CircusTalk was excited to participate on a deeper level in the second edition of FIRCO, (El Festival Iberoamericano de Circo) this October (2019). We have been big fans and supporters since the inaugural run in 2018 when FIRCO decided the world needed to highlight the many talents in circus from the 24 countries they identified as IberoAmerican, mainly Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries. Editor Kim Campbell reports:
Being part of FIRCO was a big honor for CircusTalk. This year we were invited to be on the jury as well as to present our own award CircusTalk Critic’s Choice Award. Co-founder Andrea Honis and I spent a few days in Madrid meeting with the artists and the organizers and even led our first workshop for circus artists titled Personal Brand–How to Present Your Circus Identitiy to Increase Employment Opportunities. The whole experience was excellent, from the supportive organizers to the amazing artists who shared their stories with us. But the highlight of course was the Gala night, and giving the award to our first CircusTalk Critic’s Choice winner, Marco Motta.
Highlights in Spain
Finally seeing the beautiful Circo Price (one of a handful of dedicated circus venues in the world!) in person was a dream come true. I love the stage area, the lush lighting, and the red interior but finding the rounded exterior of the building in the back was a nice surprise as this modern construction echoes some of the other circus buildings of the past.
We took a day to visit Carampa’s gorgeous campus in Casa de Campo in Madrid. After two trains and a lift from director Donald Lehn, we got to meet the students, to have a tour of the resource center and even to interview Donald about the school’s future dream to grow their institution by expanding into a permanent construction facility.
Giving the first CircusTalk Critic’s Choice Award out meant a lot to Andrea and I too. We spent some time thinking about the legacy of such an award and decided we’d like to bring it to festivals around the world and to offer frequently contributing critics the chance to present the award in the future. Thinking about the criteria of the award was also an important decision for us. We chose our categories carefully, including the standard ones of importance such as originality, audience engagement, technique, and artistic delivery. But one criterion that seemed to be missing from contemporary circus awards thus far was recognizing the message of the show or act–so we created a category for social relevance as well. Check out our press release with more details!