Circus leaps forward as Culture Minister Ed Vaizey officially launches the UK’s
The National Centre for Circus Arts (formerly known as Circus Space) is being officially opened today (Tuesday 11 March 2014), helping to re-define the Circus industry in the UK.
The launch of the National Centre is a pivotal moment for Britain’s cultural industry and is recognition of the achievement of the organisation to date. Over the past 25 years they have trained more than 50,000 people in Circus Arts and receiving the new title is an accolade that reflects the vital role they play in championing Circus in Britain.
At the launch, which is being officially led by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, the organisation will announce ambitious plans for the future of Britain’s’ Circus industry through their ongoing support for Britain’s Circus companies as they aspire to create British Circus to rival leading international organisations such as Cirque du Soleil – a company that is worth more than a billion dollars. The National Centre for Circus Arts is at the heart of a network of organisations across the UK that are creating a “Culture of Circus,” it provides an unparalleled launch-pad for some of the world’s best performers through the outstanding training programmes, funding schemes and support network it provides. Of the 71 practicing circus companies in the UK, the National Centre is involved with more than 90%.
The registered charity received congratulations from industry leaders from across the arts and official government bodies.
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said:
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
Joint CEO’s Kate White and Jane Rice Bowen said:
Circus in Britain will continue to evolve as an art form as it has done in Canada, in Europe and Australia and today marks the industry’s next leap forward. We pride ourselves not only on the strength of our graduates but also our connection with the circus profession and proven accessibility record with students coming from all walks of life. Through our National Youth Circus events we are always on the look out for the next generation and look forward to an exciting future of circus in Britain.”
The National Centre is one of the best circus schools in the world and is the only place in the UK where it is possible to earn a BA (Hons) degree in Circus Arts. It is proud to announce that it has achieved a near 100% record for student employment post-graduation. 93% of all alumni from the National Centre for Circus Arts are still working in the industry three years after graduating. Companies who have employed recent graduates include the Royal Shakespeare Company, NoFit State, Cirque Du Soleil, The Roundhouse, The British Library, Les 7 Doigts de la Main, Cirque Eloize and National Theatre. Although there has always been a diverse mix in international and domestic students participating in training programmes, the organisation has seen a sharp rise in British students in recent years. Auditions for a place on their degree programme take place in May every year and the public can see Circus’ hottest young talent by watching the BA degree shows in spring and summer. It is also possible for the public to try Circus at the centre’s main hub in the old Shoreditch Electric Light Station in Hoxton, London. Here they have the opportunity to train alongside professional artists at their hugely popular experience days.
Lord Sebastian Coe Said:
Stephen Daldry OBE, Film Director said:
As a retired circus performer myself I am particularly proud that Britain can now boast of a National Centre to promote and train this constantly emerging art form.”
Notes to Editors
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The National Centre for Circus Arts
From the age of two with no upper limit, the National Centre trains over 700 people each week and over the past 25 years has trained over 50,000 students through their courses, classes and workshops across all programme areas including Higher and Further Education, professional artist training workshops and tuition, recreational courses and classes for adults and young people, business and team building workshops and experience days. The National Centre for Circus Arts is the only place where it is possible to receive a BA (Hons) degree in Circus Arts. More than 80 students a week train on their Further & Higher Education programmes. The school is an affiliate of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama and degree awards are validated by the University of Kent.
The National Centre for Circus Arts educates all students in a safe environment in which they can learn how to manage risk while taking creative and artistic leaps of faith. Every student is trained by highly skilled educators within a framework that upholds health and safety best practice. A degree in Circus Arts from the National Centre for Circus Arts offers more than just training in performance, students are also provided with training in business and career development so that they can establish a fruitful and fulfilling life as an artist.
The National Centre has a proven track record for producing some of the world’s finest circus performers through its degree level programmes. 93% of all graduates from the National Centre for Circus Arts are still working in the industry three years after graduating. Companies who have employed recent graduates include the Royal Shakespeare Company, NoFit State, Cirque Du Soleil, The Roundhouse, The British Library, Les 7 Doigts de la Main, Cirque Eloize and National Theatre. Nearly 100 specialist performers from the Olympic and Paralympic Ceremonies trained at the National Centre for Circus Arts.
The National Centre for Circus Arts is a registered charity housed in the Shoreditch Electric Light Station. Originally an electricity generating station built in 1896, the site was rescued from dereliction in 1992 and, following extensive restoration and reconstruction, reopened as Circus Space – helping to kickstart Shoreditch’s regeneration. The National Centre for Circus Arts has retained the original names for areas in the building with the two largest training rooms called the Combustion and Generating Chambers.
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