Turkmenistan Circus Arts

From May 29-June 6, 2017, American experts in the circus arts travelled to Turkmenistan in Central Asia for a five-day artistic collaboration between Turkmen and American performers. The American delegation consisted of trapeze artist and seasoned circus performer Sara Deull, clown, physical comedian, acrobat and stuntman William Forchion and clown, director and actor Billy Higgins.

Both America and Turkmenistan have a rich history of excellence in the circus arts. During the exchange, Deull, Forchion and Higgins shared their knowledge with a group of Turkmenistan participants, many of whom were Turkmen youth. The cultural exchange that took place allowed for nearly all categories of the circus arts to be represented in the ring — these included trapeze arts, wire-walking juggling, acrobatics, clowning, miming and ground arts, among others.

Representatives from both countries also met to discuss the creative evolution of the circus arts. Teachers and specialists facilitated workshops and discussion groups on the interaction of the circus arts with other artistic mediums and its unique role in the entertainment industry.

Students of the Circus Department in the Turkmen State Institute of Culture worked with American programmers to master all types of artistic performance. The culmination of their collaborative programming was a performance on June 5th, 2017, which included a showcasing of American clowning, traditional Akhalteke horseback stunts and kushtdepdi dancing.



Project Timeline

Project summary

Turkmenistan Circus Arts
Regions: South and Central Asia
Countries: Turkmenistan, United States
Impact Areas: Cultural Diplomacy
Program Areas: Culture
Partners: Public Sector