Year-Long Celebration of Circus in Brussels - CircusTalk

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Year-Long Celebration of Circus in Brussels

As part of, this entire year from March 2018 to March 2019 will be devoted to celebrate circus arts in the Belgian capital. After contemporary art in Paris in 2016 (INDISCIPLINE) and contemporary dance in Berlin in 2017 (RADIKAL), is the third edition in a series that promotes Brussels by showcasing its artists, and inviting international artists from around the world.

“In recent years, the circus has become one of the most beautiful business cards in Brussels, and in 2018 a number of major events will take place in Brussels circus scene, notably the opening of the new ESAC site, one of the most prestigious circus schools in the world,” says Rachid Madrane, the Minister in charge of promoting Brussels to the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.

Indeed, Brussels can be proud to have one of the most famous circus schools in the world: ESAC admitting 90% international students. “There are 18 nationalities in our walls, 25% of foreign students come from outside Europe, such as North and South America,” says Virginie Jortay, Director of the school. The school is recognized worldwide for its excellent training. “Young artists leave here with a high degree of technicality and 91% of our graduates are active in the sector even 10 years later,” adds the director. In addition, the rate of integration into employment is particularly high and almost a third of the students settle in Brussels after they graduate.

In Belgium, there is no preparatory circus training in the formal education setting that would prepare students to gain access to circus schools, that is why only a few Belgians students have the sufficient level to access ESAC. In 2016 the Wallonia-Brussels Federation launched an initiative to offer a circus option in secondary education. Two schools have already indicated their interest: the Ursuline Institute in Koekelberg and the Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels-City.

On April 19th 2018, ESAC will inaugurate its new premises on the CERIA campus in Anderlecht.

Festival UP!, the International Circus Biennial, the flagship event of Espace Catastrophe kicked off on Monday and will run until March 25th. Other major events of the year-long programming will be Fresh Circus#4 seminar (March12-15), HOPLA!, (April 9-15), and the Hors Pistes festivals.

Link to full article in French at

Main Image source: , @JC Guillaume