At the beginning of 2022, ISACS member Circus Gerbola announced a call out for a five-week residency for a circus performer. This was an exciting opportunity for an artist practising any circus discipline to work alongside Circus Gerbola directors and an international cast while developing their skills and gaining an insight into traditional circus in Ireland.

The residency also offered the chance to learn about the technical side of circus production, such as lighting, sound and safety.

Several ISACS members jumped at the chance and one of those was Claire CarrollHere is what Claire told us about her experience.

The residency was extremely valuable to me as an emerging circus artist. I learned a lot during my time with Gerbolas and was delighted that my two week residency was extended for another 6 weeks. It gave me a proper feel for trad circus life.

Tara and the Gerbola family have been a great support to me and I learned a lot from my time there. Every single person at Gerbolas  all work super hard. I was surprised to see there many were similarities between contemporary and traditional circus but it was really nice to bridge the two and also learn the ways of traditional circus. It’s not a walk in the park so I have full respect for traditional circus’s and all the hard work that goes into making it happen. We got lucky with the weather in July but that tent goes up and comes down, rain, hail or shine. It’s full on but ultimately very rewarding. The hard work happens outside of the shows and that’s the part a lot of people don’t see, I feel very lucky to have had the experience and see the inner workings of it all.

I guess you could say I got bitten by the Gerbola bug. I met some amazing people during my time there and I’m very happy to have established a great relationship with Tara and the gang.

We in ISACS are so pleased to continue to support and develop the work across and between the traditional and the contemporary worlds of circus; building relationships, friendships, support and connections. We look forward to continuing to grow our communities collectively.