May 11, 2022

National Centre for Circus Arts announces Jerwood Circus Residencies 2022

Part of our Development Programme Fund, The Jerwood Circus Residencies were awarded based on the artistic quality of the projects and the potential: to enrich and develop the artform of circus; to reach new audiences; to expand the creative practice of the artists; and to benefit artists with marginalised identities. The four selected artists will receive a grant of between £2,750 and £3,000, mentoring, technical support and space in the National Centre for Circus Arts’ Creation Studio to undertake 7 days of research & development between May and October 2022.


Hannah Finn – Chokmah

Hannah is a Jewish contortionist known for her fluid performance blending dance, physical theatre, and contortion, and creating autobiographical work that addresses her intersecting identities. She draws on themes of feminism, her experiences of antisemitism and the multifaceted layers of being neurodiverse as stimuli.

Hannah’s project is a circus-instilled performance of memories and survival fusing contortion, verbatim text, spoken word, physical theatre and contemporary dance.
Chochma חוכמה means wisdom in Hebrew. It speaks to the intuition and wisdom of Hannah Finn’s great-grandmother, who fled Poland just before the Holocaust, and her mother’s decision to leave an abusive relationship.

Laura Murphy
A Spectacle of herself

Laura Murphy is a genre-defying queer performance maker from Bristol, who makes text-driven and dynamic physical performance about things that she thinks needs to be talked about. Challenging, intimate and spectacular, her work is a cross-disciplinary fusion of theatre, live art, aerial choreography, dance and verbal explosions. Recent collaborators include Terry O’Connor, Scottee & Friends and Peaches.

A Spectacle of Herself will use a queer, feminist lens to delve deeper into the relationship between the self & subject, exploring the imposition of wider historical & socio-political narratives onto the ‘performing’ body. The work will play with performative layers, drawing on autobiography, lip-sync, film, captioned text & aerial-rope.


Rebecca Youssefi – Traces

Rebecca Youssefi is a multidisciplinary artist based in London and Hastings. Working across the mediums of live movement, moving image, installation, drawing and painting, her process is highly experimental. Previously an artist who made oil paintings on canvas, Rebecca began doing aerial dance ten years ago and has spent the past few years merging the different practices, while completing a MA in fine art at University for the Creative Arts.

Traces is an interdisciplinary drawing process, combining aerial dance and fine art. Rebecca performs on aerial rope, using the tail of the rope to create an ephemeral drawing on the floor with powder or pigment. Originating from experience of recovery from trauma, the work explores themes of transformation, presence, embodied self, and embraces metamorphosis and restoration through destruction and creation.


Tilly Lee-KronickThere are no empty doorways  

Tilly completed her degree at Circomedia in 2017, specialising in static trapeze and physical theatre, striving to integrate her previous theatrical and dance experience with her new-found love of trapeze to create unique aerial work. She has performed her solo show Ripe across the UK as part of a rural tour Circus Around and About with Crying Out Loud and was selected as a highlight of Resolutions 2018 Festival.

Tilly has been awarded the Jerwood Circus residency for the development of her new solo show There are No Empty Doorways (working title). This show will be using aerial, text, live music and dance. Originally inspired by a short story by writer and former aerialist Matilda Leyser, Tilly will be playing an angel-like creature living in her dining room doorway, in order to tell her own story of living with an eating disorder.


Find out more

Read more about Jerwood Circus Residencies, here.

Read about the Development Programme Fund, here.

Hannah Finn, Photo Credit: Chris Welch.