Testimony – Rika’s project in Estonia

 

Rika Taeymans from Cirkus in Beweging (Belgium) tells us about her mobility project with Tsirkus Folie ( Tallinn, Estonia):

Three participants – Rika (from Cirkus in Beweging, Belgium), Ohiane (from Everything is Possible, Leeds UK) and Nicola (from Circus Space, London UK) – have spend 2 weeks in Tallinn, Estonia. During 2 weeks, we supported the organisation of the Tree Festival.

I am Rika Taeymans, coordinator of the organisation Cirkus in Beweging. My favourite jobs in our circusschool are teaching parents and todlers and doing social projects. I teach circus in prison on Fridays and organise circus workshops in areas of Louvain that are not so wealthy.

Going to Tallinn was a real pleasure for me as I have known some of the teachers there for a while and really wanted to see how they teach and how they organise their classes. Of course it was also amazing to go this period in August as they were organising an amazing circus festival CIRCUS TREE.

“This is an interesting cultural difference between Belgium and Estonia.”

So the day I arrived we had the opportunity to go and see the international company Race Horse Company who are well known in the whole of Europe. It was a spectacular show. Interesting was the fact that the Estonian public does not seem to be ready for shows like this and the show was not at all sold out . So the organisation had the briljant idea to offer the seats to people in the town who could never afford to buy tickets and so the theatre was full. This is all ready an interesting cultural difference between Belgium and Estonia. We hope that through this festival also people in Estonia will start appreciating the art of circus.

The next day the performance of Studio Folie from Tallinn was sold out as of course friends, family and neighbours all came to admire the artists .The show was innovative and creative and insprired me a lot.
The show I liked the most was the Bettie combo Company who were 3 Italian artists, jugglers, musicians whe were so funny that I was weeping and laughing throughout the whole show.

“I found it a real challenge to do a workshop in this town Tallinn as I did not speak a word of Estonian or Russian”.

During the festival I was also teaching a workshop myself : JACK’S ACROBATICS it was called , just as the title of the book I wrote.; a workshop for parents and young children to play together with easy acrobatic forms. I found it a real challenge to do a workshop in this town Tallinn as I did not speak a word of Estonian or Russian. It was such a nice experience and I am really glad I offered to do this. All parents were so enthousiastic and nn of the kids seem to mind my english. I sold out all my books which prooves to me they loved it !!!

The second half of our stay I spent time observing and participating in the circusclasses that had just started that week.
This was a complete diffrent set up from our circusschool and therefor really intriguing. The classes are not located in 1 space but are spread over own and the number of kids was quite a bit smaller than ours. So all classes had a friendly and familiar atmosphere, really nice.

In our free time we visted many nice cafes and art and craft shops. One day Terje took us to her country house and this was a day to remember !! beautiful nature, swimming in natural waters, lovely cafe wth amazing sweet cakes and especially really nice discussions in the car and during meals and walks about how to run a circusschool and how to deal with communial problems !!!

“Thanks to this Erasmus+ project I’ve learn so many things personally and professionally”

This actually is what inspired me most during this exchange and also something that taught me a lot : the endless conversations we had about our jobs and our commen organisations. So it isn’t a particular method that I learned but it was great to be able to really communicate about our work and to get feedback and help from each other.

Thanks to this Erasmus+ project I’ve learn so many things personally and professionally, I came back enthousiastic and eager to do even better in my job.

I hope many other young circus trainers and professionals have the chance to have this enriching opportunity to share, learn and inspire each other to keep working and helping people through Circus.