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Space | in between | Stage

Marina Rieger

Dear [insert your name here],


The following reflections will observe space within the circus community as part of the performing arts and how I am navigating a new circus network on my mental map. You are invited to join me in my reflections on circus spaces by spacing out into your own headspace.

I am now in my first week of the NHLP mobility project at CircusInfo Finland, observing leadership structures within the circus sector. By making the first moves within the new network, exploring its spatial placement in the region and its surrounding community, I feel grateful for the enriching conversations, despite all adaptions to operate in line with Covid-19 restrictions. There are aspects that can be put into words, but other modalities of communication that are difficult to translate and by being present here now, immersing into my blank space, I am able to grasp a much bigger context and am able to listen to the visions, state of the art reflections and trips down the memory lane, all resonating with their standpoint. However, the pandemic seems to hover over most of the interactions, and I try to imagine how designated spaces for circus in society will be affected by it, long term. What kind of spaces will be declared safe for cultural interactions and would corona-adaptions to touring patterns and productions conditions lead to a more equal and sustainable circus landscape?

promo-material at CircuInfo office.jpg

Finish circus promotional material. 

When I think about space, I like how much the term, in its contradictory dimensions, reminds me about the multifacetedness of the circus as well.  A space could be a place, a clearly placed environment in a frame like a safe space; or something with roots in a location like site-specific; or mind, as in head space. On the other hand, space is the biggest and all-embracing term there is, it’s implying each and everything that is out there:  s   p   a        c           e

I wonder if this is what I essentially seek in a circus residency infrastructure: Space – a confined place to space out into new or well-known layers of the material and immaterial, most often ending up in the space in between. The NHLP mobility project is my leadership-residency and this week I have been beginning with navigating the space and listening, getting an inside view from the CircusInfo Finland team and the office of the Finish Youth Circus Association SNSL.

Asking what leadership qualities are needed to make decisions this year, 2020 has been described as challenging in the dialogues, because of the sudden uncertainty, as it flipped the usual operational level upside down.  Although the state of the art is currently trapped in the waiting loop, unable to continue to make decisions as before, the new perspective might lead to some fruitful transformation.

Evaluating who is shaping the contemporary circus spaces in the Baltic Nordic regions, who is on stage, backstage and who is missing might lead to an innovative feedback loop to end the year and thereby adapting targets of the Agenda2030 into the circus sector.



Source: The Global Goals Resource Page 

If you would like to reflect more one how circus spaces are shaped and how to find innovative leadership tools, please stay around for next week’s blog.


Published on: 29. November 2020

NHLP has been made possible with the support of Nordisk Kulturfond and Nordic culture Point, Nordic Council of Ministers, and Lund Municipality


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