The Partners

The difficulty for artists and programmers to organize optimized tours on an international level is at the heart of discussions between professionals.
For this project on mobility, Archaos has brought together partners who share the same concern for developing quality programming and support for artists: Téatro da Didascalia, Letní Letná and Dynamo found it natural to involve the BNCN network in the project, which is a key player in Northern Europe.

Unsurprisingly, the four partners were themselves artists before creating festivals and venues for artists. This experience makes it possible to have common concerns and to clearly identify the needs and difficulties of the profession.

Archaos- National Circus Center, based in Marseille since 2001 supports artistic creation, diffusion, and the practice of circus arts. It is a place of residence and creation, and a co-producer of shows. Archaos is the organizer of the International Biennale of Circus Arts, hosting dozens of companies and hundreds of national and international professionals, in Marseille and 39 cities of the region. It also offers classes, workshops, and social activities for professionals and amateurs in its own space to help the dissemination, professionalization, and consolidation of circus arts.


France is one of the countries where contemporary circus is the most supported at the institutional level.

It has a specialized network of public institutions that work on the production, distribution and promotion of shows.

In recent years there has been a huge increase in the number of circus schools, students, companies, shows, theatres that program them, cities that host them, and festivals.

Overall, French circus artists export themselves well abroad. However, French programmers tend to program relatively few international shows.

Teatro da Didascália is a cultural structure founded in 2008 and based in Vila Nova de Famalicão. Its activity unfolds between the creation of transdisciplinary artistic projects and the programming and hosting of other projects: in its space of creation, artistic residences, and programming – fAUNA – and in the Vaudeville Rendez-Vous International Festival, which takes place in the cities of Barcelos, Braga, Guimarães and Vila Nova de Famalicão.


The contemporary circus scene is conquering its place in Portugal. Festivals are being created, artists booked and the theaters had opened their program to this artistic field. There is still a long path to walk, but the steps are being taken. One of Teatro da Didascália main concern is to give the artists the conditions for them to create such as co-productions and artistic residences, and also to promote the dialogue between artists and programmers. This last part, on a national and international scope.

The Letní Letná Festival was founded in 2004 and hosted more than 60 000 spectators in before Covid-19. From the very beginning, the festival has led the way to a new circus in the Czech Republic and has presented the new circus genre and its current trends, introducing top international ensembles to Czech audiences, while relentlessly supporting and helping to develop the local scene. The festival is committed to include all kinds of audiences; experts, artists but also families and fans of circus; organizing family and children’s program, circus and art workshops for visitors as well as discussions and music programs.


The contemporary circus has been talked about in the Czech Republic since 2004, when the Letní Letná festival was established, and in the following years the first circus ensembles were founded (Cirk La Putyka in 2009). Nowadays, the new circus is becoming a part of theatre festivals and there are more festivals dedicated to contemporary circus, also in the regions. There is no accredited professional circus school in the Czech Republic yet, Circus professionals rely on university’s programs for clowning, pantomime, or physical theater and on informal teaching, and self-study. An important line in education is the so-called youth and social circus. Legislatively, contemporary circus is recognized as an art form, but it is not firmly entrenched in any of the fields of performing arts and still associated with dance or theater.

Dynamo – Workspace for Circus and Performing Arts is a creation space for circus and physical theater as well as a venue for performing arts and music. It offers artistic residencies, co-productions and masterclasses as well as presenting guest performances, its own productions, and an annual circus festival, DYNAMO Circus Festival founded in Odense, Denmark to respond the needs for creation space in the country. Dynamo’s activities are guided by the will to sustain professional circus and performing arts throughout the entire spectrum; research, experimentation, training, creation, presenting and touring.


Danish contemporary circus was only recognized as an independent genre a few years ago. Before that contemporary circus would have to be “disguised” as theater to be able to receive production funding. This gave Danish contemporary circus a more theatrical expression, a tendency that is still strong, however new companies are starting to work more conceptual. One of the main challenges for Danish Contemporary Circus is the lack of possibilities for circus education, and the few opportunities for job offers and creation spaces that forces national talents to leave the country. The situation is slowly improving thanks to more awareness of circus, better funding options and new creation spaces being founded giving the artists more opportunities in their own country.

Baltic Nordic Circus Network is a collaborative network of 20 circus arts organizations in the Baltic and Nordic countries. The network works to strengthen the regional collaboration and development of the circus sector and organizes activities which aim to support the circus field these countries such as workshops, seminars and international residencies for artists and industry professionals. Theses action focus on skills development, best practice, increasing knowledge and cooperation as well as cultural and national identity.

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