The Most Threatening CRISIS of the National Circus School of Brazil

Circus News

The Most Threatening CRISIS of the National Circus School of Brazil

In 1982 Brazil joined the international movement inaugurating its official circus school. The decision came from the desire of some circus families who had been circulating within the Brazilian territory for over a century. There is no doubt that the emergence of the National Circus School, renamed in 2017 as ENCLO (Escola Nacional de Circo Luiz Olimecha) represents one of the major events in the long tradition of circus in Brazil. Considering the many achievements throughout ENCLO’s trajectory, we would like to highlight two of them: the deep renovation of its headquarters in 2013, providing an excellent facility for a professional circus education; and the recognition of the “professionalizing” diploma in 2015. It is also worth remembering that in 1998 ENCLO students won the Silver Medal at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain (France). In its almost 40 years, ENCLO has trained more than 2500 artists, who performed in circus shows around the world, consolidating the institution as an international reference.
However, the importance of ENCLO was not enough to prevent its existence from being recently threatened. In an unprecedented action, the National Arts Foundation (FUNARTE)(1) was totally modified, with immediate effect on ENCLO as well. In June 2020, in the middle of a pandemic, when everyone needs good governance, the management of the school was changed, resulting in a long period of silence and non-communication with students. Furthermore, in December 2020, Funarte announced that ENCLO’s facilities needed to be renovated, so the place would be used for another purpose and that the student’s circus activities would be transferred to a new location. Several non-democratic decisions were made, without any attempt at dialogue with the school’s community (teachers, students, staff…). This is an indication that the RED LIGHT has turned on: We are in CRISIS! ENCLO is about to close! ...
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Marco Coelho Bortoleto

Marco Antonio Coelho Bortoleto, has a B.A. in Physical Education from the Methodist University of Piracicaba and MSc in Sport Science from the University of Campinas, both in Brazil. He received his PhD at the University of Lleida (Spain). He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Lisbon (Portugal) and at the University of Manitoba (Canada). As Visiting Professor he worked at Universidad A Coruña (Spain) and La Plata National University (Argentina). He is currently working as an Associate Professor in the Physical Education Faculty at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP - Brazil). Since 2006, he has led the CIRCUS RESEARCH LAB (CIRCUS) together with the circus historian Erminia Silva, PhD. He is a former professional circus artist and acrobatics teacher at Barcelona’ Circus School “Rogelio Rivel” (Spain, 2001-2005), and has been collaborating as a partner of Cirque du Soleil casting department since 2003.