Ny Cirkus Festival 2016 is over. The festival presented the maturity of the genre, and showed how much heart, innovation and inspirational wisdom are contained in contemporary circus today. It was a festival with focus on the essence of this hybrid art form, and on the process of creation, where profound psychological and philosophical questions were juggled.

Contemporary circus is much more than just entertainment. It’s a language that floods the body and conveys emotions, life philosophy and passion directly to the audience, as proven by a.o. Le Vide’s tireless Sisyphus climber and Circus Ronaldo’s lonely clown, who took the audience through the whole set of emotions. The mentalist Kurt Demey illustrated that everything is possible, as did the hair hanging furies from Capilotractées, albeit in a different way with their utter contempt of pain. Outdoors Pol & Freddy and Defracto gathered enthusiastic crowds and surprised passers-by. La Cosa’s wood men, Marathon’s knife thrower and the frenzied acrobat Aneckxander put the absurdity of contemporary circus in focus in a confrontation with the civilized human being, meanwhile partners in life and acrobatics, Henrik & Louise, displayed the hard labour behind the circus glamour. 

A magical era has come to an end
This festival sees the end of an era. For KIT it was the last festival with contemporary circus as the single focus. The first festival took place in 2005, and since then the eight festivals have helped spread the presence and manifest the importance of contemporary circus in the Danish performing arts landscape. 

We have presented established companies such as Australian Acrobat and C!rca, French Les Colporteurs and Cirque Äital, Finnish Circo Aereo, British Gandini Juggling and The Tiger Lillies and Swiss Zimmermann & de Perrot. There have been young vibrant companies such as Finnish Race Horse Company, French Galapiat and Oktobre and Swedish Sisters. And not least fascinating and innovative solo artists such as Phia Ménard/Non Nova, Jeanne Mordoj and Johann le Guillerm.

The growth of contemporary circus continues
The popular clowns from Okidok helped boost national tours, so that it’s no longer just the Copenhageners who get the pleasure of watching contemporary circus. Sending companies on tour in connection with the festival is now a permanent part of KIT’s activities. In addition to that, several festivals, theatres and cultural centres now present contemporary circus as an integral part of their programme.

Nycirkus på Skemaet (Contemporary Circus in the Curriculum) was launched in 2014 and has since brought circus out to thousands of school children, and it continues to do so in cooperation with municipalities across the country with support from the Nordea Foundation. Contemporary circus as an educational tool helps bring creativity, physical movement and co-operation into the regular school day, and it is met with great acclaim by students and teachers alike. 

Acknowledgement of contemporary circus.
The art form now has its feet planted firmly in the Danish art scene. AFUK is in charge of a higher education, contemporary circus is recognised by the grant-making authorities, and not least, the genre has demonstrated its aesthetic and artistic merits, all while it has gained a large and loyal audience across the country. 

Although this was our last festival dedicated to circus, it doesn’t mean that we have finished presenting this genre. With Metropolis we will continue to present contemporary circus, created for or presented in relation to specific locations.




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The third publication in the Changing Metropolis series is ready. 53 articles and 300 pages where artists, architects and academics who participated in the festival and laboratory delve into topics and themes from Metropolis 2012-15.

You find articles by architects and city planners working with cultural planning and temporariness; by artists confronting and expanding possibilities and limitations in the city; by academics giving the urban artistic practice a broader societal perspective. You also find more than 100 photos from four years of artistic actions in Copenhagen using domino blocks, plastic bubbles, corn, tape, tiles, string, etc.

Changing Metropolis III is available online here.

If you are interested in the printed version, it is available for DKK 150 (incl. delivery to Denmark) and DKK 200 for delivery to the rest of Europe. Send a mail with your order to info@kit.dk


Based on the performance and exhibition “100% Copenhagen”, we address one of todays’ hottest topics: refugees and asylum seekers. 100 individuals, who have been granted asylum in Denmark, are the participants of the new project. We go further than the recent arrivals from current crises and put equal focus on refugees from China, Russia, Somalia, Hungary etc. We are working towards an exhibition and a major staging with one-on-one meetings in Spring 2017.