The second edition of DIVE – Deep Learning Activity – will take place from November 30th to December 2nd in Ílhavo, Portugal. Co-organized by the Bússola company in collaboration with the 23 Milhas, Ílhavo Camara Municipal, and Acesso Cultura, DIVE borrows the framework of LEME- the Festival de Circo Contemporâneo- to offer meditations on inclusivity within the circus world.
DIVE is a three-day immersive event dedicated to reflecting on a specific theme through a wide range of experiential activities. Held in the neighborhood of its organizing team, the 2022 program is deeply connected to Circostrada’s annual guiding thread of “Diverse body/ies,” and aims to encourage the sharing of knowledge, experiences, and best practices among participants on this particular issue. As well, the CIRCUS FORUM will be part of this year’s DIVE event.
This three-day action-packed program offers a perfect combination of keynote speakers, panel discussions, and artistic presentations and provocations, all centered around the topics of equity and inclusion. The program welcomes open conversations on professional careers for those with disabilities in the arts and culture sector.
One of the featured presenters is Diana Niepce, a dancer, choreographer, and writer who talks candidly about her body transformation journey. Sharing her experiences, the artist states in her bio, “I woke up quadriplegic in the hospital, intubated and tied up, with my boyfriend saying the alphabet and me blinking at the letter I meant. My all-knowing body was no longer my own. At thirty years old, I was no longer a dancer, just a body I didn’t understand and which didn’t understand me. I couldn’t drink water without someone holding the glass. I could not stand. I couldn’t move my legs. My hands were not my hands. In physiotherapy, I fought against that body, fought for another millimeter of movement. I was just an old, sad body. But in my obsession with the body, I found a new one, an odd/strange/weird/peculiar/eerie body, for which I had no other solution but to discover it. And in this love-hate relationship with my body, the game began.”
Among the rich artistic offerings, Josh & Cloé, partner acrobats from Switzerland, will present “Yana,” a piece inspired by spiritual practices from around the world. The duo’s storytelling spotlights ancient wisdom by using spiral movement in acrobatics and dance to connect us with something deeper, something beyond the body. With their unique, fluid movements, duality becomes one and transforms into pure consciousness.
The focal topic of the discussion panels is also equity and inclusion. Circostrada’s Stéphane Segreto-Aguilar leads a panel on the actual manifestation of DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility) in our practices, dissecting a little bit about what’s worked, what hasn’t (and why not), and what we can do differently in the future. Bruno Costa, the head of Bússola and the LEME Circus Festival, likewise engages panelists Jordi Duran Roldos of Dimitri Ialta/ERAM, Janne Schröder of PELE – Espaço de Contacto Social e Cultural, and Alfonso Pato of the Festival de Cans in a conversation about public spaces and how artists and audiences can coexist within them.
Participation for circus professionals is free of charge. Prior registration is required before November 14th.
Main image: ©João Versos Roldão