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inThisTogether

I'm on my way home from Riga, the evaluation conference of NHLP-EU. When I'm writing this, I'm sleep deprived and quite emotional. So I'd like to share how much this project meant for me personally. Coming from an eastern European country with hardly any contemporary circus, I found this world pretty late in my life. I was on a different path and only committed to performing after receiving my Masters degree in architecture. I never did circus school, taught myself aerials from youtube videos and earned a living as a fire and street performer for many years. I've dreamt of doing contemporary circus since I first saw 'Wear It Like A Crown' by Cirkus Cirkör in Trafó House. Somehow I couldn't gather the courage for actually giving it a shot until 2018, when I turned 30. You can't fail at something if you're not really trying, I guess. And it's not about my circus skills, as a performer I've been working on those continuously since I can remember. I found my hand to hand partner, Lennart Paar we got ourselves professional coaches, we have a decent level, by now no one can tell we haven't done any circus school. I'm a multiskilled generalist and I am pretty established in the context of Hungary. But the one thing you cannot train yourself is the confidence and being part of the European network.

Most other fellows in this program came out of a circus school having the connections, seeing a path ahead of them. I put in 6 years of dedicated work into entering the European scene - and 18 years of training my body multiple disciplines, while having covid and having my daughter - and finally feel like I belong. A big part of it is thanks to the powerful women of Circus Syd, Rigas Cirks and Dynamo who pulled of the New Horizons Leadership Program and all other producers of projects, creators of opportunities, curators of applications and festivals who gave me a shot despite (or because?) of where I'm coming from. I'm grateful and humbled! Thank you for being a gate openers not a gate keepers, for putting such an emphasis on the importance of mentoring.


Some thoughts about leadership...

I think what I've learned in this project about leadership in the circus sector is that there is no place to learn this. It is also not like we are born with or without leadership skills, but rather as Lina B. Frank put it "It's like a muscle that we need to train: the leadership muscle." So we need to practice, dedicate tons of hours for planning, imagining, dreaming and caring for whatever circus is and for all the people that make it happen. There is no magical rescipe, no size that fits all, there are strategies, values, priorities and goals that you can set out for yourself to reach. So I guess I just have to continue to be persistant, keep learning and inventing my way of doing it.

In this program I had the pleasure to be paired up with Rachel Clare from Crying Out Loud, an organisation based in the UK working on production on national and international scale. I wonder if they matched us through careful planning or by a pull from a hat, but we made a great team. I'd say we are both quite uncomplicated and are constantly looking out for all kinds of possible connections and mutually beneficial collaborations. As much as the UK has not been on my agenda at all, working with middle and eastern european focus, my shadowing served me with valuable lessons.We split my shadowing into two parts, as I didn't want to spend three weeks away from my daughter. In the first half I got a pretty good look at the Bristol scene through the caring guidance of Hobbit, a handstand artist and director that Rachel commissioned to  organise us meetings, brunches, lunches, hikes, trainingspace and circus school visits. I got a closer look at the work of Rachel in London: visited Somerset House, where Crying Out Loud has desks, set in on some of their live meetings and zoom calls with the artists they are producing. Splitting the shadowing was a good choice, we could prepare a more artistic mentoring and different kinds of exchanges for the second half. In February I arrived back to Bristol with my partners from my collective and my 3 year old daughter. We've had a work in progress at Circomedia, I gave an aerial hoop workshop for the BA students and we held a workshop for the students of the MA for directing. We also had a short residency in exchange for two workshops at Unit15 creation space and held an Icebreaker workshop for the participants of the rural touring project Around And About. Lots of inspiring meetings, discussions, exchanges.

The best advice I got is that in this sector you have to stay flexible, adaptive, inventive, kind and radically optimistic.

This pretty much resonates with my latest creation, a participatory circus show exploring trust, risk and collective responsibility, called InThisTogether. This work has been inspired by the book of Rutgar Bregman: Humankind (in German: Im Gunde Gut - which is just a way more expressive title). Our proposition is that with some buildup under the right circumstances you can trust any random group of strangers with your life, and so I do.

2024 is also the year of the first edition of MUCH. It is a festival that aims to celebrate contemporary circus and strengthen the connections within the Hungarian and the regional community. The program consists of circus performances, work in progress presentations, roundtable discussions and the MUCH MORE Showcase, a competition of circus acts & creation concepts. It is trying to be as much a weekend of circus as much a professional network meeting. Hungary has a strong traditional circus scene and a few small experimental companies and one established newcircus company. We are a scattered, divided and sensitive community not used to talking to each other directly. With MUCH I intend to build bridges, not just nationally, but internationally, specially focusing on connecting to the regional networks of the Balkan and the Visegrad countries.

I feel we've started something important in the life of this community that could grow into a regional showcase one day. Our main partner for the MUCH festival is Trafó House, a venue hosting this event and the same venue that programs contemporary circus over 25 years and that got me started on this path in the first place.

Also we kicked off the first MORE mentoring program: a year long support for an emerging artist to create work. It not just allows us to establish a funding system aimed specifically at contemporary circus, but also puts us as a company into the role of producers. For me personally it feels like I get to pass on what I just received, I get to be a mentor for someone else. Many new horizons are opening...

This has been a truly big year for me: it started with the shadowing experience of the NHLP-EU in the UK, the first edition of MUCH - our circus festival in April, premier of InThisTogether at the end of May. We've also started our legal company, found our first employee and received our first European application, the EFFEA Grant.  This would not have been possible without my partners in OneTwoMany collective: Lennart Paar and Márton Csuzi.

This project came into my life at just the right time, giving me just the right amount of confidence and Rachel Clare as a mentor and an expert to ask from. It was a great project with an inspiring closing conference. I got to meet a lot of interesting people, build connections that will surely bear fruit one day and it does give me a good bit of validation to continue doing what I'm doing.

My impostor syndrome is healing.

I'm close to believing that I am one of the future leaders of this industry.


תגובות


WELCOME TO THE 
NEW HORIZONS LEADERSHIP PROGRAMme

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