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Creation and residency centres

There are no exact figures regarding creation and residency centres. Le Nomade (2011) mentions five creation support centres in the French-speaking part of Belgium. One of these is Espace Catastrophe in Brussels, being the first of three creation places for circus, street arts and clowning to be recognised by the French speaking Community.

Espace Catastrophe

Located in the ancient ice cellars of Saint-Gilles since 1995, Espace Catastrophe aspires to be a multi-faceted place for artists to perform, train, get educated and create. Every year between 60 and 70 projects are welcomed to receive one of four different types of support: use of work space, accompanied residency, partnership, and associate production. In 2015, plans for the construction of a brand new building for Espace Catastrophe were approved by the city. It is not yet known when it will be open.

Dommelhof

In Flanders there are no full-fledged creation centres or work places for circus and/or street arts worthy of that name. Dommelhof, home of Theatre op de Markt, is the only one that comes close, having the necessary infrastructure to welcome national and international circus and street art companies, although it is not specifically designed for those art forms. The production department of Theatre op de Markt is also one of Flanders’ most important co-producers for the sector.

De Expeditie

A recent new player is De Expeditie. Located on an old industrial site in Ghent this building is the home of six (socio-)cultural organisations: Circuscentrum, Cie Cecilia, JES, MiramirO, Victoria Deluxe, and vrede.be. Besides office space there are also work spaces for rehearsal, creation, construction and presentation. Though the infrastructure is still under development, the partner organisations have already started to develop their activities in the building; for instance Circuscentrum and MiramirO occasionally welcome circus and street art companies to use the spaces.

Olivier Minet

— Director, Latitude 50 - Pôle arts du cirque et de la rue —

What do you see as your (or your organisation’s) most important task in the circus/street arts sector in your country?
"In the last few years, quite a lot of circus has been created for theatres. While celebrating the evolution of circus in finding its way to the theatre, we like to defend a place for the travelling and tented circus. In our rural region we have the possibility to welcome residencies and presentations of tented shows, and we will continue to do this in the future to protect this form of presentation and to facilitate the nomadic arts."