Circus Mobilities. (Re-)Thinking Contemporary Circus Practice from a Mobility Perspective
In continuity with earlier circus forms that persist today, the so-called “contemporary circus”, developed in Europe in the mid-1990’s. The contemporary label does not only refer to a shift in content, form, aesthetics and socio-economic conditions, but also describes a change in modes of mobility, travel patterns and tour volumes. The phenomena of contemporary circus mobility has hardly been addressed in the academic debate to date. Conceptualising mobility as an integral part of the circus experience, the research project is interested in examining the interface between contemporary circus artists' mobile lifestyles and their artistic practice; how both are inscribed into one another, and mutually influence each other.Navigating between theory and practice, this project aims to offer insights into artistic mobility beneficial to Mobility Studies and Ethnography, to contribute to Theater-Studies discourses on space and performativity, and to the development and differentiation of emerging circus theories and methodologies.
While circus is commonly associated with romanticized images of big tops, caravans and family businesses, a high number of today's contemporary performers face a very different reality. Elena Lydia Kreusch sheds light on these changed socio-economic conditions and examines the relationship between artists' mobility experiences and their artistic practice.