Contemporary Circus Education

ART.ZIP: What makes your project different from education offered within a university structure?

JE: The first thing to say is that there are a small number of Higher Education circus schools and that you can go there to do accredited degree courses, MAs, even PhDs. In the UK there’s the National Centre for Circus Arts and a school called Circomedia; abroad there are places like DOCH(Dans och Cirkushögskolan, University of Dance and Circus)in Sweden or CNAC (Centre National des Arts du Cirque) in France. Still, at a lot of these schools students concentrate on technical skill and performance disciplines (dance, movement, physical theatre, and so on) but perhaps don’t learn so much about aesthetics – about what’s going on in the world, about the history of their art form, where contemporary circus came from, where it’s going next, these sorts of things… And there’s no textbook to teach that, no documentary series – we wanted to create the course because we felt there was nothing else like it. We were aiming to produce a resource that the circus sector could use in its education programmes, but at the same time we’d like to bring it to a larger performing arts market: there are a lot of universities which teach performing arts courses and cover other branches of performance (dance, physical theatre, puppetry, and so on) without touching on circus.

ART.ZIP: 這個項目的線上課程和在專業學校裡提供的有什麼不同?

JE: 首先,現在沒有多少高等學院提供馬戲相關的學位課程。在英國,我們有國家馬戲藝術中心(National Centre for Circus Arts),還有一所名叫Circomedia的藝術學院;在國外則有瑞典的DOCH(Dans och Cirkushögskolan, University of Dance and Circus)或法國的CNAC(Centre National des Arts du Cirque)。儘管如此,這些學校通常著重于技術技能和表演規範(舞蹈、動作、形體劇場等等)的教育,但很少提供美學教育--當今的美學發展,藝術形態發展史,當代馬戲的淵源,發展趨勢是什麼等等。現今沒有任何教科書可以提供這些知識,也沒有任何相關的紀錄片,這就是我們創辦這個線上教程的初衷。我們旨在為馬戲教育項目提供資源,同時也希望能夠把這個教程帶到更大的表演藝術市場去,現在許多大學裡的表演課程囊括了舞蹈、形體劇場、木偶劇場等,卻唯獨沒有馬戲。

ART.ZIP: How will the project reach its audience?

JE: At the moment we’re working to complete a ten-lesson course that can fit within circus school curriculums, but we’re also thinking about a shorter version that can be offered to a general audience – so an absolute basic introduction to what contemporary circus is and where it came from. Given that it’s an online course our ideal would be to reach as many people as possible and to have an impact on the way contemporary circus is seen in general society.

ART.ZIP: What other projects are you working on?

JE: I’m working with the photographer Ben Hopper on his project Duende – which is his attempt to capture ‘el duende’, which you can think of as being a little bit like the soul of a great performer. I’m doing some writing to go alongside that and thinking about how to present the project online. Another project I’m working on for Sideshow is called Deconstructing Circus. It is a six-month project to publish videos of 30 scenes from 30 contemporary circus productions. Each video is accompanied by an interview with the production’s artists or directors, and through these readers can get an insight into the various facets of contemporary circus.

ART.ZIP: 您打算如何將這個項目帶給您期待的讀者?

JE: 我們現在正努力完成一個十堂課的課程,使之可以穿插在馬戲學校課程裡,另外我們還想提供一個精簡版本讓普羅大眾都能參與,讓大家對當代馬戲及其來源有基本的認識。因此我們從線上課程入手,希望越來越多人能夠接觸并關注當代馬戲。

ART.ZIP: 目前還有其他正在進行的計劃嗎?

JE: 目前我還在協助攝影師本·霍珀(Ben Hopper)的項目“Duende(精靈)”。霍珀試圖運用攝影的手法來捕捉表演者的靈魂。。。我則著手進行一些相關輔助的寫作,也會協助把這個項目搬到網上呈現給更多觀眾。《Sideshow》的另一個項目叫做“解構馬戲(Deconstructing Circus)”。這是個長達六個月的項目,我們精選了三十個當代馬戲表演,然後從每個表演中挑選一個場景再配合對藝術家或導演的採訪,以視頻的形式呈現給線上讀者,讓他們能了解當代馬戲的各方各面。

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