5 Things Every Emerging Circus Company Should Know - CircusTalk

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5 Things Every Emerging Circus Company Should Know

I want to make a disclaimer here at the start:

You should make whatever kind of circus you want to, and you can ignore every single one of these ideas and be wildly successful.

These ideas are going to be relevant to emerging companies and artists looking to break in to the performing arts world. It’s not the only marketplace for circus arts, but it is a market where the demand is high and the supply is low, especially when it comes to American companies. I’ve picked up these tips watching presenters book shows and speaking with them about new circus work over the past three years. The market is constantly evolving, but in my estimation these ideas are pretty constant starting points for new companies looking to get started.

It’s also important to add that there are many questions we can use to examine performance work and they all have validity depending on your artistic and career goals. Is your work bookable for a tour? Is it accessible across both national cultures and artistic cultures? Does it move technique, or artistic discipline, forward? The questions you use to evaluate your work will have a big effect on how you develop over time.

I am, in this listicle, using an unabashedly commercial lens. The reason for this is that many emerging artists know a lot about making work, but not a lot about how that work actually makes it into festivals, theaters or tents, or what presenters and agents are looking for when they present performance.

OK! Disclaimers complete.

1. Be Artistically Rigorous

If you’re interested in presenting work with performing arts centers you have to put yourself in their mindset–they are bringing your show along with many other dance or theater productions, productions where the narrative, movement and arc of the show are all fundamental to the creation process. To appeal to these presenters, you have to be really rigorous with how you structure your show, both thematically and technically.

Here’s a good litmus test: remove aspects of the show one at a time, and see if what’s left stands up. Does the show work without the “wow” level technical skills? Does it stand up without the lights and costumes? Does it stand up with ONLY the circus skills?

During the creation of shows, we have to be willing to take the work apart and put it back together, finding out what makes it tick and fine tuning its inner workings. This process takes time, discernment and rigorous questioning…and presenters can tell when it hasn’t happened…

Read the full article at Circus Now