Ambience photo Fontys

Academy for Circus and Performance Art (ACaPA)

Fontys Academy for Circus and Performance Art (ACaPA) of Fontys School of Fine and Performing Arts offers a four-year full-time study program with a pioneering, distinctive artistic shape. The international orientated study leads to an internationally recognized academic bachelor diploma of professional education as Circus performer and has a highly qualified team and a clear misson. We also offer exceptional training facilities.

Contemporary circus

Since more than two decades, circus revitalizes as an authentic art, which takes inspiration from other Performing and Fine Arts. At the same time, circus enriches these art forms and stimulates ground-breaking contemporary creation in performing arts. The term ‘contemporary circus’ includes not only the so-called ‘New Circus’ (which is often assimilated to circus theatre), but all present-day types of circus art. A professional circus performer is a highly-skilled artist, mastering one or two circus techniques at an exceptional level. In addition, he has extensive skills and knowledge in other art forms (dance, theatre, performance art, scenography, music) and is able to experiment, to mix up and to merge these art forms, and to give meaning to his performances. He masters techniques of creation and gives individual shape to his performances. He works either as a solo performer or as a member of a group. He is able to work both as interpreter and as author/creator. As an entrepreneur, he is able to manage his professional career, to promote himself and to position himself as an artist within society.

  • Study programme

    The innovative study program content combines the acquisition of technical competences on high level with its implementation in an individual and collective creational process. You are encouraged to develop your personal artistic profile both as creator and performer in circus art. The academic constituent of the study encourages intense reflection on arts and the situation of the artist within culture and society and has several aims. An average study year starts end of August and runs until the second half of July. Normal school activities will last 40 - 42 weeks, including examination and production periods.

    The program aims to:

    The program aims to:
    Educate you as a versatile, highly-skilled circus artist who will find employment as performer and creator in various branches of the professional field of contemporary circus and circus-related performing arts;
    Develop your physical, technical and creative talent to the highest attainable level;
    Give individual, distinct and clear-cut shape to your artistic profile;
    Stimulate both your aptitude and passion for individual and collective performance work and
    Encourage and facilitate intensive contact with the professional field from the start of your study, so as to confront you with the reality and the actuality of the professional practice.

    Study program content

    The program comprises eight modules. Each module embraces a certain number of subjects which participate in an integrative and progressive way to the achievement of the educational aims. The modules are spread over the four years of study, according to the specific objectives of the different phases.


    - circus techniques
    - expression and interpretation
    - basic body training
    - theory and methods
    - laboratory and research
    - performances/productions
    - career planning and management
    - minor

  • Mission

    The education at the Academy for Circus and Performance Art enables its students to start a professional career in various fields of contemporary circus and in other performing arts. It provides them with the aptitudes to meet the requirements of an incessantly evolving art form on a professional level.

    The academy wants to participate in the development and enrichment of contemporary circus, as an important element of culture and society. Such development takes place in the tension between tradition and innovation of circus art.

    The international, highly competent educational team participates in setting ground-breaking and innovative marks in circus and performance art education.

    To achieve our mission

    • We aim at an outstanding technical level, combined with a broad, multidisciplinary artistic approach.
    • We encourage the individual development of you as a versatile, autonomously performing artist with a personal, distinctive position in art and in society, by promoting inventiveness, originality and independence.
    • We are responsive to the particular connection of contemporary circus with other arts, and namely with Performance Art. Therefore, we challenge you with a learning environment that encourages experimentation and artistic research.
    • Our program offers an individually shaped study career, personalized to suit your talent, capacities and affinity.
    • Your practice will focus both on individual and collective performances.
    • You will experience intense contact with the professional field, acquainting you with the authenticity of the professional practice.
    • We consider health care and safety as being of elementary importance for the practice of circus art. For this reason, these subject matters are placed first and foremost.
  • International orientation

    Since its very beginning, circus has been a global art form. The professional field of a circus artist is not limited by national borders. The education is unambiguously built on international and cross-border collaboration. This philosophy is clearly reflected by the study program of the Academy.
    ACaPA is member of the European Federation of Professional Circus Schools (FEDEC).

    We co-operate with international institutes of higher arts education, in particular in circus, with exchange programs for students and teachers. We encourage our students to spend part of their study at a school abroad, deepening and widening their education or by specializing in a particular professional profile. At the same time, the academy wishes to attract foreign students from European and overseas countries. This may concern either full-time study or shorter periods (as part of exchange programs). English being the official teaching language should facilitate this possibility.

    Intents Project

    Fontys Academy for Circus and Performance Art (ACaPA) is part of the partnership of INTENTS project for the definition and the recognition of the teaching profession of circus arts.

  • Facilities

    The Academy for Circus and Performance Art offers exceptional training facilities. Our state-of-the-art training facility is well equipped and tailored to the needs of circus training such as aerial and floor acrobatics, tumbling and trampoline, juggling, tight wire and more. Together with the Academies of Dance and Theatre, we share fantastic facilities such as dance studios with floating floors, a fully equipped theatre, lecture halls and classrooms for theory classes. As a student you have access to studios with multimedia equipment, a multidisciplinary library and documentation centre, numerous work places with computer facilities and an electronic learning environment, as well as fully equipped workshops for wood, metal and printing.

    Ambience photo Fontys

    Building the training facility