Circus, a (non) art?

Hildbrand, Mirjam (8 June 2019). Circus, a (non) art? (Unpublished). In: Circostrada (European Network Circus and Street Arts) General Meeting. Aarau, Festival Cirqu'Aarau, Alte Reithalle. 6. - 8. Juni 2019.

Why do circus and theatre have a different societal status – reflected for example in funding policies – in particular in German speaking countries? This basic question led to a historical research project of Mirjam Hildbrand at the University of Bern. By the end of the 19th century, the drama based playhouses found themselves in a situation of rising economic pressure in the German theatre landscape. In contrast, the stable and travelling circuses were highly successful. As a reaction, theatre professionals discredited circus arts. Although the theatre laws were restricted for circuses, they remained successful until the 1910s. After WW1, the circus-theatre relationship started to change: the dramatic theatre was established as an institution of high culture, whereas a lot of circuses disappeared. The aim of the research is to create a better understanding of how the circus came to its present status.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Theater Studies

UniBE Contributor:

Hildbrand, Mirjam


700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment
900 History > 940 History of Europe




Mirjam Hildbrand

Date Deposited:

24 Jul 2019 08:38

Last Modified:

24 Jul 2019 08:38


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