In many ways, 2018 has been a great year for circus. This is really saying something when you consider that 2017 was a year when big changes left a lot of people in the circus industry feeling discouraged–with the closing of iconic circuses like Ringling and changes in industry attitudes on subjects like large scale shows, animals and more. Of course, along with tremendous growth and in some cases reinvention, there have been growing pains and push back and that progress hasn’t always been pain free or without casualties.
Quick Change Acts–The Hot Topics of 2018 The roles of animals, minorities, and women in circus; sexual misconduct; racism, and defining and validating the diversity of artistic expression in circus; these were hot topics among circus makers and conference goers in 2018. The traditional circus world has held on dearly to the use of animals acts as an essential ingredient for the definition of circus–but not without cost as the divide between traditional and new or contemporary circus makers seems to widen partially as a result. It is rare to see circus festivals or conferences that include both worlds of circus and encourage learning and exchange between the two groups. But at the same time, behind the scenes there is constant exchange, as contemporary schools hire ...
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