Ny Cirkus Festival 2016 is dedicated to the artists. When we watch circus performers in action, we first and foremost see the virtuous, the dangerous and the extraordinary, they can perform. We admire them for their fearlessness and their border-crossing skills. However, we rarely see the endless and exhausting preparations, mental and physical, which precede the performances. The errors, the accidents, the routines, the continuous self-examination, feeding and sharpening the art to which they have dedicated their lives.

This year we have invited artists, who go behind the facade, and who with their honesty and courage open our eyes and hearts to all that circus can tell us about life. They want to reach us, touch us, and do not let fear of failure stand in their way.

The knife thrower, who goes to the limit of what is possible and uses himself until the last drop of sweat. The rope artist playing dangerously with the fall in a brilliant and touching search for the meaning of life. Two tons of wood as the unpredictable main character in four men’s comical power ritual. The lonely and lovable clown, who creates immortal circus magic. The illusionist, who manipulates reality beyond recognition and makes us doubt the obvious. The young star acrobat, who without mercy or vain displays his tormented body. And all the other artists, who every night risk everything for us.

Københavns Internationale Teater has had contemporary circus on the programme since 1987, alas this year will be the last time we present the art form in a festival of its own. Contemporary circus has outgrown its form, it requires new ground and new freedom. KIT will continue to present circus, but in other formats and contexts. However, in August we will celebrate the art form with ten fantastic performances, which in very different ways let us feel how circus is a lively and relevant art, offering much more than just the spectacular.

Ny Cirkus Festival 2016 is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation and the City of Copenhagen and presented in collaboration with AFUK, Dansehallerne, Den Grå Hal, REDA and ZeBU. Some performances receive support from Amager Øst Lokaludvalg, Nørrebro Lokaludvalg, Wallonie-Bruxelles International and In Situ Platform, which is supported by EU’s Creative Europe programme.