This summer we’re offering two circus artists the opportunity to visit Edinburgh Festival Fringe to see and talk about the variety of work on offer under the first ‘Circus Voices’ scheme. Supported by The Roundhouse and Crying Out Loud, this week-long residency will explore different ways circus ideas can be expressed and shared, in partnership with the Network of Independent Critics.
Circus is a rapidly expanding force within the UK performing arts world, but the knowledge and confidence to talk about this work in a critically engaged way is still lagging behind. Building a vocabulary to speak about circus in a meaningful way is essential for artists looking to promote their work, and for collaborators hoping to build projects together effectively. Informed reviews are also vital to circus artists hoping to grow audiences and connect with developments in the field.
When The Circus Diaries first launched, I was lucky enough to take part in the EU funded Unpack The Arts scheme that helped writers understand the unique qualities of circus through festival exposure. It opened my eyes to aspects of circus work I hadn’t encountered before, and how these all fit together within a bigger picture of the industry. It also helped me get over the fear factor and realise that my voice is relevant, valid and necessary. Nobody starts anything as an expert, but you have to start something to become one. At the moment we desperately need more circus voices to speak up, or risk being drowned by theatre or dance perspectives.
If you’re keen to develop your skills in this area, email NICritics@mail.com with ‘circus’ in the subject field to receive an application pack. Closing date is 25th May.