«Upsala-Circus» put «Point» in the cultural forum in St. Petersburg

© Photo : Vasily Vostrukhin/ Press service of «Upsala-Circus»Festival in Uppsala Park«Upsala-Circus» put «Point» in the cultural forum in St. Petersburg© Photo : Vasily Vostrukhin/ Press service of «Upsala-Circus»

The performance of the «Upsala-Circus» «Point,» which was presented at the VI St. Petersburg international cultural forum, provoked a wide debate about the possibilities of creative projects in the areas of social risk, including colonies and private educational schools for children.

«Upsala-Circus», which is positioned as the world’s only circus for hooligans, exists in St. Petersburg since 2000. Here mainly the pupils of correctional schools and children with special needs. Participation in performances where traditional circus genres together with elements of street culture, like parkour and break dance, helps them not only to realize talents, but also to change the life script.

According to her, is now in the project «Upsala-Circus» involving about 90 children and adolescents, including 30 children center «Pacitan» for children with down syndrome, created in September 2016. Selection in special schools begins with a week-long master classes, held by the trainers of the «Upsala-Circus» and teenagers from the senior group, then the children receive certificates «circus of hooligans» and during the year attend as observers, and then begin to directly participate in performances and go on tour.

«In the first year, when children come, for us the main task is to build the motivation to talk about our creative space and immersed in his children, that they see that can choose between the world where they came from, and the world of the «Upsala-Circus», — said Larisa Afanasyeva. — And then begins what is called the individual approach: give each child a turnkey solution with the words: «I know how to do it and you teach, whether you like it or not, you will be fine, and then say thank you», and go after him, very carefully to observe, to listen to what is already inherent in it».

While in the practice of «Upsala-Circus» there were cases when its graduates become professional circus artists, but they have the opportunity to improve their skills. «For the guys from the senior group, and those graduates who are interested to develop further, we have made professional circus performance «the Effect of a ping-pong ball» — the story of how an unremarkable thing like a ping-pong table can suddenly be the center around which revolves the whole world,» said Larisa Afanasyeva.

She considers «a real challenge» the fact that the 2017 festival FRINGE in Edinburgh this presentation was shown as a professional creative program, not as a social project. All in all, «Upsala-Circus» shows, every year about 45 performances. One of the most soulful — «Point» — was presented on November 16 at the Saint-Petersburg international cultural forum.

© Photo : Vasily Vostrukhin/ Press service of «Upsala Circus»Performance «We shared the Mandarin»«Upsala-Circus» put «Point» in the cultural forum in St. Petersburg© Photo : Vasily Vostrukhin/ Press service of «Upsala Circus»Performance «We shared the Mandarin»
Circus in a special school

The idea of this play, where documentaries combined with circus elements, originated in the framework of the project «Circus behind the fence» with the participation of the boys from special school No. 1 closed type in the Primorsky district of St. Petersburg educational institutions for children and teenagers with deviant behavior. Working on a show based on true stories from the lives of the pupils, was preceded by a three-year period, when employees of «Upsala-Circus» dealt with them several times a week.

«Juggling and acrobatics — of course, but the main focus of the exercises we did to practice parkour, which, you might say, became the language of communication, as it is a discipline of the streets, where children feel at ease. And then at some point it’s time to get out of a comfortable format and do the next step, which was the play «the spot», — told RIA Novosti coordinator of the project «Circus behind the fence» Anna badulina.

After the establishment of a performance with participation of pupils approved by the head of the special school, to help the «Upsala-Circus» came two professional theater playwright and Director: Natalia Burenko and Maria Kolosova, who privately discussed with each prospective artist his story, agreeing on what can be brought to the public. «When processing this dictaphone records had been classified secret. Otherwise we would just forever lost the trust of guys,» recalls Anna badulina.

«Upsala-Circus» put «Point» in the cultural forum in St. Petersburg© RIA Novosti / Alexei Filippoupolitis in potomacsoft, kindness and love as a way ispravleniya admits that in the first stage pupils of the closed special schools embraced the project without enthusiasm: «through their postures, conversations, demeanor was felt that the educational institution visited a lot of different organizations that invited the boys activities in which they participated just nothing to do, not knowing why it is necessary for each personally — said the coordinator of the project «Circus behind the fence». And the atmosphere changed only when the guys realized that we are not going to forcibly put something into their heads when the conversation went about the life history of each of them, when we started with them to consult about this or other accommodation, scenic options in General. We can say that we were treated on an equal footing — as partners, not just adults.»

Today the cast consists of about 20 people, and makeup artists from time to time is updated when one of the pupils leaves the school. Despite the rotation, a few teenagers continues to play in «the Point», even after leaving the walls of educational institutions.

«One of the boys, whose story tells of his relationship with his father, is now studying in a regular school, it’s all good. On the show, which will be held in the framework of the Cultural forum, it will come as a traditional artist, just because he is still interested. And this, I think, a very important indicator of the importance and relevance of the project,» added Anna badulina.

© Photo : Vasily Vostrukhin/ Press service of «Upsala Circus»Performance «I am the bass»«Upsala-Circus» put «Point» in the cultural forum in St. Petersburg© Photo : Vasily Vostrukhin/ Press service of «Upsala Circus»Performance «in the bass»
Lessons for teachers

The main question that was raised during the UF, the prospects and scale of such creative initiatives.

«We are trying to answer the question of how to make projects such as «Point», the long and relatively massive in terms of expanding the coverage of closed state institutions», — told RIA Novosti the head of the project «School of circus pedagogy Upsala-Circus» Faith Zhukov.

According to her, while considered two options for the promotion of creative projects in the walls of the schools: either the team Director and coaches conducting classes with students on their territory several times a week, or is there on a permanent basis for one to two months. In any case, ready circus performance demonstrates to the public not only where there is a special school, but in the other cities.

«It needs to solve multiple tasks, from finding and training people who are ready to work with children, to reach agreements with the administrations of state institutions, funding the production of the play and further impressions. The goal is certainly ambitious, but achieving it can give a very good effect,» — says Vera Zhukov.

According to her, participation in such events as Cultural forum, allows you to «Upsala-circus» to move in this direction, simultaneously exchanging experiences with those enthusiasts who are also engaged in creative projects in areas of social risk. They include, for example, the head of the theatre Nucleo Horatio Chertok, who worked in the prison theatres of Italy.

© Photo : Vasily Vostrukhin/ Press service of «Upsala-Circus»birthday «Upsala-Circus»«Upsala-Circus» put «Point» in the cultural forum in St. Petersburg© Photo : Vasily Vostrukhin/ Press service of «Upsala-Circus»birthday «Upsala-Circus»

«Our global idea is to facilitate interaction with government agencies, to learn their opinion about the selection of creative tools of interaction with children who they now have a better understanding of their needs in partnership with theatre and circus groups, to explain what might give us all a partnership. Of course, if Cultural forum has not provided «Upsala-Circus» the opportunity to organize such a dialogue would be more difficult,» — says Vera Zhukov.

Relying on the scale of creative projects in the closed educational institutions for children and adolescents, «Upsala-Circus» intend primarily to engage in the training. As reported by Vera Zhukova, in 2018 it is planned to introduce a one-year training program for social workers and teachers of additional education. «This course includes several modules, from organizational topics to the creative part, allow the child to open up through the image which he is familiar and understandable. Relatively speaking, this is not equilibrium, where are you in glitter and gold suit bent on the stage, and a room where you can dance in a fashionable cap and lowered the pants,» she said.

© Photo : Vasily Vostrukhin/ Press service of «Upsala-Circus»birthday «Upsala-Circus»«Upsala-Circus» put «Point» in the cultural forum in St. Petersburg© Photo : Vasily Vostrukhin/ Press service of «Upsala-Circus»birthday «Upsala-Circus»

The head of the «Upsala-Circus» Larisa Afanasieva added that he aims in a short time to engage in creative projects as much as possible «hooligans». «Nothing happens quickly, and for the formation of what is called the new culture must, above all, to build educational programs to prepare people. You can build a huge number of tents all over Russia, but it will give only the form of work with children, and not the content. So for us expansion — a question of time and create a new culture,» she concluded.

RIA Novosti became the General information partner of the VI St. Petersburg international cultural forum, which took place 16-18 November. RIA Novosti — the flagship information resource media group «Russia today». Ria.ru read over 2 million users daily, making it to the top news portals Runet. The cumulative audience of RIA Novosti news Agency in social networks is about 9 million subscribers.