Circus arts

Last update: 17/03/2024 at 23:39

For the first time in Hungary, Bachelor in Circus Arts program at higher education level is launched. A three-year, full-time BA program will start in September 2023. The program will prepare students for their chosen main genre: clown or equestrian acrobat. The main genres chosen may be complemented by hand balancing, street-art, power-balancing, ikaria and foot juggling.

The more space-intensive courses – floor, jumping, suspended acrobatics, jumping table, plank, trapeze, harness, juggling, balance… – will be launched in September 2024, with pilot workshops starting after September 2023, which will also serve as a pre-audition and career guidance course.

The training is recommended to applicants with strong determination, diligence, good study skills, aptitude for the genre(s) of their choice and previous training in secondary or amateur circus studies or other fields (competitive sports, extreme sports, dance, acting, horse-riding…).

When applying, you must choose between a main genre (6 semesters) and a second genre (4 semesters).

If it would be early to start working together, a preparatory course and later admission will be recommended.

We will tell you if we do not recommend a circus career for any reason.

We will only take someone who, if they don’t give up, we can guide along the path to success.


BCDA continues its pioneering work in the new field of performing arts with the launch of circus arts courses. In close cooperation with the National Centre for Circus Arts, it is its mission to introduce and develop higher education in circus arts and related creative fields in Hungary. The traditionally interdisciplinary nature of the circus has led to the inclusion of the Bachelor of Arts in Dancer and Coach (Theatre Dance) – with Circus Dance profile.

The school aims to train circus artists, building on the national and international traditions, whose diploma is synonymous with state-of-the-art practical and theoretical knowledge and creativity anywhere in the world. The BCDA’s 40 years of artistic education and its work as an educator have brought to the cultural and social spheres of life the core values that are indispensable in the circus world.

The courses launched aim to research and develop circus arts with an educational focus and to create a professional community of teachers, students and circus artists. In this way, the school also aims to help raise the profile of this performing art to an artistic level.


Starting in September 2023, the three-year full-time course will start. This academic year, we plan to train mainly clown and equestrian acrobatics, complemented by hand balancing, street art, power balancing, ikaria and foot juggling. The more space-consuming courses – floor, jumping, suspended acrobatics, jumping table, plank, trapeze, harness, balance… – will start in September 2024 and will be based on the organisation of pilot workshops starting after September 2023, which will also serve as a pre-audition and career guidance course.

The BA course will develop an authentic performer’s attitude as an equivalent to the technical development of each genre, and will therefore support the students’ individual search for their own path and the development of their individual portfolio in the process of character and scene creation, while preserving the precious traditions of the circus.

The training is recommended for those who are highly motivated, hard-working, have good learning skills, aptitudes appropriate to the genre chosen and a background in secondary or amateur circus studies or other fields (sports, extreme sports, theatre, dance, horse riding etc.).

When applying, you must choose a main genre (6 semesters) and a second genre (4 semesters).


Recognizing the potential of the Hungarian equestrian tradition, the traditional circus equestrian culture and responding to the market demand for classical Hungarian genres, especially equestrian genres in circuses around the world, we are launching


program in the frame of Bachelor of Arts in Circus Arts, starting in September 2023.

We want to create a community of students who will form a real, mutually supportive group during the three-year training, regardless of whether they imagine their future as individuals, pairs or groups. The training is based on community, responsible animal husbandry, knowledge and love of animals. The aim is to develop a way of life that follows the traditions of the circus arts and is based on the highly disciplined, humble, and unconditional devotion, knowledge and practice of Hungarian equestrian culture, with a focus on community to each other and to life.

The theoretical training in circus arts is based on the professional experience of the teachers of the Baross Imre Circus School and traditional circus families. Hippology, the theoretical knowledge of the horse, is introduced in cooperation with the University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest.

The most famous personalities and schools of the Hungarian equestrian sport have contributed to the development of this unique training form by transferring their considerable knowledge and by being cooperative partners.

The training itself is a way of life, which requires a considerable amount of time, therefore we only support the presence of students who dedicate the next stage of their lives to living and experiencing this way of life.

Training areas of the equestrian acrobatics genre:

  • Equestrian juggler
  • Pas de deux
  • Voltige – acrobatics
  • Dressage
  • Jigit
  • Equestrian archery – with Lajos Kassai, equestrian archer

Training venues:

The theoretical trainings will be held partly at the Budapest Contemporary Dance Academy, partly at the Capital Circus of Budapest and partly at the University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest.
The central location of the practical training is the equestrian centre of Capital Circus of Budapest in Budapest and Cinkota.

Partner training bases are:

  • Kassai Valley – Kassai Equestrian Archery School – Kaposfő
  • Xenophon Riding Club – Riding School of Gyula Dallos
  • Equestrian theatre venues

Input requirements:

  • Matriculation certificate;
  • Equestrian basics – riding, canter;
  • Commitment to cultivating, mastering and passing on the values of the circus arts;
  • Adequate physical fitness, and stamina.

Output level

A professional who is sought after in the circus ring of the world, able to make a living from equestrian acrobatics, able to elevate and enrich the circus arts, and whose lifestyle goes well beyond the average everyday. His vision of the world is based on a love and protection of nature and animals, and on ensuring sustainability.

A qualified equestrian acrobat not only lives his profession, but is a professional who can teach and pass it on.


The clown’s place in the circus art

The clown is the representative of humour and fun. In his performance s/he shows the human fallibility, the human stumbling in the world. In this way, he provides a contrast to other circus acts, in which the artists put the spotlight on the astonishing human performance, on human greatness. The clown occupies a special place in circus art and has an important dramaturgical function in circus performance.

The clown’s place in circus art training

The clown can be the actor who appears on stage as a clown, but it can also be the technique used by the performer in his act.

For the clown as a role, the basic pillar of training is the actor’s craft, including character and scene building, speech technique, movement on stage.

The clown technique is based on the clown’s particular way of thinking, which is based on a pretense of humour. This technique is an important building block for all performers at the instrumental level. It is called “comic” when the performer uses the clown’s toolkit.

A characteristic of clowning is that it combines the tools of other arts. When performing in the theatre, mime, dance, puppetry and other tools are used, while circus clowns usually incorporate circus jingles, music and magic. The college, which also teaches a variety of genres and performing arts, offers the opportunity to develop individual toolkits within the institution. This provides a crossover for students studying clowning, circus genres and dance. These are taught in compulsory and optional classes.

The basic element of clowning is the open fourth wall, which leads directly to real-time creation and improvisation. In the training of clowns, the relationship with the audience, the reaction of the audience, is also the subject of the work. Group work is the right formation to practice all these. The curriculum includes classical duo, trio and group work.



Candidates with routine experience in any genre of circus arts, who wish to continue their studies, further their development and last but not least, who wish to obtain a state-recognised diploma are welcome to apply for admission in an admission procedure adapted to their individual abilities.

We welcome applications from artists with a Bachelor’s degree (BA), a 4-year college degree or any university degree, with a minimum of a BA-level knowledge in any performing arts. For all genres, experience and knowledge of circus arts is an advantage, and for the clown genre, acting is an advantage.

The Master’s programme is tailored to the abilities and needs of the applicants, with individual timetables if necessary.



Our students will have the opportunity to meet foreign trainers and professionally active artists, as well as local professionals, and gain transferable knowledge as part of a creative community.

All of our courses are recognised in the European Higher Education Area. The College is a member of the Erasmus+ programme, which gives all students the opportunity to gain experience abroad through a study contract or work placement.


Open day at the Capital Circus of Budapest and Circus Art Studio

Date: 13th of May 2023. 10.30–17.00

  • 10.30 Arrival, welcome
  • 11.00 Visiting of the performance “Spirit of Steppe”
  • 13.15 Lunch at the Artists’ Buffet of the Capital Circus of Budapest
  • 14.00 Meeting and getting to know the horses of the Capital Circus of Budapest
  • 15.00 Demonstration of the different fields of circus art and trying out of props 

Getting to know the special way of thinking of the clown, the elements of teaching the profession and the different types of clowns. A special feature of the programme is the chance to try out routines, character types and tools in practice.

Workshop at the Budapest Contemporary Dance Academy and the Circus Art Studio of Capital Circus of Budapest

Date: 10th of June 2023. 9.30–18.00

  • 9.30 – 10.00 warm-up
  • 10.00-12.15 from neutral to character / the clown’s mindset / naivety and superficiality / loss and humour in the play
  • 12.15-12.30 break
  • 12.30-14.00 the clown and music / the clown and improvisation / the clown’s props / what is a clown?
  • 14.00-15.00 lunch break
  • 15.00-18.00 After lunch, participants will have the opportunity to try out some of the circus’s artistic tools (air hoop, tissue, jumping) at the Capital Circus of Budapest.

Summer camp in Szigetmonostor – Horány, Regatta Leisure Centre

Date: 7-9 July 2023.

In a beautiful natural environment, with its own Danube bank and harbour, in five dance halls, participants can get acquainted with the circus arts, circus dance and contemporary dance in full-day professional, artistic programme.

Three meals a day will be provided. Accommodation in 2-4 bedded rooms with bathroom. In addition to learning, there will be time for recreational activities and evening talks around the campfire.




Open day: 12 May 2023.

Workshop: 2 June 2023

Camp: 4 July 2023


Audition is a process that takes several months, with the aim of ensuring that the applicant and the school representatives have a clear understanding of the commitment to the several years of cooperation ahead. During the pre-audition period, the applicant gets to know the school and her/himself as thoroughly and deeply as possible. The audition itself is also an excellent opportunity to face up to the joys and difficulties that await you. Knowing the opportunities and challenges is a responsible way to start the preparation for a career as a professional dancer, which requires an extraordinary amount of energy. For those who are accepted, the school will organise a Summer Creative Week, during which students can get to know each other and lay the foundations for the start of their work together in September.


You can apply for the 2023/24 academic year by filling in the Application form.


Clown genre 19.06.2023
Equestrian genre 19-20.06.2023

Location: Budapest Contemporary Dance Academy

At the admission we want to know about the candidate:

– how much experience you have in circus arts genres and clowning

– whether you have the talent for the chosen career

– whether you are physically, mentally and emotionally suitable for the training and the chosen career.

– whether your abilities and professional orientation are such that you can be prepared for the chosen career through the pedagogical path offered by BCDA.

During the audition process, a simultaneous practical and aptitude test will be held simultaneously.

The aptitude test is an attempt to gain an objective and comprehensive picture of the motivation of the candidates and to identify their receptiveness and possible paths of development in the areas of development, creativity, performance and creative practice. The process will be rounded off with a discussion focusing on cultural and personal interests, particularly in the areas of circus, theatre, music, dance and visual arts.

The aptitude test is part of the practical test. During the admission procedure, the selection board may give a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ mark. A single ‘fail’ mark in the examination will disqualify you from further admission. Calculation of admission points: points obtained during the admission procedure will be taken into account; points obtained during the admission procedure will not be taken into account.

Audition requirements for applicants to the clown genre:

In addition to the basic requirements of the school, applicants for the three-year clown course are assessed on the basis of whether they have the basic skills and mental maturity to practise clowning. The audition requirements for this course are the same as those for acting.

Elements of admission

Physical fitness assessment required

  • coordination, mobility
  • assessment of strength and physical ability

Clowning can only be taught to mentally healthy adults. Appropriate maturity and clear thinking must be assessed. This includes:

  • cooperation, partnership
  • attentiveness, attention to task
  • adaptability, openness

The clown’s thinking differs from the social standard of intelligent adult human beings, often clashing with socialisation expectations, and therefore mastering this craft requires flexible, open thinking. Only a person who is able to distinguish between the realities of role and civil life is suited to this craft. The following qualities are conducive to learning clowning:

  • tolerance, empathy
  • humour, curiosity
  • tolerance of failure, resilience

For the admission procedure, it is an advantage if the applicant has a background in

  • circus genres, magic
  • singing, music
  • dance, mime, movement
  • puppetry
  • other arts


Students pay a registration fee and tuition fee.
The registration fee is 800 € in the first semester and 200 € for each following semester.
The tuition fee is 2300 € / semester.

Recognising the need for a young person starting their higher education studies to be able to navigate the various tuition fees, scholarships and tuition support possibilities, the Budapest Contemporary Dance Academy has established an advisory office, which provides personal counselling to prospective and current students of BCDA. The office helps the student to explore the possibilities of obtaining part or all of the necessary resources for tuition fees and living during the study period. More info…


How can I apply for the BA or MA in Circus Arts starting in 2023?
As part of the BCDA audition process, you must complete and submit the application form to the College.

What can I expect in the audition procedure?
The audition consists of practical workshops, a simultaneous aptitude test and a personal interview. During the interview and the practical sessions, we will get a comprehensive and complex picture of each other, which will help us all decide whether we can mutually commit to working together in the future.

What can be expected during the audition workshop?
Stage presence, improvisation, movement and creative exercises alongside independent creative work, basic exercises appropriate to the chosen genres, and the presentation of a pre-prepared solo will form part of the practical exam.

What is the aptitude test?
The aptitude test is part of the practical test. It looks at how well you are physically, mentally and generally fit to participate successfully in the training.

What can I expect at the interview?
The most important aspect of the discussion is to create space for curiosity about each other and to get a comprehensive, complex picture of each other in an informal discussion, reflecting on the time spent together at the workshop and the essay topics submitted.

What is the language of the admission process?
The language of admission is Hungarian and/or English.

For more information

Facebook – Equestrian genre
Instagram – Equestrian genre

Facebook – Clown genre
Instagram – Clown genre