CIRCUS NEWS

Smithsonian Folklife Festival
02 August 2017


A milestone in the history of American circus arts

This summer the Smithsonian Folklife Festival celebrated its 50th anniversary choosing as main theme circus arts.

The Mall in Washington for 10 days became a "circus site" where close to 800 000 visitors enjoyed the different programs.

It showcased the past, the present of circus arts and focused on its future. Besides professional artists young  performers from circus schools, youth and social circuses entertained the public under the Big Chapiteau of Circus Sarasota.

The prestigious Industrial Building was converted into a temporally circus school and coaches introduced the long and difficult process of learning tricks. The Wallenda family presented daily their open air high wide act. An open air flying trapeze practice with the instructor explaining and coaching the students was a special attraction. There were a couple of thematic so called heritage stages all over the place featuring the heritage side and grassroots movement of  circus arts.

During the closing ceremony the organisers paid tribute to Monaco, to the Grimaldi family for their contribution to circus arts. Ms. Pauline Doucret, President of the Jury of the New Generation Festival of Monte-Carlo took part in that event.

The Federation Mondiale du Cirque was the first international partner of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and played an active role during the preparatory works and at the festival too.

The National Endowment  for the Arts organised a full day conference on the present and future of circus arts.

On behalf of the Federation Zsuzsanna Mata spoke about the importance of the World Circus Day and called upon the American circus community to join the common celebrations with massive participation.

That conference for the first time ever brought together the stakeholders of the American circus arts.

The Folklife Festival marked a historical milestone in the history of the American circus arts: it raised public awareness and prestige, it opened the possibilities for wider and most effective collaboration between the stakeholders.

Now it's the responsibility of the community to explore these possibilities.

The success and achievements of circus arts in one country has a global effect as this performing art form is truly international.