Each month Circus Talk will scour the globe to report on the hundreds of circus-based festivals and conferences that occur worldwide and provide a roundup highlighting the month’s best, most interesting and most exciting events. What better month to begin than May, the month when circuses traditionally unfurl their tents and begin their big top tours? This month we focus on two very different festivals and a conference to showcase the rich diversity that is the global circus scene today.
What: London Clown Festival
Where: London, England
When: May 11th-21st
The London Clown Festival is the perfect harbinger of the resurgence of the clown and of physical theater. Only in its 2nd year, but having no lack of shows, the festival explores the modern concepts of clown thru physical theater as well as more traditional clowning, miming, one man shows, cabaret and puppetry.There is also a generous heaping of family shows this year. There are even a couple of workshops for the aspiring clown on how to bouffon and how to fail–worthy aspirations for every human. Each of the 10 festival nights there is a full bill, with tantalizing titles such as Red Bastard, Powerful Women are About and Withered Optimism. Tickets are a reasonable 8.50 pounds per person, making it possible to gorge oneself on good physical comedy for many nights in a row.
What: Conference Think Circus
Where: Paris, France
When: May 17-19
Circus Next and Jeunes Talents Cirque Europe will host the Conference Think Circus in Paris from May 17-19. Described by their Circus Next website as “Meant for persons interested in the issues of artistic creation support, these events will gather European cultural operators, institutions, artists, journalists, and thinkers (philosophers, sociologists, journalists, architects, town-planners…) in order to take a step back from our practices.”
This years long project culminates in the meeting of the minds, gathering the world’s circus academics and contemporary authors to discuss such heady topics exploring circus utopias, writing the circus body, circus margins, circulations and mobility (working around borders for example) in a series of roundtables and presentations. The event ends with a work-in-progress presentation by #Cie.
Where: Puerto de la Cruz, Canary Islands, Spain
When: May 11th-14th
For the past ten years, off the coast of Morocco on the Canary Islands in a town called Puerto de la Cruz, the street art festival Mueca takes over the streets from May 11th until the 14th. Last year there were 257 artists, 118 performances and 63 companies from around the world making circus and street art magic for the masses. This year headliners include Circ Bover and Flip Fabrique with performances by many famous street performers like Karcocha the Chilean mime and Cirq’Ulation Locale.