Join us on an exploration of the evolutions within the circus sector through lectures, research and debates. Aimed at professionals but open to everyone who’s interested. The program is free, spoken in English and takes place (mostly) at De Vooruit in the Foyer Theaterzaal. Find out what Circuscentrum has planned below!


08:30 - 10:00 Talk: Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

To kick off Smells Like Circus, VIERNULVIER hosts a new edition of Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast. With artists and experts in the room and a pastry and coffee in hand we have a conversation on clowning. Our guests talk about their experiences and reveal sources of inspiration: film clips, books and scientific research. Together we go deeper into the how and why of their work.

(Guests TBA)

tue 16/01 8:30 - 10:00, Foyer Theaterzaal, De Vooruit



10:00 - 13:30 Connect: Pitches & lunch

For programmers and circuspro's.

During Smells Like Circus, we organise a pitchcarousel where artists can present their projects. Time to discover new work, engage in conversation and enjoy a healthy lunch!

wed 17/01 10:00 - 13:30, Foyer Theaterzaal De Vooruit

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19:30 - 21:00 Try-Out: Ritselingen (ENG) - Rode Boom

For programmers and circuspro's.

Hans Beckers and Kurt Demey find each other in the use of natural elements, the search for a magical experience and interactions with and between the audience. This time in English.

Afterwards there's time to talk to the artists and ask questions.

wed 17.01 19:00 - 21:00 De Expeditie

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10:00 – 12:00 Research: Grensgeval presents Devoted Obsessions

Interactive presentation and debate: Grensgeval talks about their research in collaboration with architects on the creation of new objects (not) for circus. 

Artists on scene:

Hanne Vandersteene, Mahlu Mertens, Melody Nolan, Felix Fasolt & TBA. Moderated by Valentina Barone

thu 18.01, 10:00 - 12:00, Foyer Theaterzaal De Vooruit

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16:00 - 17:30 Talk: Circus Without Circus

What can circus artists learn from other performing artists, and vice versa? How similar or different are their work methods? What happens when you let an acrobat experiment with an industrial designer? How wide is the gap between a trapeze artist and a filmmaker? What choices do a contemporary dancer and a circus artist make when they do two weeks of free artistic research? Several players involved in the European project Circus Without Circus shed a light on these and many other questions. 

Already curious? Take a peak in the inspiration guide and see how the project evolved through the years.

(Guests TBA)

thu 18.01, 16:00 - 17:30, Foyer Theaterzaal, De Vooruit


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17:30 - 19:00 Connect: Let's raise a glass!

Let’s talk, toast and cheer to a new circus year! 

thu 18.01, 17:30 - 19:00, Foyer Theaterzaal, De Vooruit

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FRIDAY 19.01

14:00 - 15:00 Hybrid INCAm meeting: Feedback on the 2024 proposition

In the frame of the festival, Circuscentrum is also hosting activities of the INCAm network, an international network of circus arts magazines dedicated to developing circus media and criticism in the sector. From January 17 to 19, a delegation of European members is welcome in Ghent to discuss the future challenges and opportunities of the network with the participation of external guests from the media and international cultural policy sector.

On Friday we discuss the mission, asset and feedback of the network. A hybrid digital meeting with all INCAm members at Smells Like Circus and connected online to add thoughts and give feedback.

fri 19.01 14:00 - 15:00, Foyer Theaterzaal, De Vooruit

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