Where juggling clubs and acrobats swirl through the air, where children are all ears and eyes in astonishment, where there’s laughter and suspense, that is where one of Europe’s most traditional forms of entertainment is at home: the Circus. Contemporary circus is booming throughout Europe, and these days they create a space and platform for artists in Berlin, too – Berlin Circus Festival 2017 on Tempelhofer Feld from August 25 through September 3, 2017. Before the world’s best acrobats conquer the circus ring, here’s all you need to know about the hottest performing arts festival of the year:
Circus entertainment is one of the most traditional performing art forms in Europe, and for the last 300 years it has constantly been evolving and changing. While the 20th century brought us some rather distinct “classic circus aesthetics” with recurring elements and forms, a new movement emerged in 1970s France: “Cirque Nouveau”. Doing away with the questionable practice of training wild animals they have rather been seeking new intersections between the classic disciplines acrobatics, juggling, and clownery and other performing art genres such as dance, theatre, and media performances. Other than sticking to the traditional circus tent, contemporary circus performances often take place in unusual venues, such as factory halls, urban spaces, or theater stages. Most artists do not want to break with traditional concepts of circus entirely, but rather redefine and develop them further. While many European countries – with France leading the way – now consider Cirque Nouveau an established art form, Germany still hangs somewhat behind. The public image of circus culture is often coined by traditional travelling circus companies and varieté theatres. But the scene is alive and varied, and thanks to events such as the Berlin Circus Festival its popularity is growing constantly.
What about the Festival?
In order to establish contemporary circus culture in Germany, too, many artists have been committed to creating platforms and events to encourage the ongoing exchange between artists and the public. Since 2015, Berlin Circus Festival has given the scene an annual forum in the heart of the republic. Breathtaking performances highlight current developments and movements within the circus world and invite the public to be a part of it. Ten big shows by celebrated international companies are at the core of the ten-day festival, presenting acrobatics, dance, and theatre. Workshops, short performances, open stages, as well as a new “meet the artist” format allow you to learn, experiment and experience the whole thing first-hand. This year the festival will actively be supported by the Finnish Institute: Three witty Finnish productions will portray their unique approach to the performing art. A beautifully crafted circus village will emerge on the abandoned airport of Tempelhofer Feld for the duration of the festival; a dwelling space connecting artists, visitors and learners. Enjoy the last days of summer with live music performances, drinks, interesting exhibitions, and yummy eats here.
Be part of it!
Berlin Circus Festival 2017 takes place between August 25 and September 3, 2017 on Tempelhofer Feld. There are single tickets for the nightly shows and performances at 9 – 19€. If you want to attend two shows on the same day, get a combi-ticket at 15 – 32€. For those who want to really dive into the contemporary world of circus, make sure to get one of the limited festival passes covering all events. Price: 87€ (reduced fare: 62€ / children: 41€). The many workshops require online registration.
Further information, tickets, and workshop registration can be found online at: www.berlin-circus-festival.de
Curious? Check out the official teaser trailer below:
Bildnachweis: © 2017 Berlin Circus Festival
is Berliner by choice and a passionate backpacker himself. As a receptionist he knows the real hostel life; as a blogger he's been writing for Industriepalast Hostel's Berlin blog since 2014.