Born 1995, Jakob grew up in Wesel, a small German town at the river Rhein. After primary school he had to choose between the two local high schools which one to go to. His choice fell on the school that had its own small youth circus project. He had seen the group perform before and got fascinated by the circus. The project called “Zirkus Butterfly” got founded by Klaus Schoch, a former Sports and English teacher at the school.
Entering high school, he joined the circus and performed various disciplines during his time there. Every two years the group would visit a youth circus festival in Hückelhoven, organised by the local high school circus project. A festival to meet new people, make friends, train together but also a competition. Zirkus Butterfly stopped visiting the festival after a while, but Jakob continued to go on his own and won a guest performance at the GOP Varieté Theater Essen in the 2013 edition of the festival. In 2017 he was invited back to the festival as a member of the Jury.
During the festival in 2013 he got into contact with the federal state youth circus project of North Rhine-Westphalia “LJZ/Circolution”. He joined the group for the creation of a contemporary circus show called CtrL which premiered in November of 2013 in the tent of Circus Schnick Schnack. The show toured multiple German cities and passed by places like the ZAK in Cologne. The experiences he made during this time played a big role for him in his decision to become a professional circus artist. Cirque nouveau gave circus a new taste and added layers of expression that he wanted to continue exploring.
In his last years of high school Jakob joined a university sports group and began training hand to hand. This training laid the foundations for the upcoming years. 2014, after having finished high school, Jakob auditioned for Codarts Circus Arts in Rotterdam and got accepted. For 3 years he worked there as a hand to hand flyer before splitting up with his partner to go deeper within his own artistic vision. He continued his fourth year as a floor acrobat and hand balancer. In his work he explores the relation between performer and spectator within the shared space they co-exist in. With his creations he is trying to challenge and question this relation to push the boundaries of circus. Jakob graduates from Codarts in June 2018.
In 2016 Jakob joined the team of the Poortgebouw Open Stage. The Poortgebouw Open Stage is an event taking place in one of Rotterdam’s monuments, housing around 30 people that live together as a community. The Open Stage takes place in the Attic, which for circus is not quite an ideal location concerning space and especially ceiling height. Nevertheless, the event attracted already performers from all around the world and still does.
[Documentary about the Poortgebouw Open Stage by Monika Nerverauskaite from 2015: https://vimeo.com/117208393 ]
Starting out as assistant light technician he now takes care of the technical management for the event. Working as a light technician for the Open Stage opened a new field of interest for Jakob. More and more he got into lighting and became the main light technician for the individual performances for Codarts Circus Arts. Working with lights as well as seeing how others are working with light on stage made him realize the potential there is in light design in the field of performance arts. Inspired by that he wrote his Bachelor Thesis, trying to make lighting more accessible for other performers.
2018 Jakob works as light technician for the “Project Cunningham ‘18” by Antien van Mierlo and the second year of the Codarts Dance Department.
Since Jakob graduated from Codarts Circus Arts in 2018 he joined the belgian company Grensgeval for their show "Plock!". With that showed he toured a lot in Belgium throughout 2018. In 2019 the show went to Festival Spring in France as well as Circa in Auch. Next to that he performed with Circus Ronaldo for their annual Christmas Show and keeps working on other projects of his own with which he went to multiple festivals like the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, the ADM Festival in Amsterdam and Festival Brocante in the north of Italy.
In 2019, together with a group of Rotterdam based artists, he formed the /Arte collective. A formation of creatives of various artfields which aims to give a platform for interdisciplinary exchange between artists and artforms.
Jakob recently finished a study at Leggere Structura Art Factory in Bologna, Italy. The formation is called Anfibia and is an immersive and multi- disciplinary training project for performers and contemporary creators. Out of this formation his collaboration with the dancer Maria Susca emerged. Together they created and performed Being Audience|Being Performer and are starting another joint adventure for their new creation Present.
Meanwhile Jakob continues to tour internationally with "Plock!" by Grensgeval next to his own projects.
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