Winter Circus

Winter Circus, the warm-spirited show for the whole family, has been delighting audiences since 1994. It is an annual Christmas season tradition for many families, but it also reaches new audiences every year.

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Many spectators remember these winter circus shows with nostalgic feelings: Vega, Tähti/Star, Taika/Magic, Kuusi/Spruce, Sirius, Nauru/Laughter, Lumi/Snow, Aika/Time, Poro/Reindeer, Valo/Light, Tuike/Sparkle, Sika/Pig, Nenä/Nose, Afrikka/Africa, Kosmos/Cosmos, Uni/Dream, Matkalla/Journey, Muisti/Memory, Play, Rakkaus/Love’, BAU, Vauhti/Speed, Ilo/Joy, Super…

Winter Circus has been both critically acclaimed and popular among audiences, and many have found a particular favourite among the numerous shows. The Winter Circus has received the Sirkuksen Lumo award, and in 2012, the leading Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat named Winter Circus Africa among “the tops of the year”, meaning it was one of the most memorable and touching art experiences of the year.

The masterminds behind the Winter Circus tradition are director/choreographer Arja Pettersson, who was Director General of Hurjaruuth until 2019, and her long-term work partner, costume designer Kirsi Manninen. Petterson has directed 18 out of the 27 Winter Circus shows, thus establishing the foothold of modern circus in Finland. Manninen created the look for such iconic characters as the Pig, the Elves, the Rats, and many more. She worked in Winter Circus productions until 2014.

Winter Circus shows have also had visiting directors: Liisa RisuSanna SilvennoinenDavide GiovanzanaHannu Raatikainen and Maksim Komaro. The performances have featured hundreds of professional circus, dance, theatre and music artists from Finland and abroad.

Winter Circus has been a springboard for several Finnish circus artists, and renowned international artists have also been seen in the Winter Circus arena. Music for the shows has been played by several wonderful bands, such as Trio Bordurka, Cleaning Women, Nieminen ja Litmanen, Valtteri Pöyhönen, Petteri Rajanti, Peloton, Kuukumina, and Ninja Beat.

Many families come to see Winter Circus in groups of several generations: grandparents, parents and children. The show also attracts young people and groups of adults for workplace recreational events and Christmas parties, for example. Thanks to the non-verbal storyline, Winter Circus is accessible for everyone, including spectators who don’t know Finnish. Physical accessibility has also been taken into account, and there is room for viewers in wheelchairs.

Winter Circus shows in chronological order

2023 Winter Circus Super, direction Sanna Silvennoinen
2022 Talvisirkus Ilo, direction Liisa Risu
2020-2021 Winter Circus Speed, direction Sanna Silvennoinen
2019 Winter Circus BAU, direction Liisa Risu
2018 Winter Circus Love, direction Sanna Silvennoinen
2017 Winter Circus Play, direction Davide Giovanzana
2016 Winter Circus Memory, direction Arja Pettersson
2015 Winter Circus Journey, direction Mak­sim Komaro
2014 Winter Circus Dream, direction Arja Pet­ters­son
2013 Winter Circus Cos­mos, direction Davide Gio­van­zana
2012 Winter Circus Africa, direction Arja Pet­ters­son
2011 Winter Circus Nose, direction Liisa Risu
2010 Winter Circus Pig, direction Arja Pet­ters­son
2009 Winter Circus Sparkle, direction Hannu Raatikainen
2008 Winter Circus Light, direction Arja Pet­ters­son
2007 Winter Circus Reindeer, direction Arja Pet­ters­son
2006 Winter Circus Time, direction Arja Pet­ters­son
2005 Winter Circus Snow, direction Arja Pet­ters­son and Liisa Risu
2004 Winter Circus Laughter, direction Arja Pet­ters­son ja Liisa Risu
2003 Winter Circus Sir­ius, direction Arja Pet­ters­son
2002 Winter Circus Spruce, direction Liisa Risu
2001 Winter Circus Säde, direction Arja Pet­ters­son
2000 Winter Circus Magic, direction Arja Pet­ters­son
1999 Winter Circus Enchantment, direction Arja Pet­ters­son
1998 Winter Circus Star, direction Arja Pet­ters­son
1997 Winter Circus Vega, direction Arja Pet­ters­son
1996 Winter Circus, direction Arja Pet­ters­son
1995 Christmas Circus, direction Arja Pet­ters­son
1994 Christmas Circus, direction Arja Pettersson