Department of Circus

The Circus Department encompasses various aspects of the circus art form through educational programmes, courses and research activities within circus such as Phd-studies and various research projects led by members of our staff. Our professors, doctoral students and those of our teachers who also conduct research generate new knowledge within artistic research. The Department of circus is an international milieu with students from all over the world. Programmes and courses are taught in English.
Two acrobats
Closing Acts 2018, graduation show with the last year students at the BA-programme in Circus. Photo: Einar Kling Odencrants

 
The circus art is in constant evolution, often with extreme displays and expressions. Our programmes and courses offer knowledge about, and an understanding of the many forms of expression in circus. Our graduates use their artistry to contribute to the development of the circus movement vocabulary and in turn may redefine the art form itself. The programme initiates innovative processes in methods of working and of expressing oneself. Our previous students expand the boundaries for where and how one can present circus. They are employed in international companies as well as creating their own, and as freelancers they take part in festivals and events have the entire world as their work place.

Student voices:

I have come to understand and give importance about the process and not thinking of the product itself. It is better to try and fail than just think about it and not move forwards.

my circus is a lot more than I've imagined, that I can take this circus expertise and apply it to other fields and that this has opened up new opportunities for an innovative approach that will be important for the future career.

I've learned to trust the unknown, the state in which things form, to trust that state, and to trust myself.

This film with Saana Leppänen is from Closing Acts 2018, graduation show with the last year students at the BA-programme in Circus.

 

Independent courses

The independent courses form an important part of the activities at the Department of circus. The courses are aimed at addressing the needs for further development of circus practitioners in the field. They also create an environment for experimentation in the meeting point between education and research with the aim of being on the cutting edge of the development of circus art. The independent courses are offered continuously over the year and vary in length and contents. Some examples are: circus pedagogics, artistic development within the circus discipline, introduction to research design as well as courses in different circus disciplines that have attracted students from round the world.

Bachelor Programme in Circus (first cycle)

The programme contains courses in circus discipline training, artistic processes and how to create a sustainable career as a circus artist.  The student work with performance, interpretation, improvisation and how to face/approach the audience. The different aspects of creative stage work will be deepened as one continuously explore, create, practice and present artistic projects in different formats.

Read more about the Bachelor Programme in Circus

The Master Programme Contemporary Circus Practices (second cycle)

Here students are challenged to develop advanced artistic and conceptual skills of relevance to the present field of circus. There are courses developing the circus discipline and movement practices in depth, exploring the relationship between theory and practice, and the development of material and design. Students interact with international artists whose processes challenge the world around us, and one has the opportunity to present projects throughout the duration of the programme. Our master programme works with analysis, critique and openness to other fields as well as an understanding of the contemporary conditions that shape human experience.

The degree gives one the possibility in applying for PhD (third-cycle) studies in artistic research, see below.

Read more about The Master Programme Contemporary Circus Practices

Research studies

Research education at Uniarts is offered through the research subject Performative and Mediated Practices, which has four specialisations:

  • Film and Media
  • Choreography
  • Opera
  • Performing Arts

Circus as a field of research fits into these specialisations, depending on the focus of the research project.

By creating an active, critical and dynamic environment for research, Uniarts enables doctoral students to develop their work in a way that contributes to artistic research as a transdisciplinary field and to strengthening the link between research and the first- and second-cycle programmes.

Contact information

Here you can find contact information for all of us at the Department of Circus.