New Circus Festival 2009

time: 26.11.2009. - 30.11.2009.
place: Zagreb, Croatia
The New Circus Festival contextualizes this year the position of women in circus within the performative programme of the festival, as well as on conference. The festival is set to take place from 26th to 30th of November.  

‘While we were devising the festival concept of women’s circus, certain circus connoisseurs claimed there was no such thing as the „women’s circus“. They would even, while counting notable circus female artists using their (male) fingers, attempt to prove that circus development history pertains dominantly to men. Indeed, few letters have been written considering the women’s role in the circus (is it because a male-dominated circus history was written mainly by men?). But since no lead role is to be measured in the side role’s sex, Zagreb New Circus Festival aims to point out the publicly undermined performative spaces that had such an outstanding influence on a circus genre as we know it today.

Members of the Australian women’s circus movement were the ones to defend the idea that an animal-free circus, to the horror of conservatives, can be a circus nonetheless. And just how courageous Victoria Chaplin must have been to use her exceptional imagination to say „bonjour“ to an entirely new circus and an entirely new family tradition? Annie Fratellini, as the first French female clown, might have been quite lonely too, but that does not diminish her role in a male-dominated clown (and circus) history. Annie’s daughter, Valérie Fratellini, will join us in Zagreb in defending the name of the woman the first French circus school is named after. Opening of similar schools all across France had an indubitable historic role which is why this country can be proud of its contemporary circus production. The names of women who modernized the circus (but also encouraged women’s emancipation in a broader community) will be defended by numerous academics, coming from as many as four continents, at the international conference „Women & Circus“.

With no empty words on historic engagement, female artists whose performing outreach is by no means insignificant will also defend their own names. Jeanne Mordoj, Mélissa Von Vépy, Laura Herts, Psychological Art Circus, Julia Christ and Triko – these are the ones to perform in the main program of the fifth New Circus Festival. Extraordinary while imagining, fierce while in the air, amusing even without the (male) clown nose, they will, we hope, mitigate those conservative distrustful judgments mentioned at the beginning.’ (NCF)

Fore more detailed programme, click here

(D.H., 20.11.2009)