This social project uses circus pedagogic to offer preventative projects for children and youth at social risk.
The project “Circo FantazzTico” works in marginal areas of San Isidro de El General, in the south of Costa Rica where different social problems are very present. In order to offer young people a positive and future-oriented way to use their free time, the Association Vida Nueva created this project in 2002.
The idea was to create a secure place for children and young people who are confronted with social difficulties to teach them physical abilities, social competence as well as new ways to express themselves. “Circo FantazzTico” covers the entire spectrum of circus disciplines, from juggling to acrobatics, allowing the kids to develop confidence in themselves, team work skills and a sense of responsibility.
Every day the volunteers of “Circo FantazzTico” visit different places, such as neighbourhoods and social homes for children to do training sessions. Before leaving to the training sessions either by public transport or with the circus´ own busetta, the volunteers choose which of the possible disciplines will state today’s content. These disciplines include juggling, acrobatics, silk, trapeze, monocycle, diabolo, rings, slackline and more. In addition, theatre games and dance exercises are always part of the sessions. The 5 to 17 year old children are free to join the weekly two hour training sessions to develop new competences, getting to know the different disciplines and social dynamics. Apart from that there are additional training sessions offered at the ‘centre’ of the circus twice a week. A session attended by young people coming from the various areas to get even deeper into training.
Since 2007 a group of very motivated and talented young circus performers train together to create show programs. These circus performances are presented at local events and various international festivals alike (e.g. EJC – European Juggling Convention, FIA – Festival Internacional de las Artes, …). Moreover the “Grupo Fijo” travels across Europe on several tournees. Not only does the group perform shows, they also engage in intercultural exchanges sharing circus skills and offering workshops at other circuses and schools.
The group consists of twenty young performers who attend trainings, workshop (TAKEdance compagny from New York, …) work on upcoming shows and get to travel as part of the tournees. Therefore, each member has the responsibility for both the well-being of the group as well as representing the project and its message. Furthermore, the members of ‘Grupo Fijo’ are encouraged and supported at every stage of their education. Thus, the circus becomes a constant part of the educational process.