May 20 | 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. + May 21 | 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Re-Writing Circus

May 20 | 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. + May 21 | 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Access: Virtual conference room with registration
Admission: Free of charge
Language: English

How do we write, talk and think about contemporary circus? How are artistic writings developed in practice and how are they rewriting circus time and again? How do we write on circus, how do we translate performative practice into words? And what kind of re-writing is needed?

On the one hand, the symposium “Re-Writing Circus” reflects on the multiple meanings of dramaturgy in the context of contemporary circus. On the basis of a broad concept of “dramaturgy”, it focuses on body-based writing and research within the creative processes. On the other hand, the symposium is dedicated to the practice of journalistic and scientific writing on contemporary circus. Attention is paid here to a language beyond existing stereotypes commonly associated with circus in Germany until today.

The symposium will be held on two days as part of CircusDanceFestival in Cologne. International speakers* and a professional audience proficient in theory and practice are invited to this symposium with keynote lectures, panel discussions, discussion formats und book presentations. The symposium opens with a keynote by Canadian performer and circus dance researcher Angélique Wilkie. Here, the “relational body” and Angélique Wilkie’s concept of personal body dramaturgy take centre stage, leading to the question as to what extent the performative body contributes to the production of colonial patterns of thought. The subsequent discussion between Angélique Wilkie and artists Laura Murphy and Breno Caetano also focuses on the political body on stage and is moderated by the team behind the Belgian The Circus Dialogues (continued) research project. In a short presentation, the researchers* introduce the Thinking through Circus project, which views the circus as a body-based practice of thought. The second day focuses on dramaturgical processes and readings thereof. In a talk moderated by Mirjam Hildbrand, artist Claudio Stellato and dramaturge Sabine Reich take a closer look at dramaturgical practices and the creative process as a construction site. Circus researcher Dr Franziska Trapp talks to Jenny Patschovsky about analysing and reading circus performances and introduces her book entitled “Lektüren des Zeitgenössischen Zirkus” (German only; title translates to “Reading Contemporary Circus”).

Conception and curation Jenny Patschovsky, Tim Behren, Mirjam Hildbrand | Speakers Angelique Willkie, Bauke Lievens | Guests Claudio Stellato, Franziska Trapp, Laura Murphy, Breno Caetano, Sabine Reich