Professional days: seminars, discussions, deeper insight into contemporary circus

Professional days: seminars, discussions, deeper insight into contemporary circus

The opportunity to get to know the circus field up close, to meet the creators, to get to know them, to find partners, to build collaborative relationships – these are the opportunities offered to representatives of the Lithuanian cultural field. From May 30th to June 2nd, cultural operators are invited to take part in the professional days of the contemporary circus festival Cirkuliacija.

The events are aimed at professionals who want to learn more about circus art and its possibilities, to involve more circus creators in their activities, to present contemporary circus performances in their cities, festivals and other events.

Experiences from the USA

This year, the International Contemporary Circus Festival Cirkuliacija will take place in Vilnius, Naujoji Vilnia, Kaunas, Lapės (Kaunas district), Tauragė, Elektrėnai and Šiauliai. Cirkuliacija, which started eight years ago in Kaunas, expands every year not only its geography but also its educational programme.

“The festival team wants to see a growing circus field in Lithuania, so the professional days are a very important part of the Cirkuliacija”, – say the festival organisers.

Professional Days – a programme of workshops, presentations, discussions and networking opportunities. This year, it will focus on a very important topic – securing sustainable funding – with a seminar by Elena Siyanko, Artistic Director of PS21, a New York-based centre for contemporary circus, dance and theatre.

Organisations working in the cultural field are often dependent on one or more local foundations and their funding competitions, but a diversity of funding is important for sustainable growth. Ukrainian-American E. Siyanko will lead a workshop for cultural managers coming to Cirkuliacija.

Drawing on examples from US funding models, the speaker will present effective strategies for diversifying funding and revenue streams to strengthen the sustainability of each organisation.

Her seminar will take place on May 31st. It will be accompanied by a work-in-progress presentation (of the Teatronas troupe’s upcoming premiere) and pitch sessions – presentations of contemporary circus projects – which are already a tradition of the festival.

Collaboration is key to quality content

The Festival is a place for networking, so on June 1st, cultural representatives are invited to a second presentation session on cooperation between organisations.

As the festival organisers say, collaboration is key to achieving quality content, and the festival experience shows this. The Professional Days will provide a platform for organisations to present themselves, express their needs, discuss their aspirations and opportunities.

“Talking is a way to find solutions and new opportunities, and sustainable cooperation is important for both organisations and cultural consumers”, say the organisers.

On the same day, there will be a topical conversation with Cirkuliacija’s guests – the circus company Head Over Wheels (UK). The creative team of Anchored in Air will talk about the diversity of circus bodies and the tools of accessibility. Redefining circus bodies: accessibility, inclusivity and creative expression” – a conversation about circus as a platform for change that can challenge norms and embrace the full spectrum of experiences, and about a more vibrant arts and culture environment.

Another important Cirkuliacija workshop is “Circus as Practices of Hope”, led by Marie-Andrée Robitaille. She explores the unique ways of knowing circus, and will discuss circus as practices of hope for the future, answering the following questions. How do circus art practices offer hope for the future? What do we hope for?

Discussion and two-day workshop

The Professional Days will take place until June 2nd and will also include performances, a guided tour and talks with Lithuanian and international contemporary circus artists. This programme is aimed at both local and foreign cultural operators.

The Professional Days will be only the first educational part of the festival. As Cirkuliacija gets underway, guests will have more opportunities to meet. After the world premiere of Suddenly: and other Ways to Change at the Kaunas City Chamber Theatre, a discussion will take place. The theme of the discussion is related to this year’s festival – biographies.

Marija Baranauskaitė-Liberman will talk about femininity and motherhood in circus with circus artists Dora Komeda and Kerttu Pussinen. Marija is one of the best-known Lithuanian contemporary circus and clown artists, who is also interested in the roles of woman and mother.

The authors of the plays presented at the festival will share their insights into how their careers and creative practices have been changed by different stages of their lives.

The organisers invite all those who want to continue a deeper acquaintance with contemporary circus to a two-day seminar “How to Read a Contemporary Circus Performance “, which will be led by circus historian, sociologist, playwright and true circus scholar Jean-Michel Guy.

The seminar will take place on 7-8th of June in Kaunas. Participants will delve into the specifics of contemporary circus with a focus on circus dramaturgy. The workshop is open to those who want to explore contemporary circus both out of curiosity and professionally.


If you would like to participate in E. Siyanko’s seminar “Diversity of Funding Strategies: building more sustainable business models to secure the future of your organisation”, please register here.

If you are interested and able to join more activities, please register for Professional Days together in here.

Registration for the Jean-Michel Guy Seminar (limited places) – here.


The programme is funded by the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation (BAFF). For more information on BAFF scholarships and speaker support, please visit

The festival is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture, Vilnius City Municipality, Kaunas City Municipality.