CARP Seminar: sense and non-sense of costumes in circus arts, Ghent 14.1.2020

  • Picture (c) Michiel Devijver

What is the importance of costume design in the creation of a circus production? Nothing is more iconic than traditional circus costumes. But much has changed since the heydays of classical circus. From rejection of this colorful and glamorous heritage costume design has seriously evolved from neutral colors to plain clothes or even training gear to distinguish itself from the glittering sequins and skinny leotards.

Where do we stand now in this rich and fascinating history of costume development in contemporary circus? What are the implications of designing for circus, the limits a designer stumbles on in designing for circus? How can textile innovation influence costume design, and how can this push the limits of circus techniques? Many questions that will be tackled during the first CARP* Morning Seminar.

>> When? Tuesday 14 January 2020, from 10h30 till 14h00, in the framework of Smells Like Circus
>> Where? Huis van Alijn (Kraanlei 65, Ghent, Belgium)
>> Free entrance, but reservation is mandatory – please confirm your presence here

Keynote speakers

Marie Vandecaveye – Circus costumes in Belgian 20th-century circus. Illustrated by the House of Alijn-collection

Marie Vandecaveye (B) is researcher and curator at the House of Alijn. The museum of daily life explores customs, traditions and rituals from the recent and distant past. The museum collection includes objects, pictures, sound and movies from 20th- and 21st-century daily life. An important section of the collection consists of circus heritage. This rich circus collection contains posters, photographs, costumes and circus attributes from 20th-century Belgian circus life. The House of Alijn is the only Flemish museum that keeps this kind of extensive and well documented circus collection, examined from a cultural and historical point of view.

Marion Guyez & Karine Saroh – Research on circus costumes at the French National Center for Circus Arts: from textile and design innovations to gender representation.

Dr. Karine Saroh (FR) holds a PhD in Performing Arts (Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès). She focuses on multidisciplinary stages (theatre, music, circus). She has worked as an assistant researcher at the ICiMa chair at the French Centre national des arts du cirque for one year (2018-2019).
Dr. Marion Guyez (FR) is assistant professor at Université Grenoble Alpes and artistic co-director of la Compagnie d’Elles. She holds a PhD in Performing arts: articulating theory and practice, her dissertation studies hybridization of acrobatics and text on contemporary circus stages. Marion Guyez has worked as assistant researcher at the ICiMa chair at the French Centre national des arts du cirque (2017-2018) and has published on circus, gender, and aesthetics in peer-reveiwed and online journals.

Aline Breucker – The Wonders of costume design. How to translate an idea to reality during the creation of a production

Aline Breucker (B) is a visual artist, a performer, a scenographer and costume designer. She graduated from Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels de La Cambre in Brussels in 2005. Her fascination for the relation of body and space, the machinery of the theater making leads her to explore new forms of showing. Since2009, together with Quintijn Ketels, she co-directs the Circus company Side-Show. She co-created and was on stage in the first two pieces of their “trilogy of the imagination”: Wonders (2013), Spiegel im Spiegel (2017).She is currently working on the latest part of the trilogy “ Permit , oh Permit my soul to be rebel”( 2022 ).      

Anne-Catherine Kunz – Costume and architecture of the moving body. On how a costume can support and contribute to the architecture of the body and the movement

Anne-Catherine Kunz (CH) is a costume designer who has also participated in video, documentary, and multimedia productions. She was the costume director for Rosas between 2000 and 2013 and created costumes for Small Hands (out of the lie of no) (2001), Zeitung (2008), The Song (2009), En Atendant (2010), Cesena (2011), Partita 2 (2013), Vortex Temporum (2013), Golden Hours (2015), Work/Arbeid/ Travail (2015), Die Weise von Leben und Tod des Cornet Christophe Rilke (2015), A Love Supreme (2017) and Zeitigung (2017). Since 2013 she works as a freelance costume designer for Dance, Theatre and Cinema. She has created costumes for various productions by Josse De Pauw, Vincent Dunoyer, Deufert-Plischke, Joachim Koester, Etienne Guilloteau, Claire Croizé, Manu Riche, Heine Avdal & Yukiko Shinozaki, Esther Salamon, Ahilan Ratnamohan, Maxime Kurvers, Ictus and Alexander Van Turnhout.

Lukas Brandl – Motivation of design: The relation of the costume to your act

Lukas Brandl (DE) started with performing magic in 2008. As Duo Luko, with Kolja Huneck, they began to combine magic and juggling. They toured with their act “Off School” internationally became the German vice-champion of general magic in 2019. He recently graduated from the Codarts Circusarts where he fine-tuned the combination of dynamic juggling and visual magic. For his graduation act „Alyate“ he wanted to keep well clear of the stereotypical magic costumes that are usually known. His research  resulted in a bespoke design that enables free acrobatic movement without affecting both the dramatic and technical purposes of his act.

*) CARP or Circus Arts Research Platform is a resource platform for scholars, students and professionals interested in circus arts studies and a collaborative project between circus arts resource centers, circus networks and researchers.