International Circus Festival of Italy
The International Circus Festival of Italy is the only event of its type to take place in Italy, and which occupies a significant place on a world level in the circus arts panorama. The aim of this event is to help attract the attention of a wider public towards the Circus and its many disciplines. The event is structured as a competition between performers from all over the world. The competing artists are selected from numerous applicants during the year leading up to the Festival, with the aim of including the largest variety of acts possible, which represent countries from all around the world. The disciplines showcased at the Festival are mainly of the classical Circus tradition, although great attention is also paid to experimental, innovative and fusion numbers that, whilst deviating from the purism of the time-honoured Circus disciplines, still blend in with the traditional atmosphere of the Circus. The significance of the Festival, however, goes much further than the competition in itself: the artists get to perform in front of world-class Circus and performing arts exponents and experts, gaining visibility that can also bring significant career opportunities.
The International Circus Festival of Italy was created by the late Giulio Montico, an experienced and renowned Circus artist who had performed in numerous European circuses during his long career. It was his tenacity, along with the vitality and enthusiasm that only the members of a large and united family can give each other, as is the case with the Montico family, which made this unique Italian International Circus Festival event possible. This is an event that, unlike ordinary circuses, is neither itinerant nor run-of-the-mill, but is something unique and special, something that lends dignity and confidence to the Circus world and its many disciplines. This well-estabilished event will have as new exceptional partner the “Russian State Circus Company, RosGosCirk”. An agreement with the RosGosCirk has been signed in Saint Petersburg: the Russian State Circus Company will be in charge of the direction of the Festival together with the Cultural Association “Giulio Montico”.
The International Circus Festival of Italy is a member of the most important organisations in the sector: ECA, the European Circus Association, and through them, Fédération Mondiale du Cirque, based in Monte-Carlo and with H.S.H. Princess Stéphanie of Monaco as its patron and the National Circus Association (ENC). Along with the “International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo”, the International Circus Festival of Italy is Europe’s most important event of this type, both for its size and its reputation within the sector.
The International Circus Festival of Italy during its various editions, has had the official support of numerous public institutions: the President of the Republic of Italy, since 2002, has granted two medals to be awarded to two artists whose performances are particularly outstanding. The European Parliament, the administrative offices of the Italian Government, The Ministry of Heritage and Cultural Activities, The Foreign Ministry, The Ministry of Youth, The Minister for Integration, The Administration of The Regional Council of Lazio and various other regional departments, The Administration of the Province of Latina, The City Council of Latina and Latina’s Chamber of Commerce have all given their patronage to this event. Further patronages have been conceded to the Festival in past editions by: Fédération Mondiale du Cirque; ECA – European Circus Association; the National Circus Association (ENC); Sapienza – University of Rome; Tor Vergata – University of Rome; the Forum of Christian Organizations for the Pastoral Care of Circus and Carnival Workers; Migrantes – a Foundation of the Italian Episcopal Conference; various sporting associations.
Diverse additional activities and partnerships accompany and enrich the Festival. Here are some of them:
- “Circus Expo”
This project’s aim is to present and showcase to a wider audience the numerous and varied effects that the influence of Circus culture can produce in the media and in the creative arts. Within this “Circus Expo”, artists of all types will be able to exhibit their personal works inspired by the Circus: photographic art, original paintings, sculptures, models, printed matter and many other forms that represent the world of the Circus, will all be on display.
- “Circus-Themed Coffee Morning”
The world of the Circus has inspired a surprisingly rich volume of literature: from fictional novels to factual accounts and from poetry to dedicated publications, works on the market both in Italy and worldwide are many and varied. This literary heritage, not often seen on the shelves of bookshops, undoubtedly merits more attention from the general public. The Festival has contributed to this end by including a “Circus-themed coffee morning” in its programme of additional events: a sort of informal ideas workshop where people can meet up around our coffee tables, and enjoy a warm drink whilst enjoying the literary efforts of a series of authors who have been inspired by the Circus.
- Partnerships and cooperation
The “International Circus Festival – City of Latina” is seeking to develop cooperative schemes of reciprocal benefit with other events and also with exponents of clear reputation within various artistic contexts, in order to contribute to its own cultural development by forging ties between the world of the Circus and other forms of performance: in this way the Festival hopes to eliminate barriers between the various forms of the arts.
Migrantes, the Italian Episcopal Conference Foundation that concerns itself with the many worlds of man’s mobility, has been attentive towards nurturing the individual communities of the Circus and the Circus in its wider sense for many years. In this spirit, the Festival has included several activities organized by Migrantes, in order to offer the artists who have travelled to Latina from all over the world an opportunity for pastoral care of an ecumenical nature; on the Wednesday before the Festival there is also the opportunity for performers to travel up to Rome in order to attend the Papal Audience in the Vatican City.
5.Project “Young performers and Intercultural activities”
The Festival, in its capacity as a sort of crossroads for young people of diverse and varied nationality, culture, religion and language, offers a unique opportunity for cultural interaction and activities. With the hope of making all the participating and guest artists feel at home during their stay in Italy, young volunteers propose and host various initiatives to welcome the young performers arriving here from all five continents. In the Foyer area, our guests will find the “Artists Welcoming Committee”. This aims to be a space for young people of all the nations present to meet, interact and make new friends, both amongst our performers and also with the young people of Italy.
- “Sapienza” and “Torvergata” Universities of Rome Projects
The cultural implications of an event of the size of the Festival of Italy are noteworthy: the Universities of Rome, “Sapienza” and “Torvergata” and the “Giulio Montico” Cultural Association that produces the event have formalized an arrangement by which students and post-graduates of these Rome Universities can undertake an internship within the production offices of the Festival, thus improving their work skills. Interns are involved in the various phases of pre-production and also during the event itself.
- Project “Circus and the differently-abled”
Special volunteer staff offer a welcome and accompany and care for differently-abled guests during shows and for rehearsals and backstage visits. This service is offered free of charge. In this way we hope that differently-abled people can, for a few hours, encounter a different dimension, leaving daily cares and limitations behind as they enjoy the extraordinary variety of the Circus world.
- Forums and Meetings
The Festival contains areas suitable for Press Conferences, Meetings and Congresses pertinent to the world of the Circus. The Fédération Mondiale du Cirque and the European Circus Association have all used our facilities for meetings and congresses a number of times, considering the venue an excellent place for conducting their activities in the presence of some of the foremost experts from the international Circus world.