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certificate in dramaturgy of circus

Certificate in collaboration with two higher education circus schools: ESAC of Brussels and CNAC of Châlons-en-Champagne.

Ecole supérieure des arts du cirque (ESAC) and the National center of circus arts (CNAC) combine their expertise to offer an in-depth training that explores different approaches to the dramaturgy of circus and their implementations. Throughout four seminars (3 or 4 days each) different dramaturgical methods will be addressed in direct relationship to their practical applications. The primary function is to analyze and understand the creation process of new circus shows as a pathway to develop personal work.

This formation (French-Belgian co-certification) is for experienced circus artists wishing to confront and explore the dramaturgy of circus. It is composed of structured workshops led by experts with a focus on personal research.



.offer participants extensive knowledge of dramaturgy and specifically the dramaturgy of circus

.analyze several dramaturgical methods and their practical applications

.explore different processes of creating new circus work

.use various frameworks of performance to develop personal themes and perspectives

.question dramaturgical issues specific to circus

.stimulate the creativity of participants

94 hours = 12 ECTS

Circus artists having at least 3 years of professional experience.



Seminar 1 (4 days) Understand the theoretical framework for the analysis of circus shows from the 22 to 25 October 2016 in Auch, France- during the festival CIRCa

Seminar 2 (3 days) Differentiate between several types of dramaturgical processes from the 16 to 18 December 2016 in Brussels, Belgium

Seminar 3 (4 days) Develop a short form from the 2 to 5 February 2017 in Chalons-en-Champagne, France

Seminar 4 (3 days) Write and elaborate a personal dramaturgical work from the 7 to the 9 April 2017 in Chalons-en-Champagne, France


Phillips Goudard is an artist and university professor. Since 2006- researcher, section 18: Performing Arts (EA 4209, deputy director of the Research Center RIRRA 21-Montpellier 3).

Jean-Michel Guy is a research engineer at the Ministry of Culture and Communication (Department of Prospective Studies and Statistics. His sociological studies focus on public, live performances and in addition he is the creator of circus conferences.

Christophe Huysman is an actor, writer and director of theater in France. He has developed many circus shows and in 1995 founded the company Les Homme Penchés.

Bauke Lievens is a dramaturge and researcher specializing in contemporary circus. She teaches dramaturgy in the theater department of the KASK school of arts (Ghent, BE), where she leads a project focusing on methodologies for artistic research in contemporary circus creation. She co-created ANECKXANDER with Alexander Vantournhout.

Roberto Magro is an artist and circus director. He teaches at the circus schools FLIC (Turin) and Rogelio Rivel (Barcelona).

Ariane Martinez is a lecturer of performing arts at the University of Stendhal, Grenoble 3. Member of traverses 19-21 / CINESTHEA.

Karel Vanhaesebrouck is a dramaturge and professor of History and Aesthetics of Performing Arts at the Université Libre of Brussels. He is a director of the theater department at RITCS in Brussels.


Selection is by application with a CV (3 years professional experience) and cover letter sent to CNAC or ESAC before 1 June 2016. The formation is subject to a minimum enrollment of 12 participants.


1500 €

general policy


Like many of its sister schools, ESAC often entertains requests for internships and visits…Because of the space available to us, we have not been able to write a concrete policy regarding interns and exchange students. Requests are dealt with on a case-by-case basis. The decision depends on the program the request is addressed to, the time of year, the workload of the responsible professor, and the current organization of studio space. Every intern or exchange student, be they attending ESAC in an observatory or an active capacity, must respect our rules and must be covered by specific insurance (generally connected to a convention between schools).


observatory exchanges

Students from circus preparatory schools (Fedec type II) can visit ESAC as observers. Often these visits are already integrated into their curricula. Students benefit from seeing how a degree-program school is run. Even if they don’t involve physical practice, these visits allow students to meet professors and students. Observatory exchanges allow potential future students to get to know the school and the city, and to begin to understand what their lives would be like should they choose to attend ESAC. Generally, this type of visit lasts two days, which is just enough to grasp the essentials. Preparing for degree-program entrance exams is not only a physical mission—identifying what you want out of a school is part of the necessary preparation, and this kind of observatory exchange help students accomplish just that.

We generally welcome observatory exchange students between January and April, but any proposition will be read and evaluated by the office:

practical exchanges

Only available for students from other degree programs (Fedec type I), these exchanges are generally organized by schools’administrative bodies. The duration of the visit will depend on the policy of each school but will not exceed one week1. Practical exchanges can be welcomes October through April, but each case will be individually analyzed by the office. Requests can be sent to:


observatory internships

Many students coming from other higher-education programs (especially arts universities) ask to come to ESAC as interns in order to stimulate their own work. These requests will be analyzed on a case-by-case basis and should be addressed to:

Please note that we reserve the rights of any image of the students or activities of ESAC; that is to say, that photos and video may not be used outside of an academic setting. ESAC requires that observatory intern submit their finished work to ESAC, and that they sign an agreement with the school before the start of the internship.