Lusya learnt to ride a unicycle
Online circus activities for disadvantaged youth
End of Spring and beginning of Summer are usually very dynamic months as we end the circus season and get prepared for the Summer period. This year we improvised in online format and redesigned our activities. Our core goals were:
- to support youngsters who survive social isolation
- to provide direct help to those families of our youngsters whose financial stability had been shaken in the coronacrisis
- to keep our relations with youngsters: we want them to know that they social distancing should not bring abandonment and despair; we wanted to maintain friendly and supportive environment for them
- to promote further development of physical abilities, circus skills and creative potential of the youngsters
We managed to succeed! All these months we have been receiving empowering feedback from families. Parents told us that virtual trainings at Upsala-Circus was much more suitable and friendly for the teenagers then online school classes. We encouraged the youngsters not only keep but develop their abilities and skills as well (in juggling, stretching, acrobatics). We managed to produce creative results in two major circus groups: teenagers with Down syndrome and other mental and physical disabilities prepared their home circus video, and youngsters with at-risk social status prepared virtual dance performance.
Online peacemaking residence Rebels for Peace.Isolation
In July we organized our annual art residence Rebels for Peace in online format. During three weeks, youngsters from Russia and Germany (including teenagers from Afghani and Syrian refugee families) used creative methods of contemporary circus, sound design, dance and visual art to reflect on the phenomenon of social isolation — not only in times of global pandemic, but also in various unfavorable social circumstances (like isolation in prison or in closed social institutions). A short video from one of the art lab is available via the link.
We finished the residence with online streaming of virtual content created in art labs — in St. Petersburg and Berlin simultaneously.
Circus by the windows
In the times of overall lockdown Upsala-Circus professional troupe (young men and women who graduated from Upsala-Circus social programs) performed by the windows of the closed social institutions, hospitals and residential houses where children with disabilities, elderly people and cancer patients live. A 1.5-minute video from one of the performances is full of light and hope.
Circus performance by the windows
ZOOM circus camp
Outdoor circus training