Contemporary circus

Contemporary circus (also known as new circus, and nouveau cirque and cirque contemporain in French-speaking countries) is a genre of performing arts developed in the late 20th century in which a story or theme is conveyed through traditional circus skills.

Animals are rarely used in this type of performance, and traditional circus skills are blended with a more character-driven approach. Compared with the traditional circuses of the past, the contemporary approach tends to focus more attention on the overall aesthetic impact, sometimes on character and story development, and on the use of lighting design, original music, and costume design to convey thematic or narrative content.


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