3 students look back on Summer Course Clowning 2022

In July 2022, Sven Verelst and Ell Circo D’ell Fuego organized the very first edition of the Summer Course Clowning in Antwerp. For four weeks, 15 enthusiastic participants took ownership of their sense of humor. Lieve, Marie-Christina and Lore share their experiences.

Ell Circo D'ell Fuego, Summer Course Clowning with Sven Verelst, group portrait Philippe Smet
Group portrait Philippe Smet

Getting straight to the point: how was it?

Lore: “Fun, exhausting, intense. I have learned an enormous amount. I’m already active with De Vuurmeesters and Circusatelier Woesh in West Flanders. So I already have a background in circus, but not in clowning. In that respect, this was a leap of faith for me. Before I signed up, I thought, ‘It’s now or never.’ I have no regrets.”

Marie-Christina: “I do have a background in clowning and had wanted to take a long-term course for some time. But you usually have to go abroad for that and that was a barrier for me. So I was glad that one was offered here this year. Four weeks is indeed very intense and therefore quite tiring. But I think it’s fantastic that the course lasted four weeks. That gave us as participants the time to grow towards each other, so that a strong bond of trust could develop. That gives you the convidence you need to try new things. During a one-week course you never reach that point. ”

“A month of Cuba or a month of Clowing? I’ll choose the latter anytime!”

– Lieve, participant Summer Course Clowning 2022

Lieve: “The structure of the course was also very thought-out. We worked on safety and cooperation within the group and towards the instructor. His feedback was always very constructive and focused on what was needed at the time. I could really feel that Sven was well prepared. Each week he clearly knew what he wanted to do and how he wanted to approach it. But he also left enough room for the wishes and needs of the group. It is true that the program was intense, but for me it was also a nice vacation experience: a whole month at a top location in the center of Antwerp, surrounded by nice people. If I were to choose between a free trip to Cuba or a month of Clowning, I would still choose the latter.”

Spontaneous & structured simultaneously

What do you remember most about the Summer Course?

Lore: “I learned to work from inertia. And how important it is to stay in contact with the audience. Things that I was not consciously working on before and that I will therefore apply from now on.”

Lieve: “That you really have to dare to let your imagination lead you and be looser. Tapping into playfulness and spontaneity, that too. And at the same time you have to make sure that you bring all of that in a structured way.”

Marie-Christina: “Yes, that is so true. Structuring your acting and your ideas. That also sticks with me most.”


What are your clowning plans now that the course is over?

Lieve: “I am going to take classes at the School voor Clown & leven in Utrecht. After this crash course I feel totally ready for it.

Marie-Christina: “I’m working on becoming a Cliniclown. I still have to do a second audition after which I hope to start.”

Lore: “I’m going to make a fire show with my 15-year-old son. I want to incorporate what I learned here. To break the toughness of fire with some airy elements.”

Why do you think people should register for the 2023 Summer Course Clowning?

Lieve: “To engage in self-exploration and development. And to have time and space for experimentation.”

Marie-Christina: “If you’re interested in clowning, you can really go -in-depth in four weeks. Way deeper than when you take classes once a week. So if you really want to go challenge yourself then this formula is ideal.”

In the summer of 2023, we are planning another edition of the Summer Course Clowning with Sven Verelst. Dates and location we will be announced soon. Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to find out all about it!


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