A flight between Canada and Palestine: the 10th New Circus Weekend in Vilnius


Pinta1 Credit Tom Hakala


This September international contemporary circus festival “New Circus Weekend” is celebrating its first important anniversary – the festival in Lithuania is being held for the tenth time. This year New Circus Weekend has blossomed out picking worlds famous stars and including what has never happened in Vilnius before. 9-13 of September the festival broadens its boundaries over the Europe – beside the troupes from France, Denmark, Finland, the program will present participants from Canada and Palestine.

For the first time the festival will have one of the world leading contemporary circus troupes from the mecca of modern circus – Canada. “7 Fingers” (Les 7 doigts de la main) and one of the troupes’ pioneers Patrick Leonard is coming to Vilnius just before his tour in France where he is going to perform more than 40 times. The Arts Printing House will present Patrick’s mono-performance “Patinoire” (Skating rink) about a lonely man who only wants to love and be loved. So to speak, here is a perfect situation to become a clown.

You barely think of Palestine while talking about contemporary circus. “B-Orders” is the first professional contemporary circus performance created in Palestine. This incredibly beautiful performance created by circus artists Fadi Zmorrod and Ashtar Muallem has already been brought all around the world. In September Fadi and Ashtar are visiting Vilnius after 20 shows at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.




An absolute novelty in New Circus Weekend is that contemporary circus will be represented not only on a stage but also on screen. Spanish director Horacio Alcalá is coming to Vilnius to present his movie “Grazing the Sky” about eight acrobats from different parts of the world. Documentary shows their life behind the stage, dreams to fly, traumas and healing power of circus. Movie was created in 2013 and since then constantly travels through the biggest contemporary circus and film festivals.



European part of program will include performances from France, Finland and Denmark.

French duet “Cie Barolosolo” will present their ironic show in a pool which will be mounted at the yard of the Arts Printing House. Meanwhile Etienne Marceau from “Company Sacekripa” will invite to the Pocket Hall for a tea ceremony. Object circus performance “Vu”, which has already been shown on tour more than 300 times will be presented to the audience in Vilnius.
Finland will be present by the united project – at the opening night of the festival a pioneer of contemporary juggling in Finland Ville Walo will perform “Mortimer” and on the second part of evening Salla Hakanpää will present her air-acrobatics performance “Pinta”, which was named as the best contemporary circus performance in 2013.
During the weekend Danish troupe “TinCanCompany” will present their open air absurd circus performance “Camping Delight”.


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Along with new school year on the 1st of September the Arts Printing House will start an intensive circus education program. Circus artists, dancers, actors and everybody who is interested in contemporary circus disciplines will be invited to join workshops of air acrobatics, acro-dance, juggling, dramaturgy and working on stage techniques. During the festival for the first time in Lithuania international workshops coordinated by Nordic-Baltic program will invite those who want to write about contemporary circus. Workshops will be lead by Duncan Wall who now lives in Montreal and teaches circus history and criticism.

After ten years the New Circus Weekend continues being new.

1-5, September – Contemporary circus workshops organized by the Arts Printing House

9-11, September – Workshop for circus writers organized by Baltic-Nordic Circus Network in collaboration with the Arts Printing House (for more information please click here)

9-13, September – contemporary circus festival New Circus Weekend’15 organized by the Arts Printing House with the support of Lithuanian Council for Culture, French Institute in Lithuania and Embassy of Spain in Vilnius. (for more information please see our Calendar section)