Cirko Appoints Jarkko Lehmus as New Director

Circus News

Cirko Appoints Jarkko Lehmus as New Director

The board of the Center for New Circus Cirko has chosen Jarkko Lehmus as the new director. Lehmus has been the acting director since March 2022. He holds an MA in Cultural Policy and Management and an MA in Dramaturgy. In his previous position as the producer of Cirko, Lehmus was responsible for Cirko’s performance programme, projects, international networks, and artistic development. In the selection of Lehmus, who ended up in the position through an open call, emphasis was placed not only on his previous experience, but also on his understanding of circus as an art form and his vision for the development of Cirko’s operations.

During the past ten years, Cirko has come a long way from a small association to one of the most important contemporary circus development centres and stages in Northern Europe.

In accordance with its 2022-2026 strategy, Cirko develops circus as an art through a year-round residency programme and artistic development projects, presenting a contemporary circus repertoire that is physically, emotionally, and intellectually engaging. The performance programme is presented both in Cirko’s own premises in Suvilahti, Helsinki, and in cooperation with other state-funded theatres. As well, Cirko produces new contemporary circus performances in collaboration with Finnish contemporary circus companies and domestic and international co-production partners. The aim of these partnerships is to expand the audience base of contemporary circus.

Under the leadership of Director Jarkko Lehmus, Cirko’s new strategic emphasis is to develop collaborations with and from the communities of the constantly developing Kalasatama area of Helsinki. “Cirko can only effectively fulfil its core mission of supporting the artistic and professional development of circus collaboratively with the artists, audiences, Kalasatama area communities and other national and international partners. It is an honour to be trusted to guide an organisation that carries such importance for the entire field of circus art. First and foremost, my job is to ensure that Cirko is a solid base where amazing and diverse circus art can grow wild and free,” Lehmus states.

Cirko -- the Center for New Circus-- is an association founded in 2002 with the core mission of developing circus as an art and furthering the professionalisation of circus. Cirko presents a versatile year-round contemporary circus performance programme both in its own venues in Suvilahti, Helsinki, and on the stages of its partners in the Helsinki metropolitan area, such as Dance House Helsinki, Finnish National Theatre, Espoo City Theatre and Alexander Theatre. In addition to its annual residency programme and projects, Cirko co-produces new contemporary circus performances alongside Finnish contemporary circus companies and national and international co-production partners.

Photo Source: Cirko's website

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