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Creation and residency centres

Creation supporting centres in the field of circus hardly exist in Sweden, and for street arts there are none that are defined as such. Residency systems are rare, and co-producing and commissioning have not been common ways to work in Swedish performing arts. However, things are slowly changing. During the last few years some regional institutions in different parts of the country have produced and co-produced performances in collaboration with circus companies and artists. More and more venues and festivals over the country have an openness to the idea of welcoming artistic companies not only to present their performances, but also to create them. Centres can however not apply funding from the state or regions to support or commission artistic creation; the only way to fund residency programs at the moment is through applying for funding for specific international collaborations or Nordic artistic development programmes. For this reason it is still very rare to fnd funded residencies offering more than a rehearsal space and maybe accommodation.

Examples

Cirkör Lab

Cirkör LAB is Cirkus Cirkör’s platform for research and development, where they offer residencies to external artists and companies, both national and international. Through the LAB, Cirkör wishes to create a place where cross-boundary arts and science meet, with circus as the common denominator.

Subtopia

Subtopia is situated in Botkyrka, where it houses many arts organisations in a cluster of eight buildings spread over 15,000 sqm. Subtopia supports creation, research and artistic development, and offers residencies and workshops to individual artists and artistic companies, as well as providing information and advice on circus and street arts.

Orionteatern

Orionteatern is an independent theatre in Stockholm that is known for having presented international and local circus performances in their industrial space since the 1980s. At times they also support local companies in creation. A recent example is the co-production of Gynoïdes with CirkusPerspektiv in winter 2016.

Östgötateatern

Östgötateatern in Norrköping is an example of a regional institution showing an interest in producing and co-producing circus performances. A recent example is the co-production of Tänk om with Cirk L in 2015.

Kiki Muukkonen

— Artistic Programming Director, Hangaren in Subtopia

What do you see as your most important task in circus/street arts in your country?
"At the moment I find the most important task within my role – which is to support creation and to present shows to an audience – and at a time when infrastructure and support systems are being built on many levels, is to push for discussion about the content of the artistic work being created and presented. How does it relate to the world of today? What is the intended relationship between the performances and the audience? What are the values we defend, and what are the guiding lights of our artistic choices?"

Photo: John Ellingsworth