Conference programme

Photo: Anita Murphy


Circus Pedagogy- The Future of Creative Education

Wednesday 15.6. Circus Pedagogy in Theory ( also online)
Venue: Tampere University, Pinni B, Auditorium 1100

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   Masters of ceremony:

Taina Kopra Sorin Sirkus and Caravan
Will Borrell Caravan, International youth and social circus network

9.00 Registration and coffee

9.30 Opening of the seminar

  • Welcoming words, Prof. Päivi Pahta Tampere University, Dean of the Faculty of Education and Culture.
  • Salutatory speech (video), Mr. Petri Honkonen Minister of Science and Culture.
  • Salutatory speech, Ms.  Johanna Loukaskorpi Vice-Mayor of Tampere.

10.15 Presentation of the project partners
10.30 Presentation of the core curriculum

  • Tiina Kujala PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in Education and Physical Education at Tampere University
  • Alisan Funk Assistant Professor of Circus and Head of the Bachelor Programme in Circus at the Stockholm University of the Arts.

12.00 Lunch at the University, Restaurant Minerva

13.15 Social circus performance

13.30 Presentation of the 5 national implementation plans of the new curriculum

Ian R. Walsh National University of Ireland
Ulla Hokkanen Galway Community Circus

Joonas Kalari Tampere University
Laura Tikka Sorin Sirkus

Anna Karin Ståhle Stockholm University of the Arts
Oskar Löfkvist Circus Cirkör

Czech Republic:
Adam Jarchovsky Circus Cirqueon

Katerina Flora Le Plus Petit Cirque du Monde

14.45 Coffee break

15.15 – 15.45  European strategy for higher education. Päivi Bosquet, Counselor of Education, Ministry of Education and Culture.

16-17 Panel discussion: Future(s) of Circus Teacher Education (Moderator Ulla Hokkanen, Galway Community Circus)

The panelists discuss possibilities and visions of how the curriculum created in Circus++ can be implemented in different countries and educational contexts towards development of the European youth and social circus sector.


Alisan Funk, Stockholm University of the Arts
Dagmar Heiland Trávníková, Masaryk University
Tiina Kujala, Tampere University
Tim Roberts, Ecole de Cirque de Quebec (online)
Ian R. Walsh, National University of Ireland

Evening programme

Venue: Sorin Sirkus, Ahlmanintie 63, Tampere

19.30 Sorin Sirkus Show
20-24 Dinner and interaction

Thursday 16.6 Circus Pedagogy in Practice

Venue: Sorin Sirkus,Ahlmanintie 63, Tampere

Masters of ceremony:

Taina Kopra Sorin Sirkus and Caravan
Will Borrell Caravan, international youth and social circus network

9.30 Welcome coffee

10.00 Keynote speaker: Emmanuelle Lyon, professor of dance in 8, École Nationale des Arts du Cirque de Rosny-sous-Bois, École du ballet de l’Opéra de Paris.  About the correlation of two principles which seem contradictory in circus art but that are inseparable:the link between injury prevention and virtuosity or the quest to increase technical and expressive potential of our students, and future youth and social circus educators.

10.30 Keynote speaker: Ylva Hofvander Trulsson professor of Aesthetic didactics, Head of Department of dance pedagogy at SKH. PhD in music pedagogy education.
Where is circus pedagogy situated within the broader field of arts pedagogies in university? Professor Trulsson speaks about trends in arts education pedagogies in Scandinavian higher education.

Workshops and Roundtables  (the descriptions are below)

11.00 -12.15:
Workshop 1
Workshop 2
Workshop 3
Roundtable 1

Roundtable 2

12.15 Lunch

Workshop 1
Workshop 2
Workshop 4
Roundtable 1
Roundtable 3

14.45 Coffee break

Workshop 3
Workshop 4
Roundtable 2
Roundtable 3

16.15 Summary of the seminar

Descriptions of  the Workshops and Roundtables

(you can choose 3 of 7 events)


Workshop 1: Inclusive Circus – circus pedagogy for everyone
Instructors: Ulla Hokkanen and Davi Hora (Galway Community Circus)

This workshop will introduce participants to Social Circus as an inclusive and innovative educational method and Pathway 3 of the European Core Curriculum. Through inclusive games and circus exercises, participants will learn some practical tools and methods used in Social Circus and their possible outcomes including confidence-building and empathy towards others.
Suitable for everyone.

Workshop 2: Joy, success and learning – Groups and communication in circus pedagogy
Instructor: Oskar Löfkvist (Cirkus Cirkör)

The workshop aims to provide examples of communication styles in the teaching of Social Circus. What is the role of the instructor? Who can learn from their mistakes? And how do we create an atmosphere of joy in the training hall? We will play with, and explore the needs of different learners, discuss best practices and face off against challenges of language and culture.
Suitable for everyone

Workshop 3: Somatic Practice in Circus Techniques – Sensory awareness for self-guidance and control
Instructors: Katérina Flora (Le Plus Petite Cirque du Monde (PPCM) and  Laura Tikka (Sorin Sirkus)

In this workshop we will explore how the themes of Pathway 1 of the European Core Curriculum can be taught in practice. The focus of this workshop is introducing participants to functional anatomy as a base for learning and teaching different circus techniques, for example balancing, which we will look closer at during the workshop. Participants will explore inner sensations in order to find new mobilities, modulate their movement and feel their own posture before connecting with the environment and to others. In the end we will explore how sensory awareness changes the quality of balancing as a circus technique.
Suitable for everyone

Workshop 4: Improving creativity thru juggling
Instructor:Adam Jarchovsky (Circus Cirqueon)

One of the goals of the methodology of the Youth and Social circus is the development of life skills through circus arts. Circus arts in its diversity allows the construction of movement challenges for all skill levels, and therefore can be an effective medium for discovering creative potential, regardless of previous experience. So, this workshop is open for all!

Workshop will focus on the use of juggling techniques and object manipulation as a framework for stimulating creativity and mediating a positive movement experience. Through a wide range of exercises, participants will experience in practice how powerful and functional tool juggling can be in the development of creativity and motor competitions.


Round table 1: Circus Pedagogy in the Academy
Facilitator: Joonas Kalari (Tampere University)
Round table discussant:  Anna-Karin Ståhle (Stockholms Konstnärliga Högskola), Emmanuelle Lyon (Université Paris 8, École Nationale des Arts du Cirque de Rosny-sous-Bois, École du ballet de l’Opéra de Paris), Michal Molcho (National University of Ireland), Samuli Nordberg (Tampere University).

This round table will discuss circus pedagogy from an academic perspective through questions includings: What is circus pedagogy? Does it differ from other academic disciplines? What does “research-based” mean in circus teaching? Do we need some special methods to teach circus in an academic context? What kind of research circus pedagogy will be needed in the future?

Round Table 2: Social Circus Around the World
Facilitator: Lari Aaltonen (Sorin Sirkus)
Round table discussants: Ilaria Bessone (Circus educator and researcher, AltroCirco, Italy), Jenna Hall (Circusful, Ireland), Mohammed Rabah (The Palestinian Circus School),   Maria Tate (Phare Ponleu Selpak, Cambodia).

This roundtable will discuss Social Circus projects around the world. Together with some of the world’s leading social circus organisations – from Palestine to Belfast and Cambodia – we will reflect on the impact of Social Circus projects in local communities, local and national contexts and the future of Social Circus as a tool for social change on a global scale.

Round Table 3:  Responsible Future Circus Pedagogy – Inclusivity and sustainability
Facilitator: Ian R. Walsh (National University of Ireland)
Round table discussants: Brady Hughes (Galway Community Circus), Minna Mäkihonko (Tampere University) (other names are to be published later).

This roundtable will reflect on the responsibilities of teachers and academics in the design and provision of future circus education. In particular how future offerings in this area make sure to be as inclusive as possible and make every effort to serve marginalised communities rather than commercial concerns or stakeholders. We will also examine how circus education might lead in making environmental sustainability core to its activities as well as consider how careers and educational initiatives in circus education can be sustained in the long term.


Locations of the both conference days

Wednesday 15th, June –  Circus pedagogy in Theory – is in Auditorium PinniB 1100, Tampere university

Thursday, 16th June – Circus Pedagogy in Practice- is at Sorin Sirkus, Ahlmanintie 63

Map skipped.