Final conference:
Magic in our lives

Deadline for registration is
30 June 2022

7 July 2022
Ílhavo, Portugal

Laboratório das Artes
Teatro da Vista Alegre

BETA CIRCUS was designed to boost European trends and artists in circus arts, aiming to address new trends in contemporary circus and to offset the lack of opportunities for artists to get trained at a high professional level. During the last year, a group of 12 European emerging artists joined an international capacity building process for new magic, supported on mobility and professional experience.

MAGIC IN OUR LIVES is the key topic for a full-day journey that aims to focus on the project results, debating on the future of magic and perspectives for the development and innovation in the contemporary circus. BETA CIRCUS final conference is a moment to exchange, learn and network.


Welcome words

BETA CIRCUS project results
& publication presentation
Bruno Costa, Bússola [PT]
Māra Pāvula, Rigas Cirks [LV]
Mira Dobrković, Ludifico [RS]
Based on the edition from John Ellingsworth [UK]

Coffee & Networking

Roundtable: The future of magic
Valentine Losseau, Cie. 14:20 [FR]
Luís de Matos [PT]
Moderated by Kalle Nio [FI]

Lunch & Networking 

Keynote: Magic in our lives
Rémi David [FR]
Moderated by Mira Dobrković, Ludifico [RS]

BETA CIRCUS documentary full play
& documentary directors talk
Miguel da Santa, Olhar de Ulisses [PT]
Luís Costa, Olhar de Ulisses [PT]

Coffee & Networking 

Roundtable: Future trends in circus arts
Cláudia Berkeley, Teatro da Didascália [PT]
Verena Cornwall, Circus Futures [UK]
Vittoria Lombardi, cultureandprojects [IT]
Moderated by Māra Pāvula, Rigas Cirks [LV]

Closing words
Bruno Costa, Bússola [PT]
Māra Pāvula, Rigas Cirks [LV]

Work in progress performance
L ! N K, by Darya Efrat, Joana Martins & Rita Martins


Cláudia Berkeley works, since 2014, at Teatro da Didascália as an actress/creator in several productions. She also programmes the Vaudeville Rendez-Vous International Festival and she also assumes the general coordination of the project. Also has experience as assistant director, producer and light operator. She is responsible for the participation of the company in the following international networks/platforms: Circostrada, CircusNext and CircusLink. Between 2008 and 2011, she did her graduation in Theatre in the Balleteatro Contemporâneo do Porto.

Luís de Matos, magician, author and producer, is a versatile artist, from the biggest stages to the most intimate theaters, with enormous experience in television and an extraordinary power of communication. Internationally, he is one of the most awarded magicians in history, having been honored three times by the Academy of Magical Arts in Hollywood, and the youngest magician to have received The Magic Circle’s Devant Award for his role in the development of Magical Art. In Portugal he was decorated with the Order of Infante D. Henrique for relevant services in the expansion of Portuguese culture.

Rémi David is a French writer born in 1984 in Cherbourg. At the age of fifteen, he received the Young Writer’s Prize for the short story “Adeline”, published by Mercure de France. Fifteen years later, Le Tripode editions published one of his texts, “Lava”, performed on stage by actor Denis Lavant. He frequently collaborates with artists and thinkers, having worked with the artist Ernest Pignon-Ernest, the philosopher Michel Onfray, the tightrope walker Tatiana-Mosio Bongonga or even the puppeteer Max Legoubé. In addition to writing, he dedicates his time to magic, having founded in 2012 the M’Agis association which offers, in France and worldwide, magic performances and workshops for populations with special needs.

Valentine Losseau initiated the artistic movement of “Magie nouvelle”, with Clément Debailleul and Raphaël Navarro. She co-founded the company 14:20 in 2000. She writes and directs Réflexions sur la croyance (2017), Poétiques de l’illusion (2019), Voix libre (2019), La Veilleuse (2020). Valentine Losseau in addition to being a magician, a playwright, and a director, leads an anthropological research activity under the direction of Philippe Descola. Anthropologist specialized in India and Mayan cultures; she confronts her practice of magic with theoretical perspectives of research.

Verena Cornwall has held a number of key positions in arts and heritage and is presently Director for Winchester Science Centre. She recently served as Creative Director for St. Patrick’s Festival in Dublin and prior to this was Principal of English National Ballet School in London. Verena has been involved in the development of street arts and circus in the UK and across Europe for many years. She set up the first touring circus academy in the UK to offer accreditation and for ten years chaired the national advocacy agency for circus. She has been an Advisory Board Member for The Nottinghill Carnival and through Arts Council England worked as lead change management consultant for St Paul’s Afrikan Caribbean Carnival in Bristol and for The Without Walls Consortium.

Vittoria Lombardi is curator and director of cultureandprojects, graduated in International Studies for Development and Cooperation and since 2012 she has been working as creative producer and project manager in the cultural sector, nourishing her interests along the line of intersection between artistic practices and social research, particularly through the curatorship and organisation of site-specific, participatory and community-based projects on a national and international level. She recently specialized in Social Impact Assessment and Welfare Community Management at the University of Turin and Bologna, Cultural Leadership, Cultural Diplomacy and Results-Based Management, embedding those approaches and tools in her curating daily practices.

Guest performance

Darya Efrat, Joana Martins & Rita Martins 

L ! N K is a poetic creation for public space and unconventional places. Independent manipulable PVC elements are connected on the scene. Building an installation, interfering with space, questioning the public sphere. They frame the sharing environment. They remain in time as a sculptural object, which can be lived and experienced. Three women. Three stories. Three ways. Co-inhabiting, communicating, questioning the same public-space, linked in a single trio.

Moderators and hosts

Bruno Costa is Co-director of Bússola and holds a master’s degree in Management for the Creative Industries from Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP), with academic research in the processes and mechanisms of internationalization of artistic projects and international cooperation, in particular the construction of European cultural identity. He is PhD student in Cultural Studies at the Universidade de Aveiro and guest lecturer for Partnerships, Networks and Internationalization in Creative Industries, at UCP.


Daniel Vilar is Co-director of Bússola, working as cultural and marketing manager, with a degree in Marketing Management from IPAM. His complementary training includes specialized courses in Event Management (Turismo de Portugal) and Project Management, as well as participation in conferences in the fields of strategy, innovation, marketing and tourism. His career reveals a special ability for event and festival management, with a focus on experience and immersive contexts.

Kalle Nio’s work as visual artist, magician and stage director is a combination of magic, visual arts, cinema, art-history, circus and theatre. In his stage performances and cinematic installations, he is an inventor, performer and a researcher creating encounters between past and the present, between magic and visual arts, between the high arts and the sideshows, between craft and technology, between real and illusions. He has a master’s degree in fine arts from University of Arts Helsinki. With his performing arts group WHS he has performed in more than 30 different countries. His visual arts exhibitions, video installations and short films have been shown in museums and galleries in Finland and abroad.

Mara Pavula is the Director of Rigas cirks. After graduation of Master of International artistic cooperation in Paris in 2015 where she researched the strategies for contemporary circus development in Baltic states, Mara has returned to Latvia to work towards the development of contemporary circus in Latvia, by producing events and regularly writing articles about circus for different media in Baltics and abroad. She is also the founder of Sansusi well-being residency program and has been working as a producer for festival Re Riga since 2013.

Mira Dobrkovic is founder and artistic director in the Center for circus arts development Ludifico, graduated in Geography and Hotel management, Faculty of Sciences, Novi Sad. One of the pioneers of circus arts, first started as an artist with fire, and later in the air as a first one in Novi Sad. Since the circus scene didn’t exist she immediately started to deal with production of shows, education, organisation, and public relations. Since 2017. Together with Kreativni pogon, established a circus school named Cirkoneo.