LEME 2023: Circus and space(s)

LEME 2023: Circus and space(s)
Coração nas Mãos, Vagalume © Grafonola 

LEME explores new languages in contemporary circus and artistic presentation in unconventional spaces, searching for new creative approaches in confrontation with experimentation. It reveals an active transfiguration of the traditional vision of cultural spaces in our times, opening doors to new artistic perspectives.

The 5th edition of the festival took place from 30 November to 3 December, once again in various venues in the municipality of Ílhavo, Portugal, taking a bold step forward by delving into the intriguing connection between circus and space(s), exploring new perspectives that challenge our understanding of space and circus apparatuses. 

More than just a showcase of talent, LEME fosters discussions, encourages experimentation, and sparks debates among professionals in the field. It’s a meeting point for those passionate about the art of circus and its evolution. It’s an exploration of the diverse languages of contemporary circus, an endeavour to discover new artistic approaches.

LEME 2023 hosted, over four days, five national premieres, a preview and an absolute première, in 30 performances of eight shows and four projects in the Navegar section (a section aimed at students/creators from Portuguese circus schools that present work-in-progress performances). In the training axis, six workshops, two international capacity-building actions and an international forum are promoted in cooperation with BETA CIRCUS, a European project co-funded by the European Union and Space Circus, in spaces for meeting and reflection between circus professionals, artists and students.

On December 1, from 10:30 to 17:00, LEME hosted at Ilhavo Culture House the annual CIRCUS FORUM, a day to reflect on the contemporary circus and future challenges.

As a space for sharing and debate, the day hosts two roundtables. In the morning, Circus and Space: trends, experiences, and perspectives with Anna Giribet i Argilès, FiraTàrrega [ES], Tomas Vaclavek, Kolektiv Lapso Cirk [SI] and Valentina Barone, CircusDanceFestival [DE] and Around About Circus talked about unconventional spaces in circus from the point of view of a festival director, an artist and an editor.

In the afternoon, Participatory arts meet circus: between artists, place, and community with Ana Bragança & Ricardo Baptista, Ondamarela [PT], Nicola Borghesi & Enrico Baraldi, Kepler-452 [IT], Marleen Scholten [NL] and the moderation of Giulia Guiducci, Teatro Necessario [IT], spoke about the circus' relationship with community work and the challenges posed in this relationship for artists, mediators, territories and participants.

The talk is online as BETA CIRCUS Participatory Experience Online Session #2

At the end of the meeting, Bruno Costa and Hugo Pequeno of 23 Milhas - Ílhavo, co-creating partners of LEME, looked at the path of the festival in the light of the past, but above all of the future, through the projects Bússola Space Circus and Hand to Hand. In parallel to the launch of the new Perform Europe call, Bussòla concluded the day at CIRCUS FORUM with a dedicated info session. 

On December 2, Around About Circus coordinated a two-hour reflection critics workshop. More than a face-to-face masterclass, this workshop has been designed as a space for dialogue on circus narratives. As a time to reflect on artistic proposals inside the programme, the participants share lectures and ideas, compare each subjective performance experience, and gather points of view, framing them with historical and aesthetic references.

Save the date for LEME's next edition, from 5 to 8 December 2024!