Elena Lydia Kreusch
ÖAW ifk Junior Fellow

Duration of fellowship
01. October 2018 bis 30. June 2019

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.


Elena Lydia Kreusch is a freelance artist and producer, directing the contemporary circus companies Squarehead Productions and KreativKultur. Born in Germany, she has been living and working in Vienna since 2009. She studied International Development Studies at the Universities of Vienna and Novi Sad (Master’s thesis: Circus Nomads: Space – Home – Identity) and Cultural Politics and Project Management at the University Lumière Lyon II (Master’s thesis: Scree Circus. Analysis of an intermedial phenomena). She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Theatre, Film and Media Studies at the University of Vienna, and a recipient of a DOC fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. She is also a fellow of the Vienna Doctoral Academy Theory and Methodology in the Humanities, and a member of the research platform Mobile Cultures and Societies.
Her research interests lie in the fields of Circus theory, Mobility, Intermediality and research creation.



„Contemporary Circus Mobilities“, in: Simon Fraser University (Hg.), Performance Matters 4.1–2 (2018): Circus and It’s Others, S. 93 – 98; „Screen Circus. L’écran, un lieu d’expression artistique pour le cirque“, HorsLesMurs (Hg.), Parcours découvertes, 2016; „Circus Mobilities. Zwischen Alltag und Projektion“, in: Universität Wien (Hg.), PolitiX journal No. 39 / 2016: Mobilität, S. 16 – 20.
29 October 2018
  • Lecture
Elena Lydia Kreusch


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.