Upsala-Zirk

Upsala Circus is an unique project, which shows children and teenagers from social risk groups in St. Petersburg with the method of circus pedagogy an alternative from the street and to integrate them into the society. As the only organization of it's kind in Russia, Upsala Circus directly connects the professional circus and theatre art, with social work. By the everyday training in the circus and attendance at circus festivals, the children and teenagers from social risk groups experience exciting and difficult challenges.The circus is referring to "high risk" nearly like the life on the street. It simply appeals to them with magic, lets them explore their individual skills and...
Mar 5, 2014

Circus dreams come true

the Niece show for Cirque du Soleil artists
the Niece show for Cirque du Soleil artists

Once upon a time our Circus was one of the smallest circuses in the world: we had no tent, we only had one trainer, and no more than 5 kids. 13 years later we have two circus tents, a dozen staged performances and our former artists who became our trainers. And through this journey we always had the brightest example that we could refer to: the biggest and the most famous circus in the world once also started as a small company. We are talking about Cirque du Soleil, of course.

Year after year the little artists of Upsala-Circus watched the Cirque du Soleil shows and admired the jugglers and the acrobats, the dancers and the clowns. We even went to Moscow by train to see a Varekai show. Next year we met the Cirque du Monde (the social branch of Cirque du Soleil) representatives and told them about our little circus. And the next year our little artists were invited to see the grand rehearsal of the show. One year later the whole Upsala-Circus team was invited to see what was going on behind the curtains, to talk to the Cirque du Soleil artists after the show. Little jugglers and acrobats of Upsala-Circus were getting closer and closer to their heroes, the people whose movements they have been following on stage with their eyes and mouths wide open. It is very important for the children’s development and self-esteem, to see somebody they adore and respect so close.

One more year has passed, and our artists had an exclusive workshop with Cirque du Soleil artists: they did acro together and learned some new tricks. We thought that was the best real circus experience our children could ever have.

And this year we were proved wrong.

This year the Cirque du Soleil artists from the Dralion show came to our tent.

They saw the Niece show of Upsala-Circus and our little artists got standing ovation.

Imagine our little artists, our little Anton, who was cheered and admired by the best circus artists in the world.

After the show we made Russian pelmeni (dumplings) together and ate them all and there was so much fun and laughter and real closeness that can only appear between people sharing the same ideas.

Our little artists circus dream came true! There's always a place for magic in the circus.

Upsala-Circus artists in the end of the show
Upsala-Circus artists in the end of the show
Standing ovation from Cirque du Soleil artists
Standing ovation from Cirque du Soleil artists
Little artists and big artists bonding
Little artists and big artists bonding
Jan 9, 2014

We can almost see a new circus bus on the horizon!

that
that's how our new bus will look like

Dear Friends,

 

We're getting closer and closer to raising the amount we need to buy a new bus for our young circus vagabonds. And we would love to share our success stories about fundraising. One of them is, of course, about you. Thank you for donating to our project on GlobalGiving!
How it all started: we collaborated with a Russian company that produces wheat flour, and had 1 rouble donated to our project from each packet of flour sold in the stores: we raised more than $24000. After that we decided to raise the rest of the amount by local charity events and crowdfunding.
We raised money on a Russian crowdfunding web-site, and got more than $1200.
We organized a charity event where families listened to music, planted flowers and drank tea by the pond -- and raised about $6000.
We put out a money box at all of our circus events, and during the winter holidays in December 2013 and first days of January 2014 we raised almost $1500!
The last, but not the least at the moment -- we talked to Volkswagen company, and they will generously sell us a Volkswagen bus with a $16000 discount.
At this rate, we will be able to buy a new bus before next summer, so that our circus will go on a safe tour to Europe and several Russian cities.
Stay with the circus hooligans!
Upsala-Circus
our fundraising campaign with a flour company
our fundraising campaign with a flour company
Dec 3, 2013

It's Neverland

Stasia, performance SOBAKI
Stasia, performance SOBAKI

"It's Neverland" - that was the first thought I have got when I visited Upsala-Circus in one cold rainy day in Saint-Petersburg. 

Larisa - the leader and trainer of young artists invited me inside the circus tent. There was dark, empty and rather cold. I saw trampoline and ropes all around, clubbells, big balls and other stage property I have no idea how to name it. I watched all this stuff thinking: how cool it must be to be a circus artist... I imagined children"s laughter, clowns and acrobatic tricks that amaze  public, applause... I imagined young talented kids that have chosen to be an artist than to hang out with friend on the streets. That was before I saw performance and meet every artist in person.

Month later I spent 10  incredible days with Upsala Circus artists. And I know now that in real life you could be outsider, weird, not like other teens, different, slow-minded... But here in circus you are an artist. You have team and  trainer, you have responsibilities. All kids in Upsala have different backgrounds. Some of them have alcoholic parents, some of them are adopted, other came from large family or from the streets...

Upsala Circus its not just sport classes, its a chance for them to get out from vulnerable difficult life situation, a chance to prove everybody, to believe in yourself, to find another person inside yourself: strong, beautiful, talented... No matter that you study in correction shcool and your classmates think you're weird. No matter that you have to spent more than 2 hours to get to the circus. No matter that you have Down Syndrome and can't even read.

Every training in Upsala Circus is a fight  with dark past and unclear future, its a chance to  escape real, so complicated life and find joy of being part of a team,  being able to do something special,  being special. 

It's Neverland for those who became adults so early due to life circumstances... Its a place to be child once again.

 

"THE NEPHEW" Performance with Anton "special child" in main part:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7V7L4lsTg1Q&feature=c4-overview&list=UURu2XEzqgZFyDXD7FmGsTmg 

Anton, performing Nephew
Anton, performing Nephew
Ela and Anton, performance Nephew
Ela and Anton, performance Nephew
NEPHEW
NEPHEW
Sonia
Sonia
Me and Stasia
Me and Stasia
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