Introduction to Creative Rigging within circus

Introduction to Creative Rigging within Circus - Summer Course

This course is intended for you who are interested in developing methods and deepening your understanding of safe rigging practices in creative research for circus.

Circus and rigging go hand in hand. In many circus disciplines, there is some sort of rigging and/or risk assessment involved.

Research within circus is developing and growing beyond just exploring the movement. Often the equipment is also built, manipulated and used in new ways, or the material itself can be the subject of the research.

During this course, we explore where circus rigging and artistic practice overlap and how to develop that in a safe and thought out way. 

We will begin with basic rigging techniques to assess the individuals knowledge and developing a group consensus on the techniques we will be working with.

We will look at how to use different equipment, risk analysis and working methodologies and then we will explore ways of using that equipment and different materials. We will work on tools to develop ideas for creative rigging in your practice.

The rigging experience and (optionally) the circus discipline of the student will serve as a basis and the aim is to further develop their knowledge enough so that they can safely plan and execute creative ways of rigging in circus.


Saar Rombout
Saar has rigged for companies like Cirkus Cirkör, Acrobatic Conundrum and Festival Circo Circolo. Her experience comes from a combination of sailing, circus rigging, entertainment rigging and stunt rigging. She is also a circus artist with her main specialities in Triple Cloudswing, Multicord and Vertical Dance. She is doing a research master in Contemporary Circus Practices, where she is developing many different rope installations. Exploring the interaction between a human and the ropes, and how different rope setup affect you each in their own way.

Will Cleary
Will began working with ropes and rigging in 1994 while studying theatre and visual art at university in Brighton. In 1996 He went study at circus school in London taking part in all aspects of circus and specialising in aerial rope. At circus school, Will developed his rigging skills in conjunction with his discipline training. Will worked freelance over several decades with companies like Ochams Razor, The Dream Engine, The national theatre, the royal opera house and many film, TV work, west end productions and festivals. Will was also the head of rigging at Circus space (now the National Circus School) 2005-10 in London and is now the circus rigger at Stockholm University of the Arts where he has been for the past 10 years.  

Andy Mitchell
Andy “fell” into rigging 29 years ago following his brother to South America with Circus Oz. After a couple of years as a general hand with Oz, Rope Access Rigging took over. 6 years later Andy transitioned back into Circus moving to London for the Millennium Dome Central Show. Next up he became Head Rigger with the Generating Company and worked with many other UK aerial performance companies before moving to France in 2003. As Head Rigger with world famous flying trapeze company “Les Arts Sauts” Andy toured Europe and the World before Co/Founding aerial circus company CirK Vost. Since leaving Cirk Vost Andy has been Head and Rigging Designer with Bear Grylls Live, StuFish Productions, Sceno Plus Productions among many others. Andy is currently Head of Rigging on Cirque du Soleil show Messi 10. After all this time Andy is still passionate about Creative Rigging in Circus.

Studies during Corona.

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    The course will be 6-8 hours a day over 2 working weeks until August 28. 

    This is not an exclusively technical rigging course and is designed to complement and develop the knowledge you have already - not to make you a professional rigger.

    Entry requirements
    Some working experience with rigging in a professional environment as an artist or rigger is required. As well as an interest in working creatively with different materials and different aspects of rigging.

  • Entry requirements

    General entry requirement for studies at the first cycle with the exemption of Swedish 1, 2 and 3 and the exemption of English 6, and

    Specific entry requirement

    • 60 credits in circus or stage technology 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

    The course is for Circus artists with some rigging experience/understanding of rigging principals and technical riggers who are interested in working creatively with circus.

  • 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.

    1. 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.


    2. Documentation to show that you meet the General Entry Requirements for studies at first cycle.
    • You must upload your diploma with a list of subjects taken and grades received from upper secondary school/high school.
    • If you do not have grades from upper secondary school/high school you can apply for recognition of prior learning (see below).

    We only accept documents in Nordic languages, Finnish and English. Regarding documents issued in another language, you must upload the original document along with a translation made by an authorized translator.

    Please note that we do not accept print outs from We do not accept e-mails as certificates.


    3. Documentation showing that you meet the specific Entry Requirements:
    • 60 credits in circus or stage technology or the equivalent

    if you do not have the required courses from university studies you can apply for recognition of prior learning (see below).


    4. Specific for the course
    • Letter of Motivation explaining what interests you about working creatively with rigging and circus. Ideally you will have done a basic rigging course already, please include that in your motivational letter. If you haven’t done any courses make sure you include any other rigging experience you have had.
    • Your CV where you list your education, professional experience, rigging and circus experience and other relevant experiences that you want to refer to.
    5. Applying for recognition of prior learning

    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.

    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 eligible applicants than available places there will be a selection. The selection is based on the merits of the applicants.

  • 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 is 26 100 SEK.


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