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Jon Davison has taught etensively at circus trianing centres such as cirocmedia (Bristol and Circus Hub (Nottingham), in addition to having trained at Fool Time Circus School (Bristol).


The workshops progress from the fundamentals, moving on to integrtaing clowning and circus skills and devising your own clown/circus performance material.


For up to date information:

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Integrating Clown and Circus Skills

Circus through Clowning

Weekend Workshop in Berlin 

Dates tbc 2023

How can circus artists and students today integrate clowning productively into their discipline?


How can we bring together your own particular way of clowning (your stupidity and craziness) with the discipline of particular circus techniques, from juggling to aerial?


How can one be both a stupid, incompetent clown and at the same time remain focused on the high level of discipline demanded by one’s technique? How to be clumsy on a trapeze when safety is an issue? How to look at an audience when lying on your back whilst foot-juggling? 


Times and fashions may have changed since Annie Fratellini said that ‘the clown is the star of the circus (’le clown est la vedette du cirque’). But the links between the virtuosity of circus technique and the apparent stupidity and clumsiness of clowns remains deep and varied. Clowns have always been experts in drama, and today’s circus is an ideal space for developing our dramaturgical ingenuity, in the here and now of the physical performer in intimate relationship with their material equipment.


This is a rare opportunity to work with the specialist knowledge of Jon Davison, who has dedicated much of his teaching to the question of how to create clown material using individual skills, from circus to dance and music.


This workshop is suitable for those with an interest in clowning and who already have a minimum level in at least one circus technique.




Workshops typically take place in a session of one or two-days, with a complete programme of training comprising up to a total of 12 days (between 6 and 7 hours per day).



A typical programme of studies looks something like the following:


Unit 1

- introduction to the relationship of the clown with the laughter of others

- the clown as 'laughter-object'

- introduction to laughter and circus performance


Unit 2

- development of the dynamics of the clown in relationship to the audience

- the relationship between clowns – making each other ridiculous

- exploration of what makes circus ridiculous


Unit 3

- simple clown scripting

- the parameters of clown ‘drama’

- generating clown performance material: wrongness, disruption, surprise

- generating circus performance through clown filters     


Unit 4

- assessing your individual discipline and skills from clown points of view

- clown scripting: structures, formats, paths

- generating clown performance material with individuals’ disciplines


Unit 5

- further development of individual disciplines as filtered through clowning

- performance of compositions using first principles of clown/audience dynamics of laughter response


By the end of the workshop, individual participants should each:

- have gained an understanding of how the conditions of clown performance may apply to their own discipline (at whichever level of skill they are)

- generated sufficient clown material relating to their discipline to continue working

- have begun the work of creating a piece of clown/circus performance intended for public display

Devising Clown/Circus Numbers


dates to be confirmed


This workshop will ocncentrate on devising and/or developing your individual ideas for performances.

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