Founded in 2001 during the French Ministry of Culture's Year of Circus Arts as a scheme to support new artists working on contemporary circus creations, Jeunes Talents Cirque was conceived as a project that would, after an extensive selection process, offer mentoring, residencies and financial support to a small group of companies. The scheme ran in two-year cycles, and in its first five editions it supported the emergence of such artists as Camille Boitel, João Paulo dos Santos, Un loup pour l’homme, and Le GdRA. In 2009-2010, the project changed its name to Jeunes Talents Cirque Europe and brought in a number of European partners to extend the scheme's activities.
Now the project is changing again: JTCE is rebranding itself as Circus Next and will shift to running in year-long cycles, with a call for applications put out each May. The timetable for 2012 will be:
7 May: Call for applications.
5 August: Application deadline
Early September: Shortlisted projects announced
Mid-September – Mid-November: Shortlisted projects prepare an extract for the final selection
12-16 November: Selection Week in Neerpelt, Belgium
Mid-November 2012 – April 2013: Support phase (grants, residencies, mentoring)
April 2013: Public presentations of supported projects in Paris
Alongside the mentoring, residencies and grants (of €10,000 – €15,000) that have been offered in previous years, Circus Next will be organising a series of Labs – intensive, ten-day creation periods where supported artists are brought together to reflect on their artistic process.