Event Details +

Smells Like Dialogue: A Circus Symposium

In January 2020 The Circus Dialogues organized a dynamic, open-minded gathering, located at the junction of artistic circus practice and critical theory. Smells Like Dialogue: A Circus Symposium was a three-day symposium (15-17 January 2020) during the festival Smells like Circus (Ghent, BE) that invited exciting guest speakers and made lots of room for polyphonic dialogue. How and what does circus think? In what way is circus (also) a practice of thought? With these questions as a point of departure, we got talking. In the days leading up to the symposium, The Circus Dialogues organized a research week at KASK & Conservatorium in which eight circus artists/makers tackled the same questions through studio practice. On the last day of the symposium, we all came together around their performative proposals. You can re-read the Open Call for the research week here.

During Smells Like Dialogue: A Circus Symposium we launched the book Thinking Through Circus, a collection of writings made by and with circus artists around the notion of circus as a practice of embodied thinking. Thinking Through Circus reveals how feminism, queerness, dramaturgy, love, disobedience, posthumanism and the aesthetico-political imaginary are re-thought in and through contemporary circus practices.


DAY 1: How does circus practice think? How does circus think tradition, exhaustion, otherness, violence, work, and love?

DAY 2: About the relation between norm, experiment, and agency (for the self as well as for human and non-human others)

DAY 3: Sharing of / in the experimental thinking practices developed by the participants of the research week @ KASK & Conservatorium

Smells Like Dialogue: A Circus Symposium took place during Smells Like Circus, a cross-disciplinary festival hosted by VierNulvier and Circuscentrum.


Smells like Dialogue: A Circus Symposium was a co-production of KASK & Conservatorium and I knew these people VZW. It could take place thanks to the support of KASK & Conservatorium, Circuscentrum, VIERNULVIER, UGent, S:PAM and the Flemish Government.


Book Launch +

The book launch of Thinking Through Circus takes place during our three-day symposium Smells Like Dialogue: A Circus Symposium at Vooruit and KASK School of Arts (15-17 January 2020).

The Circus Dialogues, KASK School of Arts, and Art Paper Editions warmly celebrated the launch of Thinking Through Circus, on 15 January 2020 at  at Vooruit. The festive event consisted of a short presentation and an interview with the editors by Charlotte De Somviele (Etcetera, UA, De Standaard).

Buy your copy of Thinking Through Circus here