Bounce - professional development programme
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Bounce - professional development programme




    Bounce is a mentoring programme dedicated to providing tools, connections, knowledge and resources to the next generation of contemporary circus and outdoor arts workers. It proposes skills for future steps, giving a space for participants to explore creative, relational, and economic potential in an international context and deepen their reflection on their working environment through the prism of Circostrada's annual red threads. The programme offers an individual 16-hour tailor-made programme and a collective reflection on the participants’ work and professional environment.

    • To encourage mutual transmission between more junior and more senior contemporary circus and outdoor arts workers; 
    • To help tomorrow's contemporary circus and outdoor arts workers grow and gain experience;
    • To enrich and diversify the understanding of the issues and realities of the contemporary circus and outdoor arts sectors; 
    • To connect the next contemporary circus and outdoor arts workers with one another in order to develop a sustainable community of solidarity;
    • To reflect on the annual topic of Circostrada (Common body/ies) and include it in their practice. 
    • A 16-hour development programme with a facilitator from Circostrada members and external experts; 
    • Participation in a kick-off event in order to meet the other participants and facilitators (including travel, per diems, and accommodation);
    • 3 workshops (1 online and 2 on-site) guided by experts and connected to Circostrada’s annual red thread. Participants will reflect on this topic with researchers, thinkers, and workers focused on projects and actions around solidarity, mutualisation, collective intelligence, among other topics related to the commons; 
    • A 250€ budget for a mobility grant for an in-person meeting with your facilitator or a fee for an external expert of your choice to advise you on your project; 
    • A meeting with last year's Bounce programme participants; 
    • Participation in the Circostrada General Meeting (including travel, per diems, and accommodation);
    • An alumni platform where participants can exchange and create a long-lasting community, including last year's participants and facilitators. 

    The facilitators are members of Circostrada Network. Each facilitator will be chosen according to the criteria described and proposed by the participant in their application. 



      1. Professionals from the contemporary circus and outdoor arts sectors residing preferably in Creative Europe eligible countries;
      2. The candidate must have between 3 to 7 years of professional experience in the contemporary circus and outdoor arts fields;
      3. The candidate must be working in the field of contemporary circus or outdoor arts and have a specific project in mind as the focus for this programme. 

      Bounce is dedicated to contemporary circus and outdoor arts workers who wish to expand their creative, relational and business capacities, and reflect on their professional environment in the light of the annual red thread of Circostrada (Common body/ies for Year#3)

      Example of contemporary circus and outdoor arts proposals that can be submitted (non-exhaustive list): 

      • Editorial projects (print and digital); 
      • Development of a cultural center programming; 
      • Production of a festival programming; 
      • Production of academic events (laboratories, symposiums, hackathons, etc.); 
      • Development and production of residencies. 


      The programme DOES NOT accept artistic projects nor proposals dedicated to touring or creating new shows. 


      Want to have some concrete examples? Check out the year participants' profiles HERE



      If your application is selected, your presence will be required throughout the entire programme, at the kick-off event just before the Fresh international seminar in France (18-22 September, 2023) and at the Circostrada Annual General Meeting in Rastatt, Germany (28 May - 2 June 2024) for the Tête-à-tête festival.

      You can apply by using our form (launching in April 2023). You will be asked to upload a CV that must be written in English. Any material about your current project (photos, note of intent, mocks-up etc.) must be collected and sent as one pdf. attached.



      • The motivation of the candidate; 
      • The innovative aspect of the project*
      • How the projects foster and empower contemporary circus and outdoor arts; 
      • The candidate’s ability to identify their needs. 
      • Project proposals that are in line with this year’s red thread: “Common body/ies”  will be prioritised, but the programme don’t exclude projects with another approach. 

      The Circostrada steering committee and coordination team will be responsible for selecting the participants. Each year, the programme will host 4 participants. 

      Bounce seeks to establish a safe and welcoming space that ensures participation of the widest range of participants. Circostrada will be particularly vigilant in ensuring that the programme is inclusive in terms of geography, backgrounds, identities, abilities, type of project and sector affiliations. 


      By "innovative", we mean the aspect of your project that brings added value and encourages a change in the status quo. It may be a new way of connecting with communities, changing the way we think about performing arts, thinking about the economic  reality of contemporary circus and outdoor arts workers, etc.




      Grete Gross / Artistic Director of EPICIRQ showcase (Estonia) 

      Grete Gross is an Estonian contemporary circus artist and organiser. In her artistic work, cross-disciplinary aspects of beauty and tales of life are the keywords. Since 2016, she has had her heart in the development of the Estonian circus scene. In 2018 she started the Estonian circus showcase, which from 2019 grew into a biannual Baltic contemporary circus showcase - EPICIRQ. While still continuing to perform with her main groupe, Big Wolf Company, Grete is dedicated to her work as a board member at Estonian Contemporary Circus Development Centre and at growing EPICIRQ. All for the aim of circus becoming a sustainable, established artform in Estonia.

      More info: 


      Elise Missall / Multimedia Publisher and Arts Facilitator (Germany/Ireland) 

      lise Missall is a multimedia publisher and arts facilitator operating at the intersection of movement training and the performing arts. In 2017, she co-founded Motion Impulse alongside two Circus Artists, focusing on producing comprehensive online courses for physical development, offering a complete syllabus for hand balance and flexibility training. She also coordinates international, in-person training intensives and seminars.

      In 2020, Elise established the Handstand Press Magazine, a printed publication that delves into the art, research, and practice of handstands. Through this platform, she collaborates with numerous Circus Artists, assisting them in articulating their practice and amplifying their work to a wider audience within the Circus Community and beyond. Building on this, Elise recently co-founded Motion Chapel in 2023, a dedicated Circus residency space located in Ireland, specialising in providing support and fostering the growth of ground-based Circus and Street Arts throughout the country.

      More info:


      Nikolaos Verginis / Cultural Journalist and Researcher (Greece) 

      Nick Verginis is a Greek cultural journalist and researcher, often having worked in cultural magazines. Born and raised in Athens with a background in Media Studies, he is currently based in Amsterdam, about to graduate from his Research Master’s studies on Cultural Leadership at the University of Groningen. A speaker of Greek, English, Italian, a bit of Norwegian, and Dutch, Nick is interested in thinking, researching, and writing for Circus, with a particular interest in artist residencies, their organisation, and potential models.


      Do Verschragen & Chiva Bons (The Netherlands) / Director & Programmer duo

      Chiva Bons (1992) and Do Verschragen (1990) are the founders of Circusbende, an organisation that explores radical accessibility of contemporary circus arts in the city of Amsterdam. They are the directors and programmers of the annual Circusbende Festival (since 2018) and are inspired to specialise in the programmation of circus in public spaces. With roots in the alternative scene, they are motivated by projects that balance between artistic creation and social impact. 'It can also be done differently' is the motto with which they address capitalist culture. Chiva and Do are driven by ideals, activism, chaos, missions and fun.

      More info:


      Antonia Kuzmanić / Co-Director of ROOM100 (Croatia)


      Antonia Kuzmanić is co-leader of the ROOM 100 collective based in Split. She started her circus life as an artist – in 2010, ROOM 100 has been awarded as laureate of „Jeunes Talents Cirque Europe“. In 2015, she moved her focus from touring to designing and implementing projects of developing the sector in the region. At the moment, she is the director and producer of the Peculiar Families Festival, HALA 100 and „Circus on the periphery“ program and coordinating activities of the international project ROOM 100 is part of. Since 2018, Antonia is part of the Steering Committee of Circostrada Network.

      More info:

      Antonia Kuzmanić is facilitating Grete Gross' work.


      Joe Mackintosh / Artistic Director and CEO of Out There Arts (United-Kingdom)


      Joe Mackintosh is the Artistic Director and CEO of Out There Arts – a National Centre for Outdoor Arts and Circus based in Great Yarmouth on the East Coast of England. Joe has built the organisation over 25 years. The work of Out There includes the Out There International Festival of Street Arts and Circus, The Drill House Creation Centre, Artists Housing, the Ice House, Local, National and International partnerships for creation, touring and community participation, and a wide range of year-round events that engaged 120,000 people In Real Life in the last year.

      Great Yarmouth is a disadvantaged area and Out There has a strong emphasis on socio-economic regeneration, community empowerment, and growing participation and engagement with those otherwise least engaged in Culture including the large diverse migrant community in the neighbourhood around the Drill House. Out There was largely grown through International Work including 23 EU projects between 2007 and 2021. Post-Brexit, Internationalism through Reciprocation remains central to the organisation’s mission.

      More info:

      Joe Mackintosh is facilitating Do Verschragen & Chiva Bons' work.


      Lotta NevalainenHead of international development at the Circus & Dance Info Finland (Finland) 


      Lotta Nevalainen works as a head of international development at the Circus & Dance Info Finland. She manages international relations and promotion, artistic development projects, seminars and offers advice to artists on their projects – with a focus on strengthening collaboration and networks as well as increasing visibility of Finnish circus arts. She has participated in several curatorial committees for the performing arts showcases and festivals. In addition to day job, she acts as a chair of the Arts Council of Uusimaa at Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike) and a board member at the Theatre Museum in Helsinki.

      She holds a BA Hons in Art & Design and Drama from University of Northampton, UK and a MA in Drama and Theatre Research from University of Tampere, Finland.

      More info:

      Lotta Nevalainen is facilitating Nikolaos Verginis' work.


      Géraldine WernerCo-founder and Co-director of AY-ROOP (France) 



      Géraldine is the co-founder and co-director of AY-ROOP in Rennes, a production, distribution and administration agency as well as a platform for supporting artists and a residency space. She has been co-directing the structure and implementing its artistic and cultural project ans is, at the same time, deputy director of Etienne Saglio's Compagnie Monstres. Twenty years of professional experience have given her an in-depth knowledge of the artistic and cultural sector, particularly the contemporary circus. Throughout her career, in addition to supporting the creation of new works, she has been committed to supporting artists' careers and defending a global, shared approach. Géraldine is convinced that circus creation is a formidable vehicle for meaning, movement and links.

      More info:

      Géraldine Werner is facilitating Elise Missall's work.




      Guillem Fuster / Producer and Coordinator (Spain) - 2021-2022

      Guillem Fuster was born in Valencia in 1993. He has been working in theatre since 2015 occupying different positions and roles as an actor, stage assistant, coordinator and producer. In 2018 he and his colleagues established Emília Gargot, a street theater company and in 2019 the same team funded Cruma, the first theater school of Tàrrega. From this project, in 2021, was born SPASA, which is coordinated by Guillem, a series of street performing arts workshops that invite performing arts professionals to know how to work in the public space. 

      He is collaborating with other companies like Fadunito and he is a member of the network of Spanish street arts PATEA.

      More info:


      Matteo Giovanardi / Cultural Project Manager (Italy) - 2021-2022

      Matteo Giovanardi is a young cultural project manager with a strong focus on festivals, cultural centres, audience development and community empowerment. He graduated from University of Bologna’s Cultural Management and Performing Arts Entrepreneurship master’s degrees, and since 6 years has been involved in the development of new projects and communities for festivals and cultural centres in the Emilia-Romagna region.

      He collaborates with Dinamico Festival, one of the main contemporary circus festivals in Italy, on local and international projects and he has participated in international networks such as Trans Europe Halles and Adeste+, as well as collaborating with public space performances and regeneration projects such as Periferico Festival and Laboratori Aperti Emilia-Romagna.

      More info: LinkedIn 


      Alice Greenhill / ZirkusON Network Coordinator (Germany) - 2021-2022

      Alice Greenhill is the network coordinator and the administrative and financial director of Zirkus ON - the German alliance for contemporary creation. Living in Berlin for almost 10 years, she did a career change in 2019 from the business sector to the circus art sector. Since 2019 she is active in the federal association of contemporary circus in Germany called “BUZZ” and is working for the recognition of circus as an art form.

      More info:


      Dora Komenda / Artist and Programme Coordinator (Croatia) - 2021-2022

      Dora Komenda is a Croatian architect and circus artist. Since 2018. she is also the curator and programme coordinator in Cirkus Kolektiv - association for contemporary circus and related artistic practices in Split, Croatia. She works as an architect since 2014, owns an architecture agency Kolektiv tri since 2021 and is active in both professions simultaneously.

      More info: Instagram


      Valentina Barone / Freelance cultural manager, editor, and producer (Germany/Italy) - 2022-2023

      Valentina Barone is a freelance cultural manager, content editor, and creative producer specializing in the contemporary circus and performing arts sector with a focus on international relations. With a master's in Relational Design, she applies its principles to curatorial practices. As a freelance cultural manager and creative producer, she supports organizations, festivals, and artists' companies, taking care of their design, promotion, and managing goals.

      As an editor and coordinator for the digital platform Around/About Circus, she creates content to reflect and disseminate knowledge about the international circus and performing arts artistic productions.

      More info:


      Sabine Maringer / Circus artist and circus advocat (Austria) - 2022-2023

      Sabine Maringer, MA is an circus artist and circus advocat as well a cultural manager in the field of contemporary circus in Vienna. She is the co founder of Kaskade Festival for contemporary circus in Austria, the co founder and manager of an online calender for contemporary circus events in Austria and on the board of IG Kultur Vienna, responsible for Street theatre and Circus, as well she was the director and performer of Belle Etage Streettheater an international touring street theatre company from 2010 to 2022. Currently she is researching the topic : SEX AND CIRCUS - an approch to sex- and bodypositivity in the fields of contemporary circus.

      More info:


      Sebastiano Moltrer / Circus artist and cultural welfare creator (Italy) - 2022-2023

      Sebastiano Moltrer is a circus artist and cultural welfare creator involved in performances, social circus and community theatre projects and initiatives to promote the social capital and cultural heritage of individuals, territories and communities. Over the last 10 years he has studied and collaborated with several diverse socio-cultural organisations both in northern Italy and abroad. His performing art is strongly linked to the world of juggling and physical theatre, and since the beginning of 2022, he has been presenting his socio-cultural work under the stylistic banner of luftmensch forum, navigating the constant desire to build radically different concrete and imaginative spaces that are collaborative, plural and sensitive to submerged epistemologies and social justice.

      More info: lnstagram


      Elisabeth Efua G. Sutherland (Ghana) / Artist - 2022-2023

      Elisabeth Efua G. Sutherland comes from a background in theatre and contemporary performance, with a career that also encapsulates aerial movement practice, cultural production, new media, film and storytelling. Her personal and artistic practice is broad in scope and depth - covering genres from sculpture, drawing, dance, sound, film, design, construction, to education and technology. She runs the artist-led space Terra Alta in Accra, Ghana which has a focus on artist development and ecosystem building.

      More info: Instagram



      Koen Allary / PERPLX Artistic Director (Belgium) - 2021-2022

      Koen Allary is currently the artistic coordinator of PERPLX, one of the leading circus creations centers in Flanders. PERPLX focuses on helping emerging artists by coproduction, residencies and mentorship.
      Koen Allary is also quite internationally oriented, for example he is vice president of the European platform circusnext, board member of Cie XY and Latitude 50. Koen Allary was director of Circuscentrum for 10 years, with which he and his team put contemporary circus on the cultural map in Flanders.
      His motto: circus is not an act, circus is an attitude.

      More info:


      Bruno Costa / Bússola Co-director (Portugal) - 2021-2022

      Bruno Costa holds a master’s degree in Management for the Creative Industries from Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP), with academic research in the processes and mechanisms for internationalization of artistic projects and
      international cooperation, in particular the construction of European cultural identity. He is PhD candidate in Cultural Studies at the Universidade de Aveiro and guest lecturer for “Partnerships, Networks and Internationalization in Creative
      Industries”, at UCP. As co-director of Bússola he has experience in cultural management and strategy, artistic

      More info:


      Isabel Joly / FEDEC Director (Belgium) - 2021-2022

      After studying communication and journalism at the University of Lille, Isabel joined the European Commission in the education and cultural directorate and this immersion in cultural issues at European level gave her professional life a decisive direction.
      She continued her EU experiences by working for the European Parliament, especially in the organization of the Lisbon World Exhibition in 1998. She joined RESEO, the European Network for Opera and Dance education, in 2002, becoming its Director. After 14 rewarding years, Isabel left RESEO for an Antwerp-based musical theater organisation,
      Zonzo Compagnie, whose cutting-edge performances delight the ears of young audiences.
      There she was responsible for coordinating a Big Bang festival that takes place annually in 10 European cities.
      Since January 2018, Isabel is director of FEDEC, the European federation of professional circus schools, where she shares her passion for arts education with its 80 members worldwide, professional schools but also organisations placing the development of circus arts at the heart of their project.

      More info:


      Lucy Medlycott / ISACS Director (Ireland) - 2021-2022

      Trained in sculpture and public art in Limerick School of Art and Design in the early '90s, Lucy Medlycott went on to establish a street arts and carnival company in Wexford (BuiBolg) with a group of colleagues in 1994, with the aim of making art accessible and available to all.
      Lucy has continued to work across the area of street art, spectacle and more recently circus arts believing passionately in the power of arts in and with the community. She is currently the director of the Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle Network, a membership organisation which aims to celebrate, advocate, grow and sustain these
      collective art forms.
      Lucy has been chair of the County Wexford Community Forum, sat on the board of the Wexford Arts Centre, was a member of the steering committee of Circostrada, held a position on the County Wexford Development Board and the Local Community Development Committee and is a current member of the Royal Society of Arts.

      More info:


      Rachel Clare / Artistic Director, Crying Out Loud - 2022-2023

      Rachel Clare (UK) set up Crying Out Loud in 2002 to develop, produce and tour emerging and established cross artform performance including contemporary circus. COL creates opportunities for UK, European and international artists partnering and collaborating with venues, networks and festivals. They also curate and develop one-off special events, the largest was Piccadilly Circus Circus, a pop-up circus spectacular for London 2012’s Cultural Olympiad. At the other end of the scale, during and since the pandemic they have had a focus on Rural Touring with Circus Around & About in the South West of England, and Crossing Borders – Rural Touring in Europe project funded by Perform Europe with 11 partners in 8 European countries. They are in the process of setting up another base in Portsmouth to develop new work interdisciplinary work in the Solent Area.

      More info:


      Marc Eysink Smeets / Executive Director, Circolo - 2022-2023

      Marc Eysink Smeets (The Netherlands) graduated in 1980 as a social worker and got involved in cultural projects by organizing festivals to raise awareness about third-world issues and the multi-culture society. For 10 years he coordinated 13 big music festivals on the Dutch Liberation Day. Since 2006 he’s working as a free lancer to develop concepts for cultural events and to coordinate them. He was responsible for many activities in the Jheronimus Bosch 500 year in The Netherlands and was the founder of Bosch Parade, a floating art procession in ’s-Hertogenbosch. Marc entered the circus field in 2006 by joining the team that was starting Festival Circolo, first as head of marketing and since 2013 as director. He’s founder and board member of Circuspunt, the Dutch platform for the circus sector and of the Circus Chapel, a new circus-residency in The Netherlands.

      More info:


      Kiki Muukkonen / Artistic Director, Subtopia - 2022-2023

      Kiki Muukkonen (Sweden) is Artistic Director of the circus department of the Swedish cultural centre Subtopia, where she has developed its activities since 2008. She manages national and international programming, international relations, residencies and support programs for artists, and has over the years taken part in several international and European cooperation projects. In 2009, she founded the Nordic circus showcase Subcase, which has taken place in ten editions. In 2017, she founded the festival CirkusMania, which is intended to run its 3rd edition next year, in collaboration with a large number of venues around the whole Stockholm region.

      More info:


      Gert Nulens / Director, Dommelhof - 2022-2023

      Gert Nulens (Belgium) is the director of Dommelhof, a cultural institute of the province of Limburg. Dommelhof aims at supporting artistic creation in the domains of circus arts and transdisciplinary arts. Dommelhof welcomes approximately 35 international companies/artists a year. Dommelhof is also the organizer of Theater op de Markt, a festival for street, site specific and circus theatre. Before joining the Dommelhof team, Gert Nulens worked at the University of Brussels (VUB) as the coordinator of a research team specialized in cultural research

      More info:



      Laura Jude (applications, production): 




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      • Facilitator: someone who takes part in a professional development programme in order to facilitate the creative, business and relational evolution of another person. 
      • Participant: someone who takes part in a professional development programme in order to develop their creative, business and relational practices. 
      • Performing arts workers: any skilled person who works in the performing arts field (artist, artistic programmer, presenter, director, producers, etc.).

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