Kate Evans from The National Centre for Circus Arts (London, United Kingdom) tells us about her mobility project in Spain
I am a teacher at The National Centre of Circus Arts in London, UK. One of my areas is family circus which I have been teaching for a couple of years so wanted to expand my knowledge & teaching practice by visiting other circus schools to observe their techniques and practices.
In my mobility project I visited Carampa Circus School & training space in Madrid to observe & learn about their family and adult circus workshop programme.
We were given a number of talks on the education programme at Carampa, as well as broader themes such as creativity & devising in circus and the history of Circus from the director of Puebla University of Circus in Mexico whose family has been in the circus for over 6 generations.
We were shown around Teatro Price, a partner venue to Carampa and saw shows from graduates of the professional circus course, 1st year degree students, as well as a public show featuring 4 alumni from Carampa. I was also lucky enough to attend another Circus training space & school in Rivas, home to Ariba Circus; where I participated in a 2 day workshop with Rika Taeymans an experienced family circus practitioner.
I was lucky enough to be part of a group mobility for Suitcase Circus so there were attendees from Mexico, Chile, Estonia and Argentina; as well as a Spanish representative from SCREAM in the UK,
who was an invaluable asset for me as my Spanish, although possibly acceptable on a very basic tourist level was no good for in-depth discussions about circus theory & practice!!! Not only were we all able to network and share information about our own schools and practises, but also made the trip really fun with a real communal atmosphere as we ate, trained travelled, & researched together!
Being in Madrid in June was just perfect as the weather was beautiful so made moving around the city a pleasure. The organised excursions to venues for shows and tours were all very central which meant we could combine these trips with some sightseeing around Madrid – including the famous Rastro Sunday market where we visited a community charity shop part run by David, one of the members of staff from Carampo. David, a dancer & dance researcher, has made a film about the Four Temperaments in dance which he projected outside the circus big top on my last evening at Carampo.
We also swum in the local pool to cool down during the hot afternoons and Franco the Argentinian SC candidate cooked us a traditional meal one evening (I did the washing up J )
Professionally I have obtained many new ideas, games & practises to bring back to NACCA in London,
especially from my course with Rika – whose writing I was already familiar with, so the course bought the theories to life & enabled me to gain some highly valuable practical experience for my own teaching, which is not always possible in family circus due to the nature of working with children.
Personally it gave me confidence in my own teaching & showed me that although there are many differences across the world of family circus, there are many, many similarities. It has opened up the wider world of circus teaching for me, as previously my knowledge & experience was very much NACCA-centric (I made that word up). I feel that although I am definitely on the right track with my teaching there is a real scope for development & change within our family circus – and my own teaching practices to suit my personality & style of teaching more.
I would thoroughly recommend such a project to any circus practitioner as it is an invaluable opportunity to gain & share knowledge and practises across the world.
It also could afford you new-found confidence, energy and inspiration in your own practice – as well as forging valuable & useful links across the international circus world
Thanks to this Erasmus+ project I feel a renewed energy & inspiration for my circus teaching, and I have a wider concept & vision of the international world of family circus. It has made me to want to continue to connect with a wider network of teachers and their philosophy of practices; & I can’t wait to get back to start putting some of new approaches into practice!