On the 26.10.2021 Dramatic Fields had it’s first seminar last week. Hosted by Cirko and led by Jarkko Lehmus, the kick off seminar was followed by a three-day workshop with the participants of the program.

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. We asked some of our participants to share insights from the workshop.

After Day one which consisted mostly of theory, day two questioned “things that always happen in circus. Started listing cliches of traditional circus, it went from covering simple stuff to underlying tendencies, the humancentric nature of traditional circus, the importance of the trick, the role of human body. We touched on the history of traditional circus to see how certain cliches appeared.

We listed cliches of contemporary circus, and spoke about how yesterday‘s trend is today‘s cliche. We spoke about the traditional circus artist being a one trick pony, and comparatively contemporary circus artist having a wider variety of skills. The participants had differing opinions on this idea. We talked about how often the idea is still just a backdrop for a demonstration of skill. We spoke about accentuating the preparation for the tricks vs hiding it, the overuse of terms „site-specific“ and „immersive“, and cultural policy trends affecting creative processes and ideas. We started thinking about what circus always does.

So what does circus always do? We listed a lot of things: The emotional effect of circus, questioning boundaries, working with the fear of death, risk, kinesthetic empathy. Is circus always physical? Is it circus if there are no people on stage, but there is circus equipment being used (e.g. two bags of sand on a teeter-board)? We finished with a Dramaturgical analysis of „The bearded strong-woman“

Participant Elena Kosovec, artist from LT

I was very happy to be involved in an international activity. It still feels unreal. We did a hybrid seminar which is not very common right now, but I realized that this is or will be the new normal. This hybrid seminar was a successful event. It had a BNCN feeling about it. The people, workshops and seminars for me are the BNCN feeling—being part of an international artistic community— and it was very nice to experience that again.

Giedré Putramentaité, Dramatic Fields project coordinator

PROJECT PARTNERS

• 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

Associate partners
• Ørkenfortet/AFUK – www.afuk.dk/
• Estonian Contemporary Circus Development Centre

This project is supported by: Nordic Culture Point – Norden 0-30