1. Community Creation Projects
Circoneta involves a group of youths in a creative process shared with professional circus artists, considering everyone’s abilities and the multiple capacities that the creation of a spectacle requires, thereby highlighting the value of diversity and the potential of each individual.
Circoneta is a community creation project by La Central del Circ in collaboration with the Salvat-Papasseit High School in the Barceloneta neighbourhood. At the beginning, it started under the artistic and education direction of the late Ricardo Gallardo, who after his passing, was replaced by the artist Jorge Albuerne. Circoneta relies on the collaboration of artists from different disciplines who guide a dozen students from the first and second year of school in the circus world. During the project’s first stage, different techniques were started: juggling, aerials, acrobatics and Chinese pole. Little by little, a creative and expressive dimension was added in their practice in order to continue working on creating a performance piece that was presented on 5 December in La Central del Circ.
Memòries was the result of an eight month long artistic creation project on the concept of memory as related in the language of the circus. A creation by the Associació de Dones Ambar Prim Women’s Association and La Central del Circ.
The entire creative process incorporates a work of memory, but Memòries worked directly with the concept of all types of memories: personal, historical, living… those that we fear losing as we get older. The spectacle Memòries, which premièred in La Central del Circ on 23 November 2012, brought together those multiples currents through circus techniques which had been learned by the elderly women of the Ambar Prim Association. They learned from the TT company with artists Josep Antoni Navarro and Merche Rafart and co-directed by Leandro Mendoz, artistic director of La Central, together with collaborations from artists such as Tanja Haupt and Marc Fonts.
Memòries was made possible by La Central del Circ’s participation in a lifelong learning programme from the European Union, the Grundtvig project, whose goal is to develop cooperation between different members to foster adult learning. Additionally, La Central del Circ received support from the Obra Social “la Caixa” on this project.
2. European Projects by La Central del Circ
De Mar a Mar
The cross-border project DE MAR A MAR – Pyrenees of Circus (2016-2019) intended on the one hand to strengthen the links between the entities of the circus sector of the Pyrenees Region; and on the other, to improve the orientation, training and support of local companies. It involved 14 partners: La Grainerie (FR – Occitania), APCC – La Central del Circ (ES – Catalonia), Associació de Circ Rogelio Rivel (ES – Catalonia), Ax-Animation (FR – Occitania), Bilbao City Council (ES – Basque Country), City Council of Huesca (ES – Aragón), Belén Alvarez (ES – Navarra), Consortium Transversal (ES – Catalonia), Communauté de Communes Errobi – HAMEKA (FR – Nueva-Aquitania), Diputación de Huesca (ES – Aragón ), Réseau en Scène Languedoc-Roussillon (FR – Occitania), Scène de Pays Baxe Nafarroa – Communauté de communes Garazi Baigorri (FR-Nueva-Aquitaine), Université de Toulouse II Jean-Jaurès (FR – Occitania) and Ville de Toulouse – Le Lido (FR – Occitania).
All the actions were structured around 3 axes: Training, Creation and Dissemination. Due to its specificity as a creation center, La Central was mainly involved in the Creation axis, made up of the Creation Support Fund (residences and grants to support research and creation) and the Companionship Program (which linked an emerging artist or company to a more experienced structure in order to facilitate their job placement).
The European project CIRCollaborative Tools (2017-2019) aimed to bring digital tools and collaborative platforms to the actors and actresses of the circus, both artists and managers.
CircusNext is a European project which goes from 2013 until 2017 and receives support from the European Commission in the framework of the Culture Programme.
Led by the French association Jeunes Talents Cirque Europe, the CircusNext project has 9 members and network of around 40 entities from across Europe which collaborate on single-time actions. The result is an innovative option to discover, accompany and promote emerging circus authors at the European level. In parallel with the accompanying platform for emerging artists, members of Circus Next develop some transversal tools which come about in performing laboratories for creations and in spaces for reflecting on themes related with the creation and accompaniment of emerging authors at the European level.
Circus Incubator is an internationl project promoted by La Grainerie (Toulouse) in which La Central takes part. This project works as an incubator for circus projects and its aim is to allow artists to develop a manner where artistic investigation and entrepreneurial view can merge in a single path.
The Euroregion Pyrenees-Mediterranean is a territory recognised by its strong standing in the circus arts, principally in the Midi-Pyrénées and Catalonia. Process()s was developed between Toulouse, Perpignan and Barcelona and with help from Aragon, in order to encourage contemporary circus creation and diffusion. It gave support to creative projects, to publicising numbers and short forms and it generated meeting spaces with performing arts programmers.
With the support of the Euroregion Pyrenees-Mediterranean, in the framework of the “EUROREGION CULTURE 2011“ project.
Circ que o!
A platform with 8 members to develop an internationally renowned circus area in the Pyrenees-Mediterranean region. The project, lasting three years, had three essential goals:
– Valuing the circus sector in the cross-border space.
– Reinforcing the local and cross-border synergies between circus professionals.
– Strengthening work, economy and creation and giving support to project creators.
Among other results, it is important to highlight the co-production of 8 contemporary circus spectacles from countries on both sides of the Pyrenees.
With the support of the POCTEFA cross-border cooperation programme between Spain-France-Andorra.
TRANS- Mission. Support for Circus Creation
TRANS-mission brought together 4 European institutions which give support to the circus creation process: l’Espace Catastrophe (Brussels), La Grainerie (Toulouse), the Zelig Association (Turin) and La Central del Circ (Barcelona). This mission arose from the goal of improving practices to support creation, production and publicity in the contemporary circus sector. For two years, it gave support in an intensive and continual manner to the creation of four contemporary circus spectacles with 4 to 6 stage performers, through residencies in each of the spaces, financed co-productions and publicity support in each territory. The year 2012 was dedicated to publicising these spectacles.
With the support of the European Union Culture Programme.
Parcours croisés: une deuxième chance par le cirque
Parcours croisés (Crossed Routes: A second chance for the circus) brought together 4 European institutions which give support to the circus creation process: l’Espace Catastrophe (Brussels), La Grainerie (Toulouse), the Mirabilia Festival (Fossano – Italy) and La Central del Circ (Barcelona). It was a knowledge exchange programme regarding community projects in each of the centres. For two year, internal work seminars were held in the different territories. In 2012, the meetings brought together delegations of workers and users from the respective programmes that shared talks and workshops. The programme was complemented with the help of the La Caixa Foundation, which financed La Central’s community creation project in 2012, which brought together circus professionals and the elderly.
With the support of the Grundtvig lifelong learning programme of the European Union.
3. Creative support in collaboration with other teams
Le Samovar is a space dedicated to clowns with a school section and a creation and exhibition centre. It also offered a creative residence grant for a clown-based spectacle. In 2010, it sponsored The Scalextrics Experience (Catalonia) and in 2011 Claire Vergos (France).
4. Other Projects
A creation from the Canadian Circus Company Les 7 doigts de la main (The 7 Fingers of the Hand) with collaboration from La Central del Circ and the Mercat de les Flors and the support of the Government of Quebec and the CoNCA. The goal was to create a multi-disciplinary spectacle based on collaborations between artists from different cultures and artistic disciplines. Before arriving in Barcelona, the project had been developed in other cities in Canada, such as Montreal, and the rest of the world, including Mexico City and Copenhagen. The work in Barcelona relied on the participation of 7 local artists. Almost 1000 people attended the public presentations and the spectacle had great media impact.