Creation and residency centres

The system of creative and residency centres in the Czech Republic does not have a long history. It is still not easy for independent artists to find support besides that offered by grant-making bodies. Co-producers are hard to fnd and functioning residency programmes are scarce.

Cirqueon Center for Contemporary Circus

In 2008, Cirqueon became the umbrella organisation for contemporary circus in the Czech Republic. Its primary activities are aimed at supporting and advancing contemporary circus in the Czech Republic and disseminating information about current events in this field. Since early 2010, it has had its own training centre, where it regularly offers courses in acrobatics and juggling for children, young people, and adults, and which also serves as a base where professional artists can engage in creative work. In 2014, the center has expanded its facilities and now is able to offer residencies (2-6 weeks) to support 8-10 new Czech performances and 2-3 international projects each year. Cirqueon provides rehearsal space and mentoring from a choreographer, a director or artistic supervisor depending on the artists’ needs. Cirqueon also supports selected projects through co-production and assume accommodation and cover travel costs for international companies.

Cirqueon is an institution covering education, production and advocacy, and, thanks to its many contacts abroad and to international cooperation, it is able to bring to the Czech Republic essential information on circus education, cultural policy, management, international creative projects, and more. Cirqueon is a member of Circostrada network, FACE, FEDEC, and Caravan Network, and is a partner in the European education project EDUCIRCATION and a partner of the European platforms CircusNext and CASA Circuits.

Plum Yard

Located in the middle of the small village Malovice in the South Bohemian region, Plum Yard offers space and facilities for individuals and groups to do creative work. Artists of all fields can apply for residency – theatre, dance, music and visual artists, translators and writers. Residencies last from one week to three months. An equipped, multifunctional theatre hall 12 x 18m and 10m high, a rehearsal room 10 x 12m and 5m high, and three studios are also part of the space. Office space, a kitchen and a theatre club are available. If agreed, tools and a workshop can be provided. The residents are offered accommodation in year-round heated caravans and other spaces in the immediate vicinity of the working area.

Mgr. Vojtěch Holický

— Psychologist, PhDr. Jaroslava Holická Clinical Psychology Ambulance & Manager, Cascabel Juggling Club —

What are the most important challenges for circus / street art in your country and specifically when it comes to audience and marketing development?
"Upgrading the level of artists and the clarity of what they present to local audiences. Gradually developing a systematic way of preparing youth and adult performers capable of independent work and involvement in group creation. Making the most of local traditions of physical and drama training. Balanced connection with local traditions as the spice of the circus and street arts’ international spirit. Developing the potential of street arts in a variety of forms, and direct communication with the current audience that connects clarity with exoticism."