus artistry, thus elevating the status of circus performing.
The project utilises exchanges and partnerships, with international artists sharing experiences and expertise through masterclasses, to develop the technical and artistic capabilities of participating Social Circus students.
The project commenced in 2019, with the Trio Wisefools, consisting of Jaimee Allen (Zip Zap alumnus), Valpuri Kaarninen and Maria Peltola, visiting Zip Zap Circus.
The global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 interrupted the project but created the opportunity to explore online methods to continue the learning.
In 2021 the idea for the project had morphed into one-on-one, real-time, virtual masterclasses, with two D2D students, Bridgette Berning and Xolani Sikunana, being selected to participate in the pilot project, working with Diego Salles and Trio Wisefools respectively, in their specific circus specialties.
Plans are in progress to create even more opportunities for artists and students to participate in this project from March 2023, starting with masterclasses facilitated by Jose Do Rego, a Zip Zap alumnus and circus performer specialising in clowning and comedy, currently based in Germany. It is hoped that group virtual classes can be scheduled, including all D2D students, ranging in content from pedagogy, to act creation, to history of circus, to global current affairs, all facilitated by artists within the Demain’s Volunteers network.
Global Alliance of Circus Schools(GACS)
The Global Alliance of Circus Schools (GACS) includes circus schools in Argentina, Australia, China, Ethiopia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, USA and South Africa.
In March 2022 the focus of the group was to provide support for the Ukrainian circus school students. Throughout the year, information and invitations were received to attend the European Youth Circus Festival 2022, the 14th Wuhan Acrobatic Festival in China, and Monte Carlo 23 January in-person 2023 GACS meeting.
The online meeting on 19th May 2022 covered updates on various members’ activities. On 3 November 2022, Noe Espana shared his views on traditional and contemporary circuses. On 23 January 2023, Aurelia Cats, trapeze/contortion artist, creative/artistic director, choreographer, and talent scout, was the Guest Speaker on the theme: “How to Train for a Circus Career” and “Branding for Graduating Students.”