It is once again summer, and preparations are underway to open the doors to Tempelhofer Feld for the 9th Berlin Circus Festival, scheduled from 11 to 20 August 2023. As the largest festival for contemporary circus in Germany, the event aims to showcase the diverse landscape of European circus. Thirteen international companies will present their unique art form over a ten-day period. This year, the festival will feature four German premieres: “Bello!” from Italy, “Passing by” from the Netherlands, “Ways of being ready” from the Netherlands, and “60% bananas.”
Img. above: BCF Atmo 2 © Christoffer Collina
Additionally, a new inclusion to the program is “Sanctuaire Sauvage,” a sensory experience suitable for individuals with blindness or visual impairments. This performance takes the audience on an immersive journey filled with stimulating soundscapes. Alongside the performances, the festival grounds, transformed each year with a distinctive design, offer opportunities for togetherness. Attendees can explore an art exhibition, indulge in culinary delights, enjoy refreshing beverages, and experience live music, adding to the overall ambiance of the festival.
In a departure from tradition, the festival organizers have arranged a club night at Gretchen on 19 August. This gathering is in celebration of the Berlin Circus Festival’s successful funding by the Berlin Senate for Culture and Europe for the period 2024 to 2027. The funding ensures the festival’s continuation, allowing for another four years of Circus on Tempelhofer Feld. The organizers are proud of the positive feedback received from the jury, who noted the professionalism displayed throughout the festival’s organization, including the well-written application and the support provided to emerging talent through initiatives such as “The Circus University.” The jury also commended the festival’s audience evaluation, which involved approximately 9,000 spectators, as well as the exploration of new funding opportunities.
The Berlin Circus Festival
Since its founding in 2015, the Berlin Circus Festival has grown to become a significant and innovative event in the world of contemporary circus. Each year, it showcases a curated selection of outstanding circus performances, presented in multiple tents and an outdoor stage. The festival serves as a platform to enhance the visibility, sustainability, and diversity of contemporary circus art, while highlighting circus as a form of artistic expression.
Through diverse program formats, the festival presents a broad range of contemporary circus arts. Established companies and emerging talents from across Europe offer half-hour or full-length productions that encompass various artistic styles, blending elements of acrobatics, dance, and interdisciplinary forms. The festival prioritizes a diverse and equal representation of genders on stage, with a focus on achieving a 50% representation of FLINTA (women, lesbians, intersex, non-binary, trans, and agender individuals). To cater to a diverse audience, the program includes family-oriented performances alongside those designed for adult spectators.
The festival site serves as an international hub, featuring exhibitions, gastronomy, and live music, creating a vibrant atmosphere beyond the performances. Additionally, the festival offers numerous workshops, audience talks, panel discussions, residencies, and networking events. Furthermore, the Berlin Circus Production engages in various national and international cooperative projects to foster emerging talent and creation, while also organizing advisory and mentoring services, along with trend-setting networking formats.
Berlin Circus Festival
Friday, 11. August until Sunday, 20. August 2023