Master classes


Workshops for Experienced Circus Teachers about Developing methods of teaching circus practice in the Baltic-Nordic region will take place on the 11th and 12th of October, in the National School of Film, Elijas Street 17, Riga.

Baltic-Nordic Circus Network in collaboration with Riga Circus organizes the workshops, happening for two consequent days and will be led by two experienced Circus teachers Reija Tapaninen and John Paul Zaccarini. Baltic Nordic Circus Network is interested in articulating how the Baltic and Nordic region can work together to develop circus education and its’ relationship with artistic thinking. Together with instructors, participants will collectively explore approaches to developing practise of teaching circus incorporating both the technical and the artistic qualities required to develop into a contemporary circus artist.

Workshops are aimed at Circus Teachers with experience in Circus teaching.  Participants have to apply in advance by filling in the registration form HERE.

To conclude the two days of workshops, an open event ‘Conversations about Circus’ will take place on the 12th of October, at 6:30 p.m., in venue ‘NicePlace’ (Kr. Barona Street 21a). In an informal atmosphere, the director of the Riga Circus School, Mara Pavula will invite John Paul Zaccarini to share his thoughts about his book and the necessity to reflect on the causes of one’s artistic influences.


Workshop facilitators:

Reija Tapaninen has a master’s degree in dance and education in circus arts. She has studied theatre, physical comedy with specialisation in clown. She has worked as a teacher in several circus schools in Helsinki (youth circus) and lately in Tampere (youth circus and social circus groups). She has experience teaching students in higher education as well as teaching professional artists. As a teacher she values empathy and student-based methods. More and more in her teaching she is interested in concentrating on breathing and awareness of the body which allows us to be present in the world as well as on the stage. Reija is a member of contemporary circus group Zero Gravity Company as Director and Producer. Last year she worked as Producer at Sirkus Faktori, a brand new space for contemporary circus in Tampere.

John-Paul Zaccarini is an Artist and Associate Professor in Circus at The University of Dance and Circus in Stockholm (DOCH). Outside of his work at DOCH John-Paul is currently developing new work and touring his new show ‘Head’ – a return to the stage after an 8-year interlude. His PhD Thesis ‘Circoanalysis’ comprises a years-long study about the use of psychoanalysis concepts in Circus. Also the book ‘Falling the thought of Circus’ is a less academic and more individual insight in his research and the inner world of a Circus artist.

Baltic Nordic Circus Network (BNCN) is a collaborative network of 17 circus arts organisations in the Baltic and Nordic countries. The network works to strengthen the regional collaboration and development of the circus sector. Alongside lobbying activity, meetings and seminars BNCN organises workshops for artists and industry professionals which focus on skills development, best practice, increased knowledge and cooperation as well as cultural and national identity.

These workshops are made possible by the generous support of Nordisk Kulturfond and Nordic Culture Point.