Tilde Björfors is the Artistic Director and one of the founders of the Swedish Contemporary Circus Company – Cirkus Cirkör. Tilde has nearly 25 years of experience creating cross border stage performances, artistic projects, films and exhibitions and has been the driving force in establishing contemporary circus as an art form in Sweden.
Tilde Björfors – Background
Tilde Björfors was born in 1971 in Lund, Sweden. At sixteen, she moved to Stockholm to found an Upper Secondary School Program that mixed science and art – one that she herself would like to attend. In 1988, Tilde and her friends formed the Grotowski-inspired Slava Theatre. The ensemble, with Tilde as one of the actors, toured in Sweden and Poland until 1990. In the early 1990s Tilde Björfors worked as an actress with the Swedish director Peter Oscarsson at Helsingegården’s Theatre Research Centre and at the University College of Film, Radio, Television, and Theatre. Together they created several productions, one of them being King Lear at the Orion Theatre in Stockholm, with Tilde playing the role of Cordelia.
In 1993, Tilde went to Paris to work in Peking Opera with Mme Yan Ling at Theatre du Soleil. This led to Tilde’s first encounter with the contemporary circus movement and to studies at Ecole Nationale du Cirque Annie Fratellini.
Tilde Björfors founded Cirkus Cirkör in 1995, with the goal to establish contemporary circus in Sweden. The organization consists of two parts: art and education. The artistic department has to date produced more than 30 shows and Tilde has co-directed the majority of them.
Within the educational section of Cirkus Cirkör, Tilde initiated the circus center which provides activities for 40 000 children and adolescents annually, an Upper Secondary School Program, and a College Program in Circus as well as circus training for disabled people.
The artistic and educational parts of Cirkus Cirkör are closely intertwined. The Cirkör Lab for Artistic Research and Development is one example of a platform created for collaborations. In addition, Tilde has organized several contemporary circus festivals with international guest performances, master classes and workshops in the home municipality of Cirkör - Botkyrka.
Tilde Björfors was Guest Professor of Contemporary Circus at the University of Dance and Circus from 2005-2012. Her research project Circus as trans-boundary in art and society, was supported by the Swedish Research Council.
Tilde Björfors – Awards
Tilde Björfors has consistently used the artistic process and circus disciplines as an inspiration for Cirkus Cirkör’s corporate structure and in her leadership of the company. She has received numerous awards for her progressive management style (Leader of the Future (business category), by Junior Chamber International 2003), for being an innovative entrepreneur (Svenska Dagbladet’s Stockholmer of the Year 2000, Ruter Dam’s Jubilee Award 2003, the Curt Nicolin Award 2006).
For her artistic achievements she has been awarded with The Publisher Natur & Kultur’s Culture Prize, The Swedish H.M. The King´s Medal of the 8th dimension with blue ribbon and The Reumert Award for best performance. In 2017 Tilde was awarded two prestigious awards the Swedish Theatre Critic’s Theatre price and Expressen’s Theatre Prize for outstanding theater arts (“A piece of George’s hat”) for her direction of Limits and Satyagraha.
In 2018 Cirkus Cirkör and Tilde Björfors awarded with XV Europe Prize Theatrical Realities
European Theater Prize / Premio europa per il teatro was founded in 1986 at the initiative of the European Commission and is called the Oscar's of European Theater. In 1990, a category, New Theatrical Realities, was added with aims to encourage trends and initiatives in European drama, considered in all its different forms, articulations and expressions, also considering dance and music in their theatrical expressions.
Cirkör performances directed by Tilde or created with Tilde as Artistic Director
- 1995 – Skapelsen: The Stockholm Royal Dramatic Theatre’s tent at Stockholm Water Festival.
- 1996 – Ur kaos föds allt: 70 performances on tour in Sweden and Germany.
- 1998 – SuperCirkör (directed by Jonas Åkerlund, circus director Tilde Björfors)– under the mighty Western bridge: 25 performances on our Stockholm stage during European Capital of Culture 1998, and some 20 performances in Malmö.
- 1999 – 00:00: 140 performances during two years of touring in Sweden and Europe
- 2002 – Romeo & Julia: Two seasons with 135 sold-out performances at Elverket in Stockholm , in collaboration with The Stockholm Royal Dramatic Theatre.
- 2003 – Subörb – Circus and Arts Festival : ten days in Fittja, Botkyrka in cooperation with the Municipality of Botkyrka and Riksteatern.
- 2004 – 99% Unknown (directed by Tilde Björfors, choreography by Kajsa Giertz): Premiere in Düsseldorf, one season at Dansens hus in Stockholm, on a world tour for two years with some 120 performances. A co-production with Riksteatern, Altstadt Herbst, The Cultural Festival of Düsseldorf and the Teo Otto Theater der Stadt Remscheid.
- 2005 – Havsfruen (directed by Katrine Wiedemann, circus director Tilde Björfors): A co-production with Teater Kaleidoskop in Copenhagen, Denmark. It plays for two seasons in Copenhagen and one season at Dansens Hus in Stockholm, a total of 65 performances.
- 2006 – Momo or The Men in Grey, (directed by Niklas Hjulström, circus director Tilde Björfors) 45 performances at, and in collaboration with, Stockholm City Theatre in Skärholmen.
- 2008 – Inside out (directed by Tilde Björfors): 170 performances all over the world (among other Oslo/Norway, New York /USA, Düsseldorf/Germany, Moscow/Russia and London/UK.)
- 2010 – Wear it like a crown (directed by Tilde Björfors): Toured all over the world until 2015. Performed over 450 shows in total.
- 2012 – Knitted Piece (directed by Tilde Björfors)
- 2013 – Knitting Peace (directed by Tilde Björfors): Premieres in Marseille och continues to tour Europe, USA och South America until 2015. Performed over 300 shows in total.
- 2015 – Borders (directed by Tilde Björfors) co production with Malmö city theater.
- 2016 – Limits (directed by Tilde Björfors). Premiere 2016
- 2016 – Satyagraha (directed by Tilde Björfors) co production with Folkoperan. Premiere September 2016. Performed at Folkoperan and Stora Teatern in Sweden as well as Copenhagen Opera Festival in Denmark and BAM in New York, USA.
- 2017 – Movements (directed by Tilde Björfors) co production with Malmö city theater.
- 2018 – Epifónima (directed by Tilde Björfors)
- 2019 – God's disobidient rib (directed by Tilde Björfors) co production with the Royal Dramatic Theater and Malmö city theater.