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Recap: 25 Years Circus Sonnenstich!

For 25 years now the Circus has been developing and staging original pieces: Sonnenstich makes contemporary circus in collaboration with people born with trisomy 21.


Earlier this year, the Chamäleon had the pleasure of hosting two anniversary performances by Circus Sonnenstich as part of the guest performance series PLAY. These were great performances and a wonderful birthday celebration brimming with warmth and happy faces. We will cherish these memories for a long time to come.

The Center for Moving Art eV (ZBK) sponsors Circus Sonnenstich and is also a partner of the Chamäleon Theater. Ever since a joint charity gala in 2013, the Chamäleon and Sonnenstich have worked together to develop joint projects – for example, during the state visit of the Swedish royal couple in 2016.

ZBK is an artistic project with social responsibility for an inclusive society. The mission: To be a public home for all. Children with a wide range of strengths and sensibilities can here develop freely from the age of twelve and learn with and from each other. They here find a creative centre where they can grow as individual personalities, artists, and as a community – and above all, provide valuable inspiration for an inclusive society.

Circus Sonnenstich currently features a total of 50 artists – four of whom are currently pursuing a four-year professional qualification as artists and assistant trainers. Workshops and coaching for national and international partners also belong to their programme. By this point, the ZBK and Sonnenstich are not “merely” a home but also an employer; a platform that enables one to locate oneself, to reflect on one’s own self-confidence, and increase it. Circus Sonnenstich has become an artistic family.

“I am very happy with the whole Sonnenstich team because I am always supported.
And I can develop myself through the team.
And that’s exactly what I like.”
– Sol Rein-Saunders; Artist & Trainer


The ZBK and Sonnenstich make a decisive contribution to providing people with trisomy 21 or other learning difficulties a space they not only need but also deserve as radiant personalities and competent circus trainers.

“I really enjoy being on stage.
Because I think something new.
Because I want to do something new.
And can do it.” – Hagen Häsler; Artist


The artists provide the impetus our society needs to establish new forms of inclusive, social, and artistic coexistence. Because art and culture should become accessible to all people equally; we all deserve recognition and appreciation for what we do.

This is also the opinion of Oskar, one of the artists – who is, by the way, an absolute expert in diabolo:

“It was very nice that people watched us.
I gave strength and energy to all the artists.
Just like rays of sunshine.”
– Oskar Schenck; Artist

By the way, the artists chose the name “Circus Sonnenstich” themselves, and it couldn’t be more fitting:

“The sun is rays, warmth, and fire.
The sun brings power to people so that they can live.

We can illuminate people.
And share so that they have a good mood.
And freedom for the whole world.
So that everyone feels they can choose freely.

We are also a sting.
We show: People with trisomy 21 have rights.
Free to decide where we want to work.
Because we are just like everyone else.
We are also normal.
We want to have a cohesive society.”
– Sol Rein-Saunders; Artist & Trainer

With the latest version of their piece KaraK – Visions, which has been continuously developed since 2019, the performance ensemble presents exactly this message on stage. Alone and in collaboration with guest artists, they create a cross-over performance that shimmers with diversity and thrilling contrasts.

We are grateful and proud to be a part of this inclusive artistic process – a chance to be inspired, to learn, and to rethink again. For a future that allows dreaming. For a future for all.

“Sarah and I – we both can fly. Above the clouds.
There’s a castle and an island of paradise.
I feel tropical there.

Like on a future island.
There is no more stress from the past.
The dust of the past goes away .
Then I feel free.”

– Florian Klotz; artist

Congratulations from the bottom of our hearts – here’s to another 25 years!


Photos: Sandra Schuck
Text: Alexandra Schwirrat