NoFit State Circus, UK’s leading large-scale contemporary circus company, producing professional touring productions and a wide variety of community, training, and education projects, has been awarded funding through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Young Roots program to take members of its Youth Circus on a creative exploration of circus history, as part of 250th anniversary celebrations of modern circus in 2018.
“We’re thrilled that Heritage Lottery Fund has agreed to fund this exciting opportunity for our Youth Circus to explore the heritage of modern circus, in particular the role of Welsh circus over the past 250 years. With the perception of circus changing dramatically over recent years, this innovative project will not only give our young community members amazing new skills and experiences, but an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of their artform,” shares Olga Kaleta, Head of NoFit State Youth Circus.
Circus: 250 Years Young is a 9-month-long creative heritage project, led by NoFit State Circus, working with its talented Youth Circus community members who are all aged between 5 and 18 years old.
The project will look at the unique Welsh contribution to the development of circus over the past 250 years and will culminate in a final performance as part of the UK-wide celebrations marking the 250th anniversary of circus.
Working with heritage partners Glamorgan Archives, NoFit State’s youth circus will explore and discover Wales’ lost circus history; scouring the archives, taking talks from circus experts, and even experiencing practical workshops in forgotten circus skills.
They will also have the opportunity to experience real circus life under NoFit State’s iconic Big Top Tent, taking part in creative workshops and talks while the professional company works on the creation of its new show in Cardiff in the Autumn.
All this will form the inspiration for a public performance by the Youth Circus, set to take place in December 2017.
Working with creative organization ProMo-Cymru, NoFit State uses new techniques to explore the past. Budding young performers in the program will learn the skills to document the project and create captivating video blogs about their experience, with a final documentary film created and screened as part of the public celebration of the 250th anniversary in January 2018. As Arielle Tye, Communication and Media Manager, points out, “In today’s world digital skills are hugely important for a young performer. Learning how to tell stories, promote themselves and use video as an art form will help with their development as artists.”
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