The contemporary circus – an art form
Contemporary circus (or new circus) is an artistic stage form. Theatrical formats dominate here, which are based on a dramaturgical and aesthetic overall concept. Circus techniques become means of expression of performers whose personality, biography and physicality have and indeed should have a great influence on their work. “A small, thick thightwire artist can thus cause much more sensation than a physically athletic one, no matter how outstanding their performance." (Georg Daxner, Winterfest Salzburg). It is no longer about the greatest physical achievement, but about the greatest artistic achievement. Contemporary circus often works at the interface to other arts, such as acting, dance, music, visual arts, new media, etc.. Mixing genres, and skipping boundaries is a natural way for many artists to inspire others, and to get inspired themselves.
The public image of circus in Germany is dominated by traditional circus companies. In addition, there is a highly developed varieté scene, a large children’s circus scene and a large number of (artistic) show productions from Germany and abroad, as well as various other forms of events. The artists who perform there, usually show a finished, independent performance, whose main focus lies in the presentation of artistic (maximum) performance or of technical skills. The audience comes to these events meinly with the expectation of being offered spectacular entertainment.
For several years now, more and more artists have come back to Germany after their training at international circus schools and enrich the local cultural scene with their art form.