First of Its Kind: The Circus Buildings in Europe Conference

Circus News

First of Its Kind: The Circus Buildings in Europe Conference

The Circus Buildings in Europe– International Academic Conference and Circus Buildings Exhibition made up the official opening to the 14th Budapest Circus Festival— and both events covered extensive ground. Conference moderator and Hungarian Circus Arts museum researcher David Könyöt takes us along the journey from the event’s planning to its final stage, including a run-down of the expert panelists and their findings.
The Circus Building Conference was the first event of its kind anywhere in the world. Originally, the idea came from Peter Fekete, the Hungarian Minister of State for Culture, who wanted to cover the topic of ‘The History and Fate of European Circus Buildings.’ The Conference concentrated on buildings in Western and Central Europe, including those that had been rebuilt, remodeled for another purpose, or destroyed; and the many that still function as circuses, examining how they reflect our social situation and the modern appreciation of circus arts. Fekete tasked the head of the Museum of Hungarian Circus Arts, Ms. Emese Joó, with organizing the event. She was assisted by Susy Eötvös and Ancsa Könyöt Schneller, the international relations staff of the National Circus Arts Center, and myself. Our first task to prepare ...
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David Könyöt

When I was young, I worked as a clown with my father. In my teens, I moved to theatre as a song and dance man appearing in summer seasons and pantomimes over time adding stand-up, impressions, and music to my act. At 26, I was given the leading role in 'Pyjama Tops' a long-running comedy play at the Whitehall Theatre in London. The decision to return to my roots took me to Chipperfields Circus in the UK as ringmaster. I continued on various shows throughout Europe until 1983 when I combined the role of ringmaster with white face clown for Circus Barum in Germany. 1984/5 I was white clown with the Tony Alexis Trio, and in 1986 after a short spell in Hong Kong, I formed my clown troupe. Since then, I have worked all over Europe with my act 'The Konyot Clowns.' Along the way, I produced shows in Hong Kong, Kuwait, UK, and Germany, and presently I'm a part-time research assistant and writer for the Museum of Hungarian Circus Arts. More importantly, at 75 I'm back where I began. I am a Clown.