Braw Circus Festival proves Scotland has world class circus talent
- Kelly Apter
- 4 September 2018
New festival dedicated to contemporary circus in Scotland flies into Glasgow
Braw Circus Festival, a festival dedicated to contemporary circus in Scotland, is about to make its debut this September. Artistic director, Ellie Dubois tells us what we can expect from this exciting new venture.
Braw is a brand new circus festival and the first of its kind in Scotland - what motivated you to start it?
Circus is at a really exciting tipping point in Scotland. Our community is small but has been growing and growing and finally there is a big enough group of us making really different types of contemporary circus that it felt like it was the right time. We also want to open circus up to new audiences who may not have seen contemporary circus before, and the shows in the Braw festival are very accessible. It's also a chance to show people who run theatres in other parts of Scotland that circus is happening and it's not scary and can be programmed in all different kinds of spaces.
Who have you got lined up to perform?
We have lots of new work, which is brilliant. I'm so excited about To Be The Best Too by Circus Geeks, a show for children and adults inspired by the story of the world's best juggler. All or Nothing and Room 2 Manoeuvre have collaborated on Heroes - All or Nothing is one of the largest and most established aerial dance companies in Scotland, so it's really exciting to get a taste of their new work. Liquid Sky by Bassline Circus is back, which involves aerial and super cool lasers and projection in a beautiful way. Between the Lines by Aerial Edge is an international collaboration with Brazilian artist Adilso Machato. Also my own work, Ringside which is an award-winning circus show made for one person at a time that's returning to the UK after being performed in Sweden and France. There's also scratch work by upcoming artists including Zinnia Oberski, David Banks, and Kate McWilliam
Are there other ways to get involved, aside from watching performances?
On Thursday 6 September at Citizen M we're hosting an event called Circus Patter, a night to talk about the future of circus in Scotland. We'll have speakers/provocations/ideas/dreams from circus makers including: Eira Gordon, Sarah Bebe Homes, Rachael McIntyre, Emilly Nicholl, Lauren Hendry, Amy Shipway and Vee Smith.
The contemporary circus scene has grown exponentially over the past ten years - what do you feel it has to offer both audiences and performers?
I think circus is a really exciting art form because it's super accessible. You can watch shows and enjoy them on a basic level of enjoying tricks and having fun - but circus can also be a great way of telling stories and exploring the world around us. Circus can move beyond technical skill and aesthetics to tell urgent personal stories and explore cultural identity. And that's what I hope the work at Braw festival will do. For performers, it's traditionally bèen the case that they would move away from home to go to circus school and then never come back as there is very little work in Scotland. But more and more is being made here in Scotland, which means there's more work for performers and this country is becoming a much more attractive place to be a performer. Scotland has world class contemporary performance and we hope that Braw will show that Scotland can produce world class circus, too.
To see the full Braw programme visit their website.