Circus Factory’s Youth Ensemble have been busy preparing a show for us all taking place on December 16th. It’s the ultimate showdown of Christmas vs Halloween and all attendees are encourage to pick a side. But first things first, what is the Youth Ensemble?
Circus Factory’s Youth Circus Youth Ensemble
The Circus Factory Youth Ensemble is a collective of young people age between 10 and 18, who meet regularly on a Saturday. The group are based in Cork City and create circus performances exploring a mix of skills including acrobatics, tight wire, aerial and object manipulation. The purpose of the group is to give young circus enthusiasts in Cork an opportunity to be part of an ensemble to create exciting new circus performances, based on their own creative interests.
The group came about from chats and talks with the young people who attend our regular Youth Circus classes. They wanted a chance to make an ambitious show. Not everyone, however, who joins our circus does so to perform, so we created a separate group. Lots of people do circus for various different reasons like learning new tricks, exercise, making friends and largely, because it’s super fun! This group gives young people in our programme the option to opt-in for performing, whilst also allowing us in our usual classes to focus on training.
The Process of Making a Show
We asked the Youth Ensemble “How did you find the process of making a show?”
I thought it was really insightful apart from just the usual messing around and the fun that we have. It brought a more kind of career orientated side to Circus Factory and I thought that was really really amazing to see the difference between the twoT, 16
Oh, I quite enjoyed it. It was really fun but it was a bit chaotic at the start because we didn’t really know and we had like new people joining, so they kind of had to find out what they enjoyed most about creating a show and like what kind of like props they like to use and what’s their kind of talent with quotations type of thing and I quite enjoyed it. I really did I got to like learn new skills and it was a very very fun experience and as someone who wants to perform professionally, I think it was a great experience as my first proper. Because we did one last year, but it was less show class – it was more like oh we kind of just incorporated what we enjoyed doing into a show, but it was never flowing movement.N, 16
Terrifying, just scary because like you know like you have to learn so much in such a short short period of time that’s pretty terrifying. It was cool, it’s fun.M, 18
What does the Youth Ensemble do?
So far this year the group have been able to explore new ideas to create their own circus performance and engage with the creative landscape of Cork city. We’ve taken ourselves out of our training space and have attended different venues such as Crawford Art Gallery, the Marina Market and The Everyman, including seeing various shows and street performances as part of Pitch’d Circus and Street Arts Festival.
Working with our Youth Coaches, who double as practising professional circus artists, Kate Mitchell and Blaithin Gallagher, the group have been putting together a show utilising their various skills and interests. The group have also had the opportunity to work with different visiting artists to learn new skills including workshops in physical theatre from Curious Legends, box juggling with Cormac Mohally, aerial silks with Linda Cullen and acrobatics with Haj Murphy. They have also gained insight into the various behind the scenes elements of putting together a show including marketing, fundraising and tech supported by the Circus Factory Team.
The Youth Ensemble programme gives young people in Circus Factory a chance to create and share their own stories through circus as an art form. The programme gives young people the chance to expand on their training, gain professional experience and learn more about performing and in the process learn new things about themselves. The programme does not just benefit participants, because as a community, we benefit from witnessing and experiencing their new creative work that highlights their perspectives. The project has also helped introduce the young people to think more about career options within creative industries such as circus and I have no doubts the future of Circus in Cork is in excellent hands!Izzy Dogliani, Circus Factory Youth & Social Outreach Co-ordinator
Do They View Circus Differently Now?
We asked the group if making the show changed the way they view circus, they said:
I kind of always been interested in the circus like I went for my first Cirque du Soleil show when I was 10 and I’ve always been I was like ‘oh I want to do that one when I’m older. And ever since I’ve been trying to do that so I think by being here and performing the shows. I think it helps kind of make my dream come true almost.N, 16
I think it has a good bit. Again just from the usual messing around and the fun of it to really putting something together that is our own just to have our own thing that we can work on is a really nice feeling.T, 16
Yeah, kind of. I thought like the only shows that there would be are like big fancy productions like Cirque du Soleil and like Tent Circuses and that was essentially it. Because I didn’t know circus was a thing until like five months ago, six months ago. Well I knew it was a thing but I didn’t know it was this common. Yeah, so it’s pretty cool.M, 18
How to Join the Youth Circus Youth Ensemble
If you are interested in getting involved in the Youth Ensemble next year, we will be kicking off next term on the 13th January.
We would love to have you join us! There is no auditions process, the only requirement is committing to and enthusiasm for circus. You can book a place in the youth class via our website.