Kurssit: International graduate summer school at Concordia : Writing (about/on/with/at/the) contemporary circus

Concordia University’s Faculty of Arts and Science will again host an international graduate summer seminar with a focus on the performing arts and a particular emphasis on contemporary circus. This will be our third such seminar in as many years.

Last year’s seminar was an important experience for its participants as you can read on their blogs, published in Circus Talk: https://circustalk.com/news/tag/experiential-learning-in-contemporary-circus-practice-seminar-2018/

The seminar filled within weeks, last year and we were only able to accept half of the applicants. 22 students from a dozen countries studied and created together. They came from circus, theatre, dance, experimental video, and music, most of them were graduate (MA or PhD) students with previous life experiences in the performing arts, some were instructors, and a few were professional performers wanting an self-reflective environment in which to think about their art.

Here is the link to the web page which has the application details:

Writing (about/on/with/at/the) contemporary circus

A Seminar on Research-Creation, Creative practices and Meaning-Making


2 to 12 July 2018.

Where, who?

In Montreal, Canada, at Concordia University.

Concordia’s Faculty of Arts and Science International Summer Graduate Seminars is proposing a third contemporary circus-themed seminar taught by Prof. Leroux. This seminar will be held in collaboration with Montréal Complètement Cirque’s International Market of Contemporary Circus.

Accepted students will be housed on our downtown campus in student residences.

Application process

Potential participants must apply by Feb. 28th by submitting a cv and a letter explaining their interest in the seminar, past experiences and how this seminar could be of importance to their academic or creative life. * Last year, less than half the candidates were selected, the letter of intent is very important.

Up to 5 students will be awarded fellowships covering the full tuition. International tuition is roughly 1900$CAN. Out of province: roughly 900$CAN and Quebec residents, roughly 360$CAN.


Dr. Louis Patrick Leroux

Professor in the Department of English & Department of French Studies, Associate Dean of Research in the Faculty of Arts and Science and Associate Researcher at the National Circus School of Montreal. For more information: https://www.concordia.ca/artsci/english/faculty.html?fpid=louis-patrick-leroux

Teaching assistant:

Alisan Funk, doctoral candidate in Education PhD program, McGill University and instructor at the National Circus School.

Description of seminar

This interdisciplinary seminar will provide an opportunity to learn, explore and refine research methods in the performing arts with a focus on contemporary circus and physical theatre. We will have discussions of form and discipline, method, hybridity, writing the body, writing from place, strategies and choices and working with or as performers, and developing the tools to discuss the creative process.

The seminar will be constructed on the principle of experiential learning and self-reflexivity concerning the creative process. The seminar will run all day, 10 am to 5 pm, every weekday. Evenings, students will be encouraged to attend performances of Montréal Complètement cirque in order to discuss the work with the group the next day. The seminar requires a great time commitment over two weeks and is physically demanding.


This is a graduate seminar that has also been opened to professional performing arts practitioners wishing to explore the junction of academic and artistic pursuits. Participants have a fascinating variety of experiences, both artistic and intellectual, for the most part they have experience in circus, theatre, music, video art or dance. Given the diversity of experiences and academic background, we’ll encourage an environment of debate and discussion but also of respect. Students will be expected to attend all morning and afternoon lectures and many of the evening performances as well as to contribute to their blog and experiential research project.

Course objectives

– to offer a space for sustained discussion on research-creation, practice-as-research and experiential modes of research into the performing arts;

– to explore together successful and more challenging examples of such research design, implementation and dissemination;

– to share experiences, expertise and insights into a variety of international and interdisciplinary practices;

– to encourage research-action and to create an environment that fosters embedded research and creation

– to offer an opportunity to articulate a research-creation project or, for students already engaged in a project, to further develop or probe into the complexities of an existing project;

– to create an environment of intellectual and artistic exchange and possibilities that will run alongside a major festival and hopefully contribute further projects and exchanges.