Circus Symposium – Philip Astley and the Legacy of Modern Circus

The Philip Astley Project and the Van Buren Organisation collaborated with partners at Manchester Metropolitan University and the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA) on a symposium to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of Modern Circus by Philip Astley. The Circus Symposium took place in September 2017 at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Crewe campus. The two-day event, combining academic and artistic research with hands-on workshops and masterclasses, was attended by artists, researchers and students from Brazil, Italy, France, Spain, Ireland and across the UK.

Speakers included Professor Eliene Benício Amancio Costa from the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), Professor Vanessa Toulmin from Sheffield University, Professor Mario Bolognese from the State University of Sao Paulo and Andrew Van Buren of the Van Buren Organisation. Van Buren also worked with curators to present a Modern Circus Exhibition including contemporary and archive circus posters, footage and props.

Professor Christine Horrocks, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University’s Cheshire campus, described the symposium as

an informative, engaging and joyful event

“It was such a pleasure to welcome the various speakers and performers on campus and hear about their experiences and witness their knowledge, skills and talent.”

The Philip Astley Project will continue to collaborate with the event organisers, Dr Patrick Campbell from Manchester Metropolitan University and Professor Eliene Benício Amancio Costa from the Federal University of Bahia. Amancio Costa travelled from Brazil to Europe to research the links between Philip Astley and Brazilian circus. On the second day of the Symposium, Professor Mario Bolognese, also described how performers and traditions have crossed continents. In his Key Note speech, Bolognese described “Circus Astley” a small but dynamic circus based in the State of Sao Paulo, and named after Philip Astley, creator of the modern circus.

 

Other News

Philip Astley celebration event

The Philip Astley Projecy set out with a grant from the Heritage Lottery to raise the profile of Philip Astley locally, nationally and internationally and to reaffirm Newcastle-under-Lyme’s role in circus history. In the past 18-months more than 30,000 people have ...

AstleyFest 2018

On 4th August 2018 Newcastle-under-Lyme saw the first ever AstleyFest – a new festival celebrating the father of the modern circus in Newcastle-Under-Lyme. The festival started with a bang at 11:30am in Newcastle town centre where people proudly paraded their ...

Philip Astley Town Trail

Newcastle-under-Lyme BID have teamed up with Creative Art North Staffordshire to create a Philip Astley Town Trail Map that tells you about the life of Philip Astley, Father of the Modern Circus. The trail uses window vinyls placed at specific locations ...

Communities come together in Celebrating AstleyFest

In February 2018, The Philip Astley Project held an open call for artists, schools and community groups to take part in AstleyFest 2018, a new outd- oor festival in Newcastle-under-Lyme to celebrate the life and legacy of Philip Astley – Father of ...