Circus

ROCK BANG – THUMPIN’ GOOD ROCK CIRCUS

ROCK BANG
Photo Credit: Prudence Upton

Last night’s audience certainly loved it.  ROCK BANG is sure to be a huge hit during the Sydney Festival.  Circus pings all the pleasure spots and nothing pleases like Circus Oz who have been leaping flying tumbling innovators for over 40 years.  This time though they have enlisted the high energy of Otto & Astrid from Die Roten Punkte and created a boisterous, rockin show which definitely needs categorising under not-as-we-know-it-circus!

Opening with a thumping rock number live and an aerial ring swing over the front rows, the show hits momentum quickly.  The characters of Otto and Astrid are funny and silly and very, very dark as they share their origin story.  German brother and sister to all intents, let’s just gloss over the Flowers in the Attic-ness, they will tell a sad tale of loss (bus or lion) then success as a punk band.  Kick ass drums and squealing guitar!  And stowaways to Australia in a Circus Oz trunk. Continue reading ROCK BANG – THUMPIN’ GOOD ROCK CIRCUS

THE ILLUSIONISTS: DIRECT FROM BROADWAY TO THE OPERA HOUSE

The Daredevil

This year, THE ILLUSIONISTS: DIRECT FROM BROADWAY will continue to redefine magic and challenge audience expectations with large-scale stunts, levitation, mindreading, disappearance and daredevilry. This non-stop show is thrilling and sophisticated magic at its best, led by eight of the world’s most talented magicians and artists: Continue reading THE ILLUSIONISTS: DIRECT FROM BROADWAY TO THE OPERA HOUSE

AN INTERVIEW WITH HEAD OF CIRCUS STUDIES AT NICA

The National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA), is undertaking a nationwide audition roadshow in search of Australia’s future circus stars. Head of Circus Studies, James Brown with Vocational Education Coordinator Tegan Carmichael leads the audition search and we had the chance to talk to James before he set off on the national search for the next generation of circus artists.

SAG:  Where are you headed with this roadshow?

JAMES:  Most major cities, we like to hunt out the best talent that we can train with. So Sydney Adelaide, Perth and here in Melbourne where we had a pre-audition workshop. We held that last month and it’s a great opportunity to people who were not that familiar with the audition process.  We took them through what to expect on the day and an insight into what they need to prepare for, both physically and artistically. Continue reading AN INTERVIEW WITH HEAD OF CIRCUS STUDIES AT NICA

NICA LOOKING FOR OUR FUTURE CIRCUS STARS

Australia’s premier circus arts organisation, the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA), is undertaking a nationwide audition roadshow in search of Australia’s future circus stars. 

As the only national arts training institute to offer a Bachelor of Circus Arts, positions at NICA are highly sought after and attract Australia’s most talented, physically gifted and creative young performers.  NICA graduates have joined nationally and internationally acclaimed companies including Cirque du Soleil, Dragone (China), Cavalia (Canada), NoFit State Circus (United Kingdom) alongside Australia’s Circa, Circus Oz and Carnival Australia.

“Naturally we are seeking emerging circus artists but our hunt is quite broad, extending to dancers, gymnasts, martial artists, theatre students, trickers, parkour enthusiasts, BMX riders and more.  If you are highly focused and wish to make a career out of your skills, we invite you to obtain a degree in elite, contemporary circus arts training,” said NICA’s Head of Circus Studies, James Brown who leads the audition search. Continue reading NICA LOOKING FOR OUR FUTURE CIRCUS STARS

BACKBONE: RIVERSIDE THEATRES PARRAMATTA

Adelaide-based Gravity & Other Myths is directed by Darcy Grant and stuns in their new show BACKBONE at Riverside Theatres Parramatta, a mesmerizing blend of physical theatre/circus /acrobatics . It is a virtuoso performance of rigorous discipline , super-elite physical acrobatics . The company has been previously nominated for Helpmann awards. Continue reading BACKBONE: RIVERSIDE THEATRES PARRAMATTA

IT’S NOT FOR EVERYONE @ CARRIAGEWORKS

Production photos by Prudence Upton.

It’s not for everyone, but maybe it should be. This chow is a symphony of sophisticated naivety, slapstick with a bitch slap, a carnival of two, the accomplished performance artists, Jo-Ann Lancaster and Simon Yates.

These two are the founders of Acrobat, pioneers of circus performance for the past score years and more, and IT’S NOT FOR EVERYONE is their latest offering for everyone, even though it’s not for them. Continue reading IT’S NOT FOR EVERYONE @ CARRIAGEWORKS

MODEL CITIZENS: CIRCUS OZ UNDER THE BIG TOP PARRAMATTA

MODEL CITIZENS: The latest wonderful production from Circus Oz, the first production for the company by new artistic director Rob Tannion and celebrating 40 marvellous years, started the 2018 Sydney Festival with a bang. Continue reading MODEL CITIZENS: CIRCUS OZ UNDER THE BIG TOP PARRAMATTA

THE CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS: Gothic Cabaret

The Carnival of Lost Souls

Dare to enter the dark and magical world of a 19th century circus as THE CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS arrives in Sydney after leaving a dizzying path of mystery and mayhem for audiences along the way.

 Nestled somewhere between the madness of a Tim Burton psychosis and the darkness of a David Lynch nightmare, THE CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS tells the tragic tale of unrequited love & loss set amongst the splendour of a Victorian-era circus.

Featuring some of Australia’s best physical entertainers, musicians & singers, this uniquely original “circus noir” spectacle delivers a twisted bent on the familiar Circus, Musical Theatre and Cabaret stage genres.  Backed by a highly emotive and original live music score by Platonic, audiences are taken on a brooding and mystical journey into the dark heart of a vintage circus fraternity where nothing is as it seems.

Written and produced by Graham Coupland, founder of Australia’s popular GANGSTER’S BALL,THE CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS is a lavish production that showcases a breathtaking mix of performances from world‐class acrobats, aerial artists, illusionists and carnival characters, all whilst telling a tale of desire and betrayal under the classic Big Top.

Combined with Victorian Gothic and Steampunk-inspired costuming and stage design, a magical world comes alive where the line between life and death, real and unreal, is truly blurred.

THE CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS will play at the Seymour Centre 16-18 November.  To be in the running to win one of 2 free double passes email your details to editor.sydneyartsguide@gmail.com using LOST SOULS COMP as the subject by 6pm Thursday November 2nd.  Only winners will be notified.

For details about THE CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS : https://www.carnivaloflostsouls.com/

https://www.facebook.com/carnivaloflostsouls/

 

 

SPANISH BAROQUE : THE AUSTRALIAN BRANDENBURG ORCHESTRA AND CIRCA @ CITY RECITAL HALL

The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Circa have reunited for a glorious blend of Baroque music and circus at the City Recital Hall.

The performance was inspired by the Brandenburg’s ARIA Award-winning CD Tapas, which includes plenty of percussion, guitar and theorbo, and lashings of violin bravado, with music by Albéniz, Merula, Murcia, Martinez and more.

The two special guests were Baroque guitarist Stefano Maiorana from Rome and soprano Natasha Wilson from New Zealand making her Australian debut.

Circa’s artistic director Yaron Lifschitz’s choreography astutely blended sensational dazzling solos and breathtaking ensemble routines while always harmonising with the spirit of the music. It was a fluid combination of tumbling, gymnastics, balancing and aerial numbers , in various jaw-dropping sections making you blink and go “ I see it but I don’t believe it“. Dangerous dives, throws and catches were included as well as feats of strength and daring as well as sometimes triple-level human pyramids. Continue reading SPANISH BAROQUE : THE AUSTRALIAN BRANDENBURG ORCHESTRA AND CIRCA @ CITY RECITAL HALL

TIPPING POINT @ THE SPAGHETTI CIRCUS BIG TOP PARRAMATTA

Ockham’s Razor is a London based performance company who are back for the Sydney Festival. Patrons who saw them in 2014 will have some idea what to expect, though this is a very different show. The philosophical concept Ockham’s Razor is often minimalised to … the simplest answer is probably true. But more interestingly it originally translated as something like … to solve a problem don’t allow too many options. This influential and internationally recognised company have most certainly taken that advice to heart. Continue reading TIPPING POINT @ THE SPAGHETTI CIRCUS BIG TOP PARRAMATTA

CIRCA PRESENTS ‘HUMANS’ @ THE SPAGHETTI CIRCUS BIG TOP, PARRAMATTA

 

The young, fit, highly trained human body is capable of astonishing things.

Circa is a very exciting Brisbane based company.  HUMANS asks what it means to be human. How much weight do we carry? Who can we trust to support our load? It leads us to reflect on our lives, our loved ones, the burdens we carry and the physical and emotional strength it takes to overcome them.

Directed and created by Yaron Lifschitz, HUMANS, performed in the round at the Spaghetti Circus Big Top is a breathtaking combination of acrobatics, contortionism , tumbling, balancing, aerial trapeze, handstands and back flips.

Contact improvistaion, pyramid building, banquine and risley, and hand-to -hand partnering are also featured and strikingly blended with elements of contemporary dance.

At times the audience audibly gasps. There is no real narrative, rather a fluid sequence of various dazzling and surprising interactions combining various finely honed circus skills.

There is much use of haze and the lighting is delicately, warmly vibrant and atmospheric.

The scintillating cast of ten wear a uniform of autumn/russet coloured shorts/leotards and a semi -transparent black top. They wear ankle and/or wrist supports .Some have tattoos,

At the beginning the cast wear casual street clothes and have fun rolling acrobatically twisting in and out of them.

There is a fiercely tender and intimate sense of trust between the cast – some of the lifts, drops, throws ,twists and catches,  let alone the pyramid balancing, are extraordinary.

HUMANS is full of hot and sweaty bodies in explosive, movement , leaping, twisting ,twirling jumping, somersaulting ,precariously balancing , intimately entwined , swooping and swinging from a trapeze , dragged by the hair, sliding across the stage and  forming sculptural poses,

One hilarious sequence that had the audience in rapture was where the cast twisted and bent in almost impossible shapes attempting to lick their elbow. Floating balancing lifts in other sections are contrasted with this A breath, a clap, a bend of the knee,  a beautifully flexed and pointed foot or extended arm are all important .

With astonishing strength, grace, agility and integrity, each moment is seamlessly connected.

The relentless, pulsating soundscape varied from an assortment of popular songs to music theatre standards to techno thump to the sound of a single clap..

The almost hysterical standing ovation at the end was richly deserved.

Running time – 80 minutes without interval.

HUMANS, presented  by Circa, is playing atat the Spaghetti Circus Big Top,  Prince Alfred Square Parramatta up until 19th January.