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ISACS Member - Spraoi
ISACS Member - Spraoi St Patrick's Parade 2017 | Photographer Graham Cullen
4 minutes reading time (828 words)

Let's talk about Irish Youth Circus!

The Irish Street Arts, Circus & Spectacle Network were deeply saddened this week by the loss of Will Chamberlain; the hugely passionate and influential driver of Circus arts and champion for the transformational qualities of Circus on communities and lives in Belfast and across our whole island nation. The Circus and the arts in Ireland owes a lot to Will Chamberlain who was a mentor for many organisations toward focussing their efforts on the development of social and youth circus in Ireland. He will be missed terribly, but Social and Youth Circus in Ireland will continue to grow allowing circus organisations to pursue these dreams and work to make them a reality.
We've highlighted three interesting current youth circus projects in Ireland below and would like to invite you to come and talk about the future of Youth and Social Circus at the special 'Irish Youth Circus Focus', in Tralee this November led by the Galway Community Circus in partnership with The Irish Street Arts, Circus & Spectacle Network, Arts Council Ireland and National Circus Festival Ireland.


Will Chamberlain was born in London. He co-founded Manchester Community Circus and Norwich Circus Centre and practiced as a freelance clown, juggler, and comedian, performing at festivals and theatres as well as teaching circus skills to young people in England and Switzerland. He moved to Belfast in 1996, taking up the position of Development Officer for the Belfast Community Circus School of which he became the director in 2000. Thanks to his efforts, he grew Belfast Community Circus School to, what was, at the time, Ireland’s only dedicated circus training and performance venue and the school remains nowadays the leading dedicated circus school in Ireland. In 2004 the Circus School set up Premiere Circus, a commercial agency to promote employment opportunities for professional circus performers. In the same year, Will directed the first Festival of Fools in Belfast, a five-day national street theatre festival, with 100 international performers playing to 30,000 people. He also served as a Board Member at Arts Council Northern Ireland from 2003 to 2005. His work for the development in Youth Circus School cannot be overstated and the impact it continues to have on thousands of young people today.

Read more here.


These three projects were kindly supported by Arts Council Ireland.

Circus goes Urban - Galway Community Circus | Maleta | Finbar247 | Jack English | Shane O'Malley

Galway Community Circus brings together street artists, Finbar 247 and Shane O’Malley, with circus artists Davi Hora and Alex Allison from Maleta company and parkour specialist Jack English. Over five days young people will get a chance to explore circus, parkour and street art culminating in a 2-day street art workshop during which the youth participants will use the moves they have learnt to compose a fluid piece of art on the walls of Galway Community Circus Circus Training Space.

Robotic Circus - Galway Community Circus | CoderDojo | SAP

Collaborative partners in this project are SAP Galway and CoderDojo and Galway Community Circus. The project aims to explore the creative possibilities when mixing circus, coding and technology. During the Lab the participants will explore the connection between live movement and virtual reality; how different circus skills such as acrobatics, balancing and juggling can interact with technological tools including Scratch, censors and sphero robots provided by SAP. They will discover ways for circus to bring the ‘A’ in STEAM by sharing and learning important skills in the areas of circus, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, design, and computer programming.


Larger than Life - Galway Community Circus | Macnas

This third creative lab project is Macnas and Galway Community Circus annual collaboration where youth circus members get to further their skills in stilt and processional performance and acquire a deeper understanding of the importance of character development, performance presentation, audience interaction and the intensity of performing to a crowd of 50,000 people through the streets of Galway on Sunday October 29th where everything you do must be 'Larger than Life'!

Other ISACS Members who work in Youth and Social Circus are as follows: Cloughjordan Youth Circus, C Circus K, Circus Factory, Dublin Circus Project, National Circus Festival Ireland, Fidget Feet Aerial Dance.


The Irish Youth Circus Focus is hosted by Galway Community Circus in association with The Irish Street Arts, Circus & Spectacle NetworkNational Circus Festival Ireland and Arts Council Ireland from 12:15 - 2pm at Tralee Chamber of Commerce.

Do you work in youth circus in Ireland? Would you like to set up a Youth Circus in your town? Join us for the ‘Irish Youth Circus Focus’ – a meet-up of youth circus leaders - where you will have the opportunity to meet and share with others interested in developing this exciting art form and bringing it to more young people across the country.

The event is free but places are very limited. Book now: Irish Youth Circus Focus booking
Introducing our new partner: Bulabosca Films
Where Dance Meets Circus - Publication available!

Irish Street Arts Circus and Spectacle Network

Irish Theatre Institute, 17 Eustace St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland
00 353 (0)87 0541812 info@isacs.ie
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