360° Circus : Meaning. Practice. Culture book cover
1st Edition

360° Circus
Meaning. Practice. Culture

Edited By

Franziska Trapp

  • Available for pre-order on May 11, 2023. Item will ship after June 1, 2023
ISBN 9781032138527
June 1, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
224 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations

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USD $48.95

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Book Description

This collection aims to map a diversity of approaches to the artform by creating a 360° view on the circus.

Three sections of the book Aesthetics, Practice, Culture, approach aesthetic developments, issues of artistic practice and the circus’ role within society. This book consists of a collection of articles from renowned circus researchers, junior researchers, and artists. It also provides the core statements and discussions of the conference UpSideDown – Circus and Space in the format of a graphic recording. Hence, allows a clear entry into the field of circus research and emphasizes the diversity of approaches that are well balanced between theoretical and artistic point of views.

This book will be of great interest of students and scholars of circus studies, emerging disciples of circus and performance.

Table of Contents


List of Contributors

Introduction: Welcome to the Wonderland of Contemporary Circus

Franziska Trapp

Part I: Circus Meaning

Chapter 1. Circus Does Not Exist

Jean-Michel Guy

Chapter 2. "La Putyka" by Cirk La Putyka: A Glimpse at Czech Contemporary Circus

Veronika Štefanová


Part II: Circus Practice

Chapter 3. On Mutations of Forms, Style, and Meaning: From a Traditional to a Contemporary Trapeze Act

Sandy Sun

Chapter 4. Articulating Hand-Balancing: Finding Space for Critical Self-Transformation

Camilla Damkjaer

Chapter 5. Extreme Symbiosis

Louise Von Euler Bjurholm and Henrik Agger

Chapter 6. Hamlet: To Have Written or Not to Have Written for the Tightwire

Louis Patrick Leroux

Chapter 7. Verticality, Gravity, Sense of Balance. Transmitting a Technique, Conveying a Sensation: Practices and Discourses of Circus Arts Teachers

Agathe Dumont

Chapter 8. Reading Circus. Dramaturgy on the Border of Art and Academia

Franziska Trapp

Chapter 9. UpSideDown Circus and Space

Die Zeichner. Andreas Gärtner

Part III: Circus Culture

Chapter 10. Circus Between Technique and Technology: Heideggerian "Enframing" and the Contested Space of Free Expression

Sebastian Kann

Chapter 11. Chaplin, Brecht, Fo: Toward a Concept of Epic Clowning

Gaia Vimercati

Chapter 12. To Walk the Tightwire

Ante Ursic

Chapter 13. The Spatiality of Australian Contemporary Circus

Kristy Seymour

Chapter 14. Cheerful, Nostalgic, Melancholic: Mood in Circus

Peta Tait



List of Contributors

Louise Bjurholm von Euler and Henrik Agger

Two acrobats from Stockholm Sweden, educated at Moscow State School of Circus, who have worked together since 2001.

Louise graduated 2013 from the program new performative practices at the University of Dance and Circus in Stockholm (DOCH) with a master in choreography with specialization in Circus. The master program at DOCH was the starting point for the research project "The art of working in pairs, a deeper look into our practice" which began in the summer of 2011 and resulted in the performance and the booklet called Extreme Symbiosis.

Henrik also went to the Mime Acting Program at Teaterhögskolan Stockholm
(Stockholm university of the arts), and has been involved in the establishment of "New Circus" in Sweden as one of the original artists in the creation of Cirkus Cirkör in 1995. As freelance artists Henrik and Louise have been working with companies such as the Russian State Circus and Cirkus Cirkör. They have also been producers of their own performances.

Henrik’s and Louise’s work is based on research, and they always include one or two question statements in their creative processes. Physical expression is at the center and their Circus discipline Pair Acrobatics is often the starting point.

Damkjaer, Camilla

Dumont, Agathe

Gärtner, Andreas

Görgen, Katharina

Guy, Jean-Michel

Guyez, Marion

Kann, Sebastian

Leroux, Louis-Patrick

Louis Patrick Leroux is a Full Professor in both departments of English and French Studies and Associate Dean of Research at the Faculty of Arts and Science, Concordia University, Montréal. His research spans from theatre to contemporary circus and has involved research-creation and cultural discourse analysis. He was elected to the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada. Recent academic books include: Contemporary Circus with Katie Lavers and Jon Burtt (Routledge, 2020), Cirque Global: Québec’s Expanding Circus Boundaries, co-edited with Charles Batson (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016) and Le jeu des positions. Discours du théâtre québécois with Hervé Guay (Nota Bene, 2014). Forthcoming books include: Le cirque social : son rôle, ses pratiques, pédagogies et aspirations with Jacinthe Rivard and Mathilde Perahia (PU Laval) and Estie toastée des deux bords : Les formes populaires de l’oralité chez Victor-Lévy Beaulieu, with Sophie Dubois (PU Montréal).

Seymour, Kristy

Stevanova, Veronika

Veronika Štefanová, PhD occasionally teaches at the Academy of Performing Arts and at the Faculty of Business Administration in Prague. She is in charge of the research section at CIRQUEON, the umbrella organization for contemporary circus in the Czech Republic and works as a cultural journalist for the Czech Radio, Czech Television and cultural journals. She has published several studies and scholarly publications in journals such as Disk (Academy of the Performing Arts in Prague),  Theatralia (Theatre Studies department at the Masaryk University in Brno), Performance Matters or in The Cambridge Companion to the Circus (Cambridge University Press).

Sun, Sandy

Tait, Peta

Professor Peta Tait, La Trobe University, is an academic and playwright and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. She has written over sixty scholarly articles and chapters and twelve edited and authored books including: Theory for Theatre Studies: Emotion (Bloomsbury 2021), Forms of Emotion: Human to Nonhuman (Routledge 2022) and Circus Bodies (Routledge 2005).


Trapp, Franziska

Dr. Franziska Trapp is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Berlin, Germany, and the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. She is the founder of Zirkus | Wissenschaft and organizer of international conferences including Semiotics of the Circus (2015), UpSideDown – Circus and Space (2017), Semaine du Cirque (2020), Écrire l’histoire du cirque (2022). Trapp has worked for various circus productions such as the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain (FR) and Cirque Bouffon (DE) and collaborated as a dramaturge with Tall Tales Company (NL), Sysmo (BE), Julia Berger (DE), Cie Hors Système (FR) among others. She was awarded third place as Germany’s Best Junior Research Talent of 2019 (Academics/Die Zeit) and received the DGS Young Researchers Price 2020 (German Association of Semiotics) for her PhD entitled Lektüren des Zeitgenössischen Zirkus (De Gruyter 2020, Routledge 2023 (EN)).

Ursic, Ante

Vimercati, Gaia



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Dr. Franziska Trappis a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Münster, Germany, and the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium