Lithuanian Circus Artist‘s News: Education and New Steps on Stage

We are well into the year of 2019 and some great circus news  have already piled up during the first couple of months.  Four Lithuanians active in the circus field have told as all about their most important events of this year.

Circus Managers Expanded Knowledge in an International Project

NuoraNord – a year-long project with the focus on endeavor the development of circus structures in the Baltic-Nordic region had ended this January. The project was led by CircusInfo Finland in collaboration with Pievilcigas pilsetvides biedriba/ Re Riga! Festival (Latvia), Menu spaustuvė / Arts Printing House (Lithuania), Manegen / Karavan (Sweden) and Baltic-Nordic Circus Network. Producers, managers and curators from these partner countries were selected to participate in the educational project through open call. Lithuanians Marija Baranauskaitė and Gildas Aleksa were among them.

The team of the project

During the programme, team of all participants visited all four partner countries, took part in creative workshops, broadened circus management knowledge and went to see circus performances. According to producer, director and contemporary circus festival’s Cirkuliacija manager Gildas Aleksa, he has received most useful knowledge at the meeting with Louise-Michèle You, founder of circus production and management company l’Avant Courrier,  who talked about techniques and tools for circus and other performing arts management. At important moments of the programme, Gildas names meetings with people who have encountered practical difficulties in the field, overcome them and have been able to share their experiences. “Of particular importance during all the meetings was the “moral help” that everyone felt every time we met and talked, leaving tons of work in our home countries. It was mentioned during group meetings – the importance of meeting and talking to people facing the same difficulties in the same field of work.” – says Gildas Aleksa.

Marija Baranauskaitė, the clownery artist, artistic director of the RED NOSES Clown Doctors, says this project has become an important platform for her, successfully expanding the circus network and providing knowledge about circus art in the Nordic-Baltic region. According to Marija, meetings with a group of selected participants inspired her and allowed her to get acquainted with specific examples of circus development, to share good practices and learn from colleagues’ mistakes: “We had time to analyze what would be worth doing differently to avoid the inefficient professional patterns. We also had great opportunities to work and develop our artistic strategies, gain practical knowledge of international networking and marketing. I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate in this type of a project.”

Monika Nevrauskaitė – on the International Circus Stages

French circus school Lido alumni Monika Neverauskaitė, now also known as Soloneviena, is working intensively with both personal and her company’s Collectif AOC projects. On February 3rd, at the BIAC International Circus Art Biennale in Marseille, the company presented its performance Des Bords De Soi (Eng. Self-Borders), in which Monika performed with her main circus discipline, Cyr Wheel.

(c) Geraldine Aresteanu 

The Marseille Circus Biennale is a big circus festival that attracts over one hundred thousand people and takes place in theaters, various venues and circus tents all around the city and surrounding towns for over a month. After performing at the biennale, Monika traveled to participate in the largest and most important Nordic circus showcase Subcase, which takes place annually at the Swedish circus center, Subtopia. Here the artist presented a sketch of her latest work, Harry III.

New Diploma in Lithuanian Circus Community

Circus creator,  acrobat and chairman of the Lithuanian Contemporary Circus Association Elena Nechiporenko  is already  holding  a new certificate in her hands – she graduated from a circus dramaturgy course organized by CNAC (France) and ESAC (Belgium) schools. The circus playwright qualification providing course was composed of three theoretical and one practical modules, in which participants examined the history of dramaturgy, analyzed the place of risk and technique in circus dramaturgy, studied circus performances, right ways of giving feedback to creators, explored the stages of the creative process, the most common questions and various ways of influencing the viewer.  In the practical part participants created the dramaturgy of their performance and presented it. “This course has given me a lot of new information and self-confidence as a circus creator, put in place the knowledge I already had. An extremely important and significant task was to write your manifesto – it was the best way for me to clarify creative and life priorities. – Elena speaks about her studies.

Elena with her colleagues at school

The artist also claims that it was very interesting to see the French circus from the inside: “We used to talk about the contemporary circus as an open, accessible area of art, because the main priority in Lithuania is to introduce circus to the audience. French contemporary circus creators may already allow themselves to see openness and accessibility from different angles – in their opinion, sometimes it creates plenty of stereotypes and a sort of framework that does not have room for deep, weird, provocative work. I hope that with time, the field of contemporary circus in Lithuania will also be open and ready for various works for different audiences. And, of course, I hope we can create these works ourselves.”

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