École nationale de cirque
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (February 2010)|
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|National Circus School|
|École nationale de cirque|
|Type||circus arts training, academic subjects at the secondary and college, intensive summer camps|
|Location||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Affiliations||Cité des Arts du Cirque; Cirque du Soleil and En Piste|
The National Circus School (French: École nationale de cirque) is a professional circus school located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It is a school for higher education in arts; after the great schools of music, dance and theatre, the NCS also offers academic subjects at the secondary and college levels. It is the only circus school in the Americas to offer professional programs in circus arts: Preparatory program, Circus and High School Studies, and Higher Education in Circus arts. It also prepares professional circus arts educators.
In 1981 at the Immaculate Conception Centre, a circus school begins to attract young artists interested in theatrical acrobatics. Very soon the Immaculate Conception Centre can no longer contain the rapid growth of the National Circus School (NCS). In 1989 the School moved to the Dalhousie station facilities in Old Montreal. The only institution to offer professional circus teaching in North America, the NCS has become one of the world's circus schools.
Meanwhile, contemporary circus arts experience exponential growth throughout the world. The need to train a greater number of versatile and highly skilled artists, by now the hallmark of the Quebec circus, is apparent. The NCS launches into a new phase of growth that sees it relocating to the Cité des Arts du Cirque as a founding member, along with Cirque du Soleil and En Piste, the national network for circus arts. In 2003 the NCS completes the move to a new building custom built to its specifications in the heart of Tohu, as this new complex is known.
The first level of training, this extracurricular program is aimed at students 9 to 13 years old. This program allows students to continue their primary in another school.
Circus and High School Studies Program
This arts/academic program is offered to students in Grades 7 through 11. It combines required academic subjects as outlined by the Quebec secondary school curriculum with professional training in the circus arts. After obtaining their high school diploma, students pursue higher education through the Diploma of Collegial Studies in Circus Arts (DEC) program.
- Program content: The following academic subjects are taught as outlined by the secondary teaching schedule of the Quebec Ministry of Education are French, English, mathematics, science and technology, human biology, geography, social studies, history, economics, career choice, morality instruction and personal and social development.
Disciplines taught during the program are dance, acting, physical preparation, manipulation, balancing, acrobatics and aerials.
French is the language of instruction for both academic subjects and circus art training. However, the School's French immersion program favours Canadian students who have not previously attended a French-language School.
Diploma of Collegial Circus School Studies
This 3-year program marks the pinnacle of higher education in the circus arts and leads directly to a professional career. Graduates receive a college diploma, Diploma of Collegial Studies in Circus Arts or DEC, from the Quebec Ministry of Education. Intended for Canadian and French students who have completed their high school studies, the program combines specialized training in the circus and theatre arts with a general college education.
- Program content: The general education component includes courses in literature (French or English), philosophy and a second language.
Specialized training in circus arts
Technical courses: physical conditioning, dance, acting, voice and music, performance and creation as well as basic and advanced techniques of aerials, acrobatics, balancing and manipulation.
Detailed program contents are presented in the course schedule and the specialized and complementary techniques outlines.
Training is given in French.
Diploma of National Circus Studies
Intended exclusively for foreign students who have completed their high school studies, this 3-year program constitutes the final phase of higher education in the circus arts. Graduates receive a diploma from the School or DEE, as they prepare for a professional career.
- Program content: Specialized training includes courses in physical technique, dance, acting, voice and music, as well as the basic techniques for aerials, acrobatics, balancing and manipulation.
Courses in theoretical and applied anatomy, nutrition, staging techniques and career management complement practical subjects.
Students continue their training in the circus arts through courses in their chosen minor and/or major from among 5 disciplines: aerials, balancing, acrobatics, manipulation and clowning arts.
Detailed program contents are presented in the course schedule and minor or major course outlines.
Intensive summer camps
This summer program in the form of a two-week intensive summer camp allows young people ages 13 to 17 to experience professional training in circus arts.
- Program content: Activities are scheduled 5 days a week, 6 hours per day, and represent a balance between learning physical techniques such as physical conditioning, flexibility, acrobatics, trampoline and "powertrack" with receiving an introduction to such circus arts as aerials, manipulation and balancing. Creative and acting workshops are among the many diverse activities that complement the training participants receive, culminating in performing before an audience.
The School offers a range of services such as on-campus housing, a library, a scholarship program, food services and health services.