Current Organisational and Creative Transformations of Ukrainian Circus Arts

Vladyslav Kashuba


All circuses in the Soviet Union were united in a single state system which was stable and self-sufficient. When Ukraine gained its independence in 1991, that organisational and creative system lost its balanced structure. Current transformations of the circus system are the subject of this research, which is based on archives from the 1980s to the present day. In this article the author explores external and internal factors of change and their influence on the circus system. Artistic human capital is proved to be of primary importance for the circus. Mistakes in management have become one of the key reasons why the Ukrainian circus has been declining for the last three decades. The rejection of historically-formed national principles of the circus industry, such as the artistic conveyor system, the autonomy of the circus system, and its centralised management, have also contributed to the decline of the circus. This article analyses the destructive influence of the institution of private entrepreneurs on the artistic conveyor, which was the basis of the Soviet state circus system. The author proposes that analysis of the causes of decline can be the basis for further developing organisational and creative approaches to overcome the crisis in the Ukrainian circus industry and form an effective model for its functioning. Vladyslav Kashuba is a graduate of the Kyiv Municipal Academy of Circus and Variety Arts and holds a MA in stage directing for variety, theatre, and circus arts. He is currently writing a PhD dissertation, dedicated to the post-soviet Ukrainian circus, at the Kyiv National I. K. Karpenko-Kary Theatre, Cinema and Television University.

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