We are inviting Circus artists to a series of open, held spaces for discussion – driven by topics that you feel preoccupied with at this time.
Upswing’s Slow Thinking is a series of collective, online conversations that respond to, and are driven by, the needs of the circus sector. These conversations are free to attend and serve as an open space for individuals working in the circus sector – freelance artists, educators, producers, directors and technicians – as well as circus organisations.
We don’t currently have any upcoming events. Click here to join our mailing list and we’ll update you when the next Slow Thinking event is happening
Below is an outline of the Slow Thinking session’s we’ve held so far, including recorded sessions and summary sheets.
Session 7: Tools and Strategies to Look After Performers’ and Creatives’ Mental Health In The Rehearsal Process
Co-Organised with Mimbre
Looking after performers’ and creatives’ mental health feels more important now than ever. Mimbre and Upswing have come together to organise a Slow Thinking session specifically aimed at circus artists, creatives, directors and producers, in order to share concrete tools and strategies to build a supportive and caring rehearsal and creation process.
Session 6: Creating Circus In Extraordinary Times
Since the last Slow Thinking session in July, the sector has been finding ways to create, to present work, and to engage audiences both online and in person. In Session 6, we discussed creation in these extraordinary times, with some food for thought provided by circus artists and organisations in the form of newly created work. These creative insights – shared as audio-visual content – served as a springboard for an open collective discussion.
Session 5: Circus Snapshot
We were delighted to host Circus Snapshot for this edition of Slow Thinking.
Circus Snapshot is a qualitative research project which was completed prior to lockdown in February 2020. Commissioned by Crying Out Loud, funded by Arts Council England and led by Daisy Drury, its aim is to draw together the professional, subsidised circus sector and to begin to create new pathways for its development.
Crying Out Loud are now inviting people to register to stay connected with Circus Snapshot and find out more about the 8 refreshed Missions and 2 Sector Support Groups that emerged following the meeting. Our next collective steps are to shape the conversations from Slow Thinking into deeper discussions and to find actions we can take forward to strengthen the circus sector across its many facets.
Session 4: Horizon Scanning
Slow Thinking 4 continued to deepen the discussion around the processes of creating work. The session was split into two groups, with participants deciding which group they wanted to attend.
Circus Artist Angeliki Meli drew on personal experience to host a group in considering the strategies of creating work at a distance or online, focusing on process rather than product. Participants were encouraged to bring and discuss works-in-progress. Kate Webb facilitated a conversation on the ways we can equip artists for an uncertain future in a relevant and responsive way, asking ‘We don’t know how long our sector will take to recover so what skills are important? How do we articulate what we do and what we know to the wider sector?’.
The session welcomed training providers, as well as emerging artists, graduates and students.
Session 3: FUTURE THINKING
Session 3 focused on The Future – big topic! We shifted the structure of the conversation slightly and plan to host ‘breakout rooms’. These breakouts encompassed the various strands we’ve touched upon so far: audiences & engagement, creation & digital, learning & development and what the future may look like for shows in venues.
Session 2: QUALITY & CREATION IN THE DIGITAL SPACE
Session 2 asked “What are the qualities and needs of work online or on the screen?”. We explored this in terms of work for the screen, and in terms of curation or creating in the digital space:
Circus and Film : What does quality mean and what does it look like? What features become significant – choreography and circus skills? Production and framing? Concept and story?
Circus and Digital : What are the creative possibilities of Circus in the digital space?
This session included contributions and provocations from: Donna Close, creative director and cultural strategist; Joumana Mourad, IJAD Dance; Raphael Herault & Summer Hubbard, Double Take Cinematic Circus; and Mark Morreau, cinematographer & digital artist.
Session 1: CIRCUS AT A DISTANCE
In our first session, we explored circus at a distance. The current situation has forced us to think about what happens when we are unable to share live collective experiences. What are the alternatives that satisfy the needs we have for community, for watching circus, learning and for developing new ideas?
This session included contributions and provocations from: Kate Hartoch, Circus City Festival; Amelia Cavallo, Quiplash; Charlie Wheeller, NetFLIPS; Mark Morreau, Cinematographer and Digital Artist; Rapael Herault and Summer Hubbard; and Joe Fearn, CircusMASH.