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4 Item(s)

  • 02.06.16 Posted By Kim Campbell

    If the United States of America has a circus capitol, it might be Las Vegas, home to casinos, conventioneers, and 6 different Cirque de Soleil shows, plus endless variety shows that feature circus acts. It is here that the professionals go to get steady work if they prefer staying local to being on tour.. But while Vegas has big circus, it lacks in small to mid-sized circus companies—the kind that often produce shows that redefine what is cutting edge artistically and draw a dedicated audience. Instead, the performers are employed by the rich tradition of ever changing variety shows that are after the tourist dollar. Cirque du Soleil may have a tremendous presence, but they draw artists from their system of scouts and their global database, meaning in town artists rarely have access to that level of employment.

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  • 14.04.16 Posted By Kim Campbell

    (Top: Amelia Van Brunt’s performance of her piece In the Blue of the Evening, originally devised and performed in 2015 during her residency at Circus Center in San Francisco. Photo credit: Shoot That Klown. Second photo:Luminous performance at 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival

    One of the most exciting things about being a professional circus artist is the increasing abundance of training and performance opportunities available to you at residencies and festivals. Of course, not all events are equal in stature and focus, yet each has something to offer the aspiring circus artist looking to break in to the network of global performers.

    Still, the path to these opportunities is dimly lit to all but a few brave souls who seek the way. To be invited to perform, you must have a solid concept of your act, clear goals, know your company’s availability, and you must be highly organized. How do you know if your circus company is ready to move to the next level of performing and getting snapped up by circus programmers for tours? We spoke to festival artistic directors and residency directors around the world to see what they recommend to newbies on how to break in to this performance platform and we highlight festivals and residencies that are worth considering.

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  • 14.02.16 Posted By Kim Campbell

    (Photograph courtesy of Ryuji Sasaki)

    Mikio Oshima has worked in circus for decades. He got his start as a bear caretaker for a Russian circus. Nowadays, he works as a producer for After Cloudy Company (est. 1984 by mentor Keiichi Nishida). He says their company name serves him well when he travels and hands out his business card, because people always ask, “After cloudy, will it be sunny?”

    Although Mikio Oshima comes from a traditional circus background, he is open to the artistic changes he sees occurring in his industry. He is a curious and receptive man, always looking for ways to connect with other cultures and ideas as a means to improve his understanding of the circus industry. When he isn’t producing circus shows, he is a historian and writer, having written 5 books on circus related topics. I spoke with Mr. Oshima about his origins in the circus world, his work and his hopes and dreams for the future of Japanese circus.

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  • 25.01.16 Posted By Kim Campbell

    National Institute of Circus Arts

    Historically, circus has been a hot commodity in Australia since 1847. In the past, it was horses and exotic foreign acts that brought the crowds out. Nowadays, it is innovation, a contemporary merging of other arts with traditional circus skills, and narrative—the welcome addition of story or themes to unify the action— which is keeping audiences hooked. While traditional circuses such as Circus Royale are touring in big tops around the continent, audiences in the big cities are embracing a variety of options, from Flying Fruit Fly Circus (a polished children’s circus), to Circus Oz, Australia’s long running and wildly popular circus with a mission. Australia is also home to one of the world’s better known circus schools, the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne. With so much circus education and history, it is no wonder that Australia is prone to turn out cutting edge modern circus.

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