1 Jan 2021
MOVEDBYMATTER | Collectif Malunés tijdens een toonmoment van 'BITBYBIT' in Dommelhof, november 2020
© Dommelhof | Jan Castermans

The circus workshop of Dommelhof/Theater op de Markt will receive structural support from the Flemish circus decree for the period 2021-2025. This was decided in October 2020 by Minister of Culture Jan Jambon. Dommelhof is one of the 4 new circus workshops in Flanders. For Dommelhof this structural support is a nice recognition of the work done within the circus field, but it is above all a stimulus to continue working on the Flemish circus with a lot of enthusiasm the next few years.

from festival to workspace

In recent years, Dommelhof has always been supported by Flanders as a circus festival (Theater op de Markt). Within the renewed circus decree, however, an extra category of 'circus workshop' was introduced. The core tasks of these workshops include the creation of performances and the artistic development of artists on the one hand, and the presentation and distribution of circus performances on the other. In recent years, Dommelhof/Theatre op de Markt has already strongly emphasised both aspects. Throughout the year, Dommelhof welcomes artists who are working on new productions. Moreover, Dommelhof also likes to show off its festivals and presentations. The move to the new category of 'workshop' was therefore logical.

The recognition as a workshop means that the Dommelhof will be putting extra effort into artistic production and creation. At the same time, with this budget increase, Dommelhof will have an extra presence for the Limburg public. In addition to the existing festivals, Dommelhof will focus on new presentation formulas. In the years to come, Limburg citizens will be able to enjoy even more of the top international circus.

ambitious plans

Dommelhof wrote an ambitious plan for the next 5 years. The minister honoured that plan with a support of €545,000 per year. That is a budget increase of almost 170,000 euro per year. In order to realise these plans, there will be cooperation with many partners.

Besides the residencies, where companies work a few weeks at Dommelhof on new shows, the new circus workshop will also start up long-term projects with circus makers. These will be both Flemish creators (e.g. THERE THERE Company and Circus Ronaldo) and international artists (e.g. Un loup pour l'homme and Galapiat Cirque). With them, Dommelhof wants to work in depth and make a difference within the Flemish circus field.

The circus workshop also has an eye for new talent. Dommelhof will work together with the circus department of Fontys Hogeschool in Tilburg and the Codarts circus department in Rotterdam. Young not yet professional circus practitioners are supported through the various training moments in Dommelhof in cooperation with the Flemish Circus Centre. The public will still be able to count on the large festivals of Theater op de Markt (Hasselt and Dommelhof). In addition, the workshop experiments with circus at special locations (including Bokrijk), smaller festivals curated by a circus maker and various show moments linked to residencies.