«Why circus?»

Reflections on a progressive medium

Thomas Oberender

According to the Australian circus director Yaron Lifschitz, one of the characteristics of German-language theatre is the incessant production of new work; authors, actors and directors are driven by the questions of who was the genius who left their mark on the stage before them, who will they be compared to – and how will they fare in this comparison. The new emerges from an often subconscious fear of becoming like one’s admired predecessor – Harold Bloom called this »anxiety of influence”. The circus doesn’t have the same problem, Lifschitz says, because it is an art of roaming artists, of traveling companies.