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This glossy, squat paperback, with its bold imagery, large clear fonts, and strong design, beckons the reader in with a relaxed ‘trust me, I’m accessible’ gleam, emphasising its contemporaneity and current relevance.  It’s split into four distinct parts, and the first three – penned by Purovaara – contextualise circus as it was in the past, in its defining features, and as it has developed since the 1970s and the birth of ‘new circus’.  The fourth part is again split, with chapters dedicated to the contemporary circus developments in Finland (Purovaara), Denmark (Degerbøl and Verwilt), Norway (Waage) and Sweden (Damkjær and Muukkonen).

The focus is on the cultural, political and artistic environments that have shaped circus evolution over time and across national borders; circus arts are situated within the wider art field, and a wealth of influences and exchanges are laid out, from Russian Communism to Steve Paxton’s development of contact improvisation, providing fascinating points of reference for readers approaching the subject of circus from other artistic disciplines.

Text source: The Circus Diaries.... Read the rest of the review (and discover this amazing website, if you don´t know it already) here:


Introduction to Contemporary Circus

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