Collective improvisation in Circus and Music - course

Collective improvisation in Circus and Music - course

This course is for you who works as a circus artist and/or as musician and who wishes to develop your improvisational skills and your collective creativity in an interdisciplinary context that invites a meeting between circus and music. You have an interest in working in the development of an inter-disciplinary field that includes both circus and music.

During the course we will work with methods for interactivity and playful interdisciplinary experimentations between circus and music.

As a student you will meet with teachers in both circus and music. The course integrates aspects of choreography, composition, music theory, circus theory and philosophy both theoretically and in practice and you will be in a group of students  composed of musicians and circus artists.

Through a series of lectures, assignments, exercises and experiments based on the concept of creative disorder you will explore and reflect on improvisation as a method for composition, choreography and performance.

The course is divided into two themes.

First theme

In the first theme you will work on methods for structuring improvisation based on the concept of “creative disorder”. For example:

-     Playfullness
-     Co- and counter play
-     Virtual spaces as tools for abstraction
-     Choreographic devices involving motion, time, weight, space, flow, heights, speed and  balance.
-     Listening- and response styles

Second theme

In the second theme you will work with mobile concepts that connect practice and theory based on your own performance in interactions with the others. For example:

-The concept of creative disorder

-The concept of dialogical interaction

-The socio-political aspects of collective creativity, dialogical exchanges and empowerment: synergy, non-linearity and self-organization. 


Course director and teacher
Marie-Andrée Robitaille
, from Québec, Canada is an artist based in Stockholm, Sweden. In the past, she has participated as a circus performer to multiple production of the Swedish company Cirkus Cirkör; Super Cirkör, 00:00 and TRIX. She was also engaged as a dancer, acrobat, and stuntwomen in various other international projects. For the last nine years, Marie-Andrée has been assistant professor in circus and the head of the Bachelor programme in Circus at Stockholm University of the Arts (SKH). She is the initiator of the Stockholm-based international Nordic Women in Circus Network and the founder of Gynoïdes Project, an undertaking which aims to examine the roles and representations of women in circus arts. She has conducted, at Uniarts, the research projects Women in Circus, Sound of Circus and currently conducts Hidden Circus which all explore alternative modes of composition in circus art. From January 2019, Marie-Andrée Robitaille is a Ph.D. candidate in performative and mediated practices with a specialization in Circus Choreography.

Course director and teacher
Klas Nevrin
is a musician (piano, live electronics, percussion, composition) who also teaches and researches improvisation at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. He has toured internationally for many years, and has played with, among others, Klas Nevrin’s Revoid Ensemble, Fredrik Ljungkvist’s Yun Kan 5 & 10, Mat Maneri, Anna Lindal. Klas recently completed the artistic research project “Music in Disorder” (2016-2018) that explored collective improvisation in music and transdisciplinary perspectives.

Klas’s music engages an elaborate use of microtonality, polyrhythm and a wide range of sounds and timbres. His compositional work is inspired by sources ranging from contemporary classical music (composers such as Ben Johnston, Morton Subotnick and György Ligeti) and improvisation to North-Indian raga and jazz. This diversity cuts transversally across various established genres in an effort to generate process-oriented musical affects. Klas is also interested in a micropolitical aesthetics that attempts to resist the capture of subjectivity in the form of narrative development, instead moving towards the construction of an experimental site that explores a heightening of sensorial perception and embodied materiality.

Illustration Angeliki Meli

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    The course starts on the 9 November 2020 and ends 27 November 2020.

  • Entry requirements

    General entry requirements for education on the first cycle level. with the exemption of Swedish 1, 2, 3 and Enlish 6

    Specific Entry Requirements:

    • 15 credits in Circus and/or Music or the equivalent

    If you don’t fulfil the formal entry requirements for the programme you may apply for recognition of prior learning, in other words that the knowledge and competence you have acquired through other activities are assessed as the equivalent of the formal merits that are required. Submit your application for recognition of prior learning with your application for the programme.

    You may also apply for an exemption/a waiver, that allows you to proceed to the selection process even though you don’t meet the general admission requirements. Submit your application for an exemption/a waiver together with your application.

    Read more about how you can show that you meet the entry requirements (that you are eligible).

  • Valuable prior knowledge

  • How to apply

    When the course is open for application you apply through our web-based application system by clicking on the "Apply"-button on this page.

    Start your application early! Don’t delay in submitting your application! You may run into trouble if you wait until the last day and your internet connection happens to be down, or you find that your files are in the wrong format. You will not be able to apply once the last date for applications has passed. Keep in mind that your application needs to be turned in by 23.59 (Swedish time).

    When you have entered the application system:

    1. Register by stating your name and e-mail address.
    2. Fill in your personal data (including your Swedish civic registration number if you have one).
    3. Fill in the application form and upload the required documents.

    Before uploading your documents, they must be prepared as follows:

    • You must scan your original documents. If the document is in colour, scan it in colour.
    • Be sure to scan ALL pages in the document, even those that just contain instructions or other information that is not necessarily information about your grades. It must be the complete document and all the pages should be in the same file.
    • If you upload copies of original documents, (degree certificates, transcript of records etc.) they must be certified/attested! This means that another person must sign their name, write their name in block letters and provide their telephone number on each document copy you submit. This person, by signing, is certifying that the copy you submit is an exact copy of the original.
    • All documents must be in PDF-format.
    • Please name the file with content and your name for example: CV_ first name_ family name


    The following documents have to be uploaded for your application to be complete.

    • A copy of your passport or national identity card (unless you are a Swedish citizen)

    Applicants from non-EU, EEA-country, or Switzerland, need to pay application fee for higher education in Sweden, and if admitted a tuition fee. If you are a citizen in an EU, EEA-country, or Switzerland, you do not have to pay application or tuition fees. Please upload a copy of your passport/valid national identity card as we need to check your nationality. If you have a Swedish civic registration number, or Swedish citizenship, you do not need to upload a copy of your passport. Remember to state your Swedish civic registration number when you fill in your personal data.


    Below are the entry requirements for the course.  If you do not meet the general requirements and/or specific requirements you can apply for recognition of prior learning. When you apply for recognition of prior learning you should upload:

    • A letter explaining why you think that you will manage the studies even though you do not fulfil the general entry requirements and/or specific entry requirements.
    • Signed documents/certificates that confirm your merits/experiences that you refer to in your letter and CV. The documents you upload need to be signed and dated by the person/s that wrote them. We only accept documents on in English, Swedish, Danish or Norwegian. We do not accept e-mails as certificates.

    Here you can find more information regarding prior learning/exemption.

    Documentation showing that you meet the specific Entry Requirements:

    • 15 credits in Circus and/or Music or the equivalent


    Other documents needed for the admission process

    • Letter of Motivation
    • Your CV where you list your education, professional experience and other relevant experiences that you want to refer to.
    • Film - upload a film of max three minutes/150mb showing your skills in your chosen discipline

    For musicians

     If you think your video recording is not of good audio quality, or if you want to submit additionnal audio for any other reasons, you can upload 1 or 2 audio excerpts (3-5 min each). For audio recordings: the format should  be in a recognized compressed format (mp3, m4a).

    Please note that we only accept applications and certificates through the application system, not by means of regular post or e-mail.

    Confirmation of your application

    When you’ve submitted your application you will receive a confirmation to the e-mail address that you’ve stated. If you don’t receive an confirmation e-mail, you should firstly check your spam filter. If the confirmation e-mail is not there, contact the technical support for the application system by e-mail:

    Technical difficulties with your application?

    Phone: +46 520 580 050 (weekdays at the following times: 08:30–12:00 and 13:00–16:30) 

  • When you have applied

    If there are more qualified applicants than places a selection is done. The selection is based on the applicant's qualifications from higher education and work experience.

  • Application and tuition fees

    If you are a Swedish citizen or a citizen of another EU or EEA country you are not required to pay application or tuition fees. Some other groups are also exempt from the requirement to pay application and study fees.

    A few years ago Sweden introduced application and tuition fees for higher education. The level of the study fees depends on which course/programme they are for, and the level is set in order to cover the actual costs of the course/programme in question.

    If you are required to pay an application fee, we need to have received your payment by the last date for applications. The application fee is SEK 900. If you are required to pay the application fee and we have not received your payment by the last date for applications, we will not process your application.

    The tuition fee for the course Artistic Development within the Circus Discipline 3 is 39 150 SEK. 

    Read more about application and study fees, how to pay to SKH and tuition fees and scholarships.