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Erik Berkey winner BNG Bank Circus Prize 2023


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During a festive gathering in a bulging circus tent, Erik Berkey was declared the winner of the BNG Bank Circus Prize 2023 . With his impressive act, Erik managed to convince the jury as this year's most outstanding circus graduate.
Erik Berkey received a cheque for €7,500 from Harald Bergmann (mayor of Middelburg and board member of the BNG Culture Fund). 
The award ceremony traditionally marks the conclusion of Festival Circolo.
He graduated from Fontys Circus & Performance Art last June.

From the jury report:

The jury was impressed by Erik's innovative construction with Chinese poles. The installation was impressively explored in a delayed performance. The whole offered a hypnotic experience.
Erik has proved his skill as a creator with this performance, adding a new dimension to the circus field.


For the BNG Bank Circus Prize, the jury nominated four acts earlier this year. They were selected from the graduation presentations of students at the two HBO circus programmes in the Netherlands; Fontys Circus and Performance Art and Codarts Circus. The nominees received a scholarship to further develop their presentations over the summer months. The nominees were:
Fontys Circus & Performance Art
Nathan Glaister - 'Bila, An Ode to the WretchedDance Acrobatics
Erik Berkey - 'Structure #1' - - Chinese Pole & Creative Rigging
Codarts Circus
Luise Hoffman - 'What I think, they tink' - - Static Trapeze
Benedikt Löffler & Malte Gerhard - ' - Hand to Hand & Globe


The jury for the BNG Bank Circus Prize 2022 consisted of:
- Arlette Hanson (circus producer - Circuspunt board member)
- Carole van Ditzhuyzen (artistic coordinator Maaspodium Rotterdam)
- Inez Wolters (creator/performer Swarmers)
- Marc Eysink Smeets (director/director Festival Circolo - board member Circuspunt)
- Harald Bergmann (board member BNG Bank Culture Fund)


The BNG Bank culture awards were created to encourage and support up-and-coming talent in their further development. In addition to the BNG Bank Circus Prize, these are the BNG Bank Theatre Prize, the BNG Bank Dance Prize, the BNG Bank Music Prize and the BNG Bank Literature Prize.
The BNG Bank Circus Prize is awarded to the most distinctive talent graduating that year from one of the two HBO circus programmes in the Netherlands (Codarts Circus Rotterdam and the Fontys Circus and Perfomance Art in Tilburg) The prize is an initiative of Circuspunt, the Dutch platform for the circus sector.
Previous winners of the BNG Bank Circus Prize: 2017 Familiar Faces (acrobatics), 2018 David Eisele (diabolo) 2019 Knot on Hands (acrobatics) 2021 Melody Nolan (handstands), 2022 Harvey Cobb (object manipulation/stand-up comedy).

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