Connecting – disconnecting – reconnecting. Notes from Rigas Cirks

Marita Sanzarevska

 writing prior to her travel to host organisation Cirkus Cirkör

I have always admired travel bloggers. From today’s perspective vlogging has become far more popular by appealing to our visual perception, therefore bloggers are a rare breed. However, in my opinion it takes different kind of skill set and personality traits to grasp attention with the help of a written word. More importantly, it leaves a space for reader’s imagination to create individual visualizations.

As I am getting ready to write my own blog entries about my experience with the New Horizons Leadership Programme, I can see how travel is similar in the way that there is a definite starting point and a definite ending point for every trip. And as with every new experience, in the end, you find yourself somewhere else (and maybe unexpected) than you were before. So let the journey begin!

New Horizons Leadership Programme à starting point and first stop: Rīgas cirks

Old space – new space

There is something beautiful but at the same time nostalgic about the moving. Especially if the place you have to move away from is as old and full of memories as Rīgas cirks building. I have always felt there at home. With the upcoming reconstruction this could be our chance to create a new home for circus in Latvia – and to change the narrative of this building for general public who either think of this place as closed or strongly associate it with the traditional circus. One can see glimpses of the circus all around as separate performances in festivals, schools or as street performances. I envision that after reconstructing the Rīgas cirks building there will be not only a physical space for doing circus but the building itself will create memorable impression that circus just like other art forms has an important place in our cultural landscape. In other words, circus will have its own home where just like a child it will be nurtured and then it will set out in the world and expand.

As for now Rīgas cirks office and Riga Circus school both are relocated to a new space – in the other side of Rīga while waiting for the reconstruction to take place. For the circus school the area is perfect because the building is surrounded by a beautiful park where we can do classes outside.

To get the feeling of our new temporary home I want to share this video:  

Connecting – disconnecting – reconnecting

Seems like a lifetime ago Nokia came up with this brilliant slogan: “Connecting people.” In the Covid- era the need for “connecting” is stronger than ever but the phone and even Zoom is not enough, because it lacks eye-to eye contact. Coping with the new reality and constantly changing restrictions have been especially challenging for kids and may affect them in a long term because permanent psychological pressure can have lasting consequences on one’s mental stability depending on a person.

 

Fortunately, it is warm enough to return to outdoor trainings in small groups providing them the opportunity to see each other not only as small squares in a computer screen. The feeling that the connection between circus enthusiasts is limited highlights wider question about how important it is to grow circus community through circus education because those having a personal experience with circus will likely become future artists or future circus spectators. That is why it is necessary to think about how to encourage our kids to identify with Riga Circus school, how to grow community around the school that involves all those who are around us – not only the trainers and kids but the parents as well. And in the middle of all this there is still Covid…

Published on 3.05.2021

NHLP has been made possible with the support of Nordisk Kulturfond and Nordic culture Point, Nordic Council of Ministers, and Lund Municipality