About focusCIRCUS.brussels

About focusCIRCUS.brussels

focusCIRCUS.brussels aims to promote the vitality of Brussels circus arts, from March 2018 to March 2019, with an explosion of shows and performances in Brussels, a tour of 8 Brussels circus troupes in Italy and France, and festivals, with the UP!, HOPLA!, and Hors Pistes festivals, shows and performances by students from ESAC and the Fresh Circus#4 seminar.

focusCIRCUS.brussels is an initiative of Minister Rachid Madrane, in charge of the Promotion of Brussels for the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. After contemporary art in Paris in 2016 (INDISCIPLINE) and contemporary dance in Berlin in 2017 (RADIKAL), focusCIRCUS.brussels is the third edition in a series that aims to promote Brussels by showcasing its artists, with a project that's bigger than its two predecessors. This year-long celebration of the circus arts will be made up of two sections, both national and international.

Bruxelles en piste, the international tour of 8 Brussels circus troupes in Italy and France starts in September 2018 and finishes in January 2019. With: Back Pocket, Carré Curieux, Cie la scie du Bourgeon, Cie Menteuses, Gaël Santisteva, Piergiorgio Milano, Poivre Rose, Claudio Stellato.


Discover the full program

Partners in circus

Organised in collaboration with Espace Catastrophe (Festival UP!), ESAC circus college, the City of Brussels (Festival HOPLA!) and the Halles de Schaerbeek, focusCIRCUS.brussels aims to promote Brussels and its circus scene by uniting, under one name and project, the four partner's various events, and supporting them with their communication and distribution. 

  • ESAC

    ESAC (Brussels' circus arts college) is one of the world's leading circus schools. Its offers a three year degree course in a range of circus specialisms and its diploma is recognised by the official Wallonia-Brussels education authorities. Its students come from all over the world and leave to enjoy magnificent professional careers as either independent artists or part of large circus troupes.
    On 19 April 2018, ESAC will inaugurate the new premises it recently moved into. It will then have a double building that combines a gutted and fully revamped former boiler room and a modern wing, near the banks of the canal on the CERIA campus in Anderlecht. 


    Espace Catastrophe - Centre International de Création des Arts du Cirque, is the largest circus arts organisation in French-speaking Belgium. Over almost 25 years, the team has developed a very wide range of programmes and actions to support circus development: creation - production  distribution/training/information - editing [C!RQ en CAPITALE magazine].
    The Festival UP! - the International Circus Biennial, is the flagship event of the Espace Catastrophe team [9 permanent employees]; this 15th event will comprise 30 performances, including 8 "UP!" shows and 10 Belgian premieres, in 13 Brussels cultural institutions.


    Les Halles is a relaxed independent venue in the heart of Brussels, the capital of Europe, in a beautifully renovated metal and glass structure dating from 1901.
    As a repository for the contemporary hopes and upheavals of the district and the general public, it strives to find the best of a Europe still searching for its destiny: exploring new passions, reason seeking adventure, freedom of style.
    Alongside a traditional programme, Les Halles also hosts more unusual events during major weekends and embarks on projects that do not fit within the strict definition of performing arts. Les Halles also puts on its own productions, many of them with the four companies associated with the venue. 


    HOPLA!'s actions take it beyond the inner city, making it accessible to less mobile members of the public. Five local cultural centres have become festival partners to help it achieve this aim. The entire sector is represented: leisure schools, fans, ESAC students, young creators and established companies from Belgium and abroad.
    HOPLA! travels through six districts of Brussels with 20 shows (25% in venues and 75% in public spaces), with a total of around 30 performances that are free for the public. 

  • Discover the full program

    Map of places circus in Brussels