News & Reviews
ANNOUNCEMENT: Circus Oz appoints a new Artistic Director and Guest Show Director
17th December 2015
Following an extensive national and international recruitment process, Circus Oz is delighted to announce the appointment of their new Artistic Director, Rob Tannion.
Circus Oz Chair, Wendy McCarthy, said the Board is delighted Rob Tannion has accepted the role, “Artistic search is always exciting as we seek the person who will lead and challenge the company’s artistic history and future. I am confident that Rob will do that and much more as he brings his energy, contemporary skills and international experience back home to Australia to lead Circus Oz.”
Rob Tannion is a European based Australian director and choreographer with many years experience in creating original circus, physical theatre and dance productions. During 2015, Rob was the artistic director of Spain’s Organizacion Efimera and the resident director of the Madrid based circus company Circo de los Horrores. In recent years his shows have toured in big tops, outdoor festivals and theatres throughout Europe, Australia, Central and South America.
"After many years of directing and working across the genres of circus, dance, physical theatre and musicals on the international stage, I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Circus Oz as the new Artistic Director. Making the move from Madrid to Melbourne, I offer the company a wealth of solid directorial experience, boundless energy, and a strong vision for the future. Buckle up and hold on tight, the fun is about to begin!" said Rob Tannion.
In late March Rob will relocate to Australia and officially commence with Circus Oz in April 2016. Before moving to Melbourne, he will continue to direct the annual five-week Christmas season in Madrid´s prestigious Teatro Circo Price, with over 30 international artists, a seven-piece live band, large scale set and stunning visual effects. February will see him back in Mexico to remount the Circo de los Horrores show in a new city after a three-month run in Mexico City.
Circus Oz also announces that Anni Davey has been appointed as Guest Show Director for 2016. In this role Anni will work with Circus Oz founding member, Tim Coldwell, and the ensemble on the creation of the next Circus Oz production. Anni is a past Circus Oz ensemble member who has maintained an ongoing relationship with the company. She is the chair of Australian Circus and Physical Theatre Association (ACAPTA); has created and directed award-winning productions including for Yana Alana and the Paranas, One Trick Pony, A4 Circus Ensemble; and is one of the lead artistic collaborators on Retro Futurismo.
Following the Brisbane Festival season of Retro Futurismo, Anni Davey will formally start at Circus Oz at the end of January 2016, and work with the Circus Oz ensemble to develop the new show collaboratively with the performers before a Victorian regional tour in April 2016 and Big Top season in Melbourne in June 2016.
Industry statements about Rob Tannion’s appointment as the new Circus Oz Artistic Director
“This is one of the best international appointments of an Australian returning home. I spent a year in China creating a massive musical event with Rob, who is brilliant. He has great vision, skills and an infectious sense of adventure. This is a wonderful appointment for Circus Oz, for Australia and also for Rob”.
Gale Edwards, Theatre Director
“Rob understands performers from a multitude of disciplines and this shows in his sophisticated aesthetic. His appointment will further reinforce Circus Oz as a company of local and global credibility and will ensure the company will be a leader in this form in the years to come as it forges new connections and approaches to the creation of circus arts.”
Gavin Robbins, Head of Movement, National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA)
Credited with revitalising a traditional artform in a uniquely Australian way, Circus Oz is a rock ‘n’ roll, animal-free circus that has influenced the development of circus arts around the world since its foundation in 1978. Circus Oz undertook its first and critically praised international tour in 1980 and has continued touring to over 100 cities and regions in 27 countries – playing to over 3.7 million people.
Bio: Rob Tannion
Rob is a visually dynamic and creative independent director and choreographer who works internationally across circus, musicals, events, dance, outdoor and site-specific theatre, commercials and film. He is currently artistic director of Organisazion Efimera in Madrid. An Australian trained performer and director, he hit the international scene with a bang starring in London based DV8 Physical Theatre’s Enter Achilles which wowed Australia at the 1996 Adelaide Festival. Throughout the 2000s he began to create his own work and was artist in residence with the South Bank Centre in London for three years, where he launched the company “Stan Won´t Dance”. During this period he concurrently was the associate choreographer on Lord of the Rings (Toronto), casting choreographer on Billy Elliot (London). In 2011 he worked as acrobatic and fight director for Spiral (China), directed by Gale Edwards.
Over the past ten years Rob has passionately redirected his career to the circus arts and has been invited to direct works all around the globe, notably in Spain, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Australia, Mexico, Peru, Panama, Brazil and Colombia. He has created five shows for his ‘home away from home’, the Teatro Circo Price in Madrid, a purpose-built 1,600 seat circus theatre, presenting to audiences of over 120,000 annually. During 2015 he was both the resident director and assistant director with Circo de los Horrores, touring the highly successful horror themed shows through Spain, Italy and Mexico.
From 2008 – 2012 Rob directed the first three editions of CRECE (Creating Circus Exchange); a highly successful project created by Carampa (Madrid) in conjunction with Teatro Circo Price. The project offered 14 recently graduated artists from international circus schools to come together for four-weeks to create a new show from scratch, which was then performed in the Teatro Circo Price. Rob also directed the first edition of CRECE SUR (south) in Rio de Janeiro in 2012.
Throughout his career, Robert has maintained strong connections to the Australian arts and culture scene, returning to perform or direct productions for the Adelaide Festival, Olympic Arts Festival, Sydney Opera House Studio, Beautifully Imperfect (NICA), DanceNorth and Restless Dance Theatre.
Over the past 18 years Robert has received numerous awards and accolades, including:
2015 – Programme Internationalisation of Spanish Culture (winner)
2013-14 – Fondo de Iberescena (winner) – co-production Fecha de Caducidad
2012 – Argus Award for Outstanding Performance (winner) Apparition
2006 – GLAAD Media Award (winner) – outstanding off Broadway theatre, Stan Won’t Dance
2004 – 2007 – Artist in Residence, Southbank Centre, London (winner)
2002 – International Emmy Awards, Children and Young Peoples (winner), performer, Stig of the Dump
2000 – Outstanding Alumni Award, Queensland University of Technology (winner) Outstanding Achievement in the Arts
1997 – International Emmy Awards, Performing Arts (winner), DV8 Physical Theatre, Enter Achilles
Bio: Anni Davey
Anni is a freelance director and teacher of physical theatre and circus based in Melbourne. She is chair of ACAPTA (Australian Circus and Physical Theatre Association) and has enjoyed a long professional relationship with Circus Oz, including as a performer, guest director, assistant director, operations manager, new building project coordinator (for the current Collingwood headquarters), trainer and acting general manager (1998 and 2009).
In the early 1990s Anni was involved in the formation of two independent performing companies: Club Swing and Crying In Public Places – both highly regarded as creating seminal works in circus and in musical theatre. Club Swing toured their aerial show Appetite around Australia and internationally from 1994 to 1999, and produced a second show, Razorbaby (1999) that showed to acclaim in Melbourne and Sydney. Crying In Public Places toured three a cappella theatre shows (Crying In Public Places, Jump! and Skin) around Australia and internationally until 2001.
Anni’s directing practice, in development since 2006, includes three shows with Yana Alana and the Paranas (Sarah Ward) for which she received two Green Room awards as best director of cabaret (2007 and 2009); The Blue Show for Circus Oz (2010); Peep (2010) and Carousel (2012) for One Trick Pony; Down Pour for A4 Circus Ensemble (2010); Short Black for Sosina Wogayehu (2011); I Heart Jack for Anna Lumb (2011); Domestic Bliss for Quiche Lorraine (2008); and A Plane Without Wings is a Rocket (2006) and The Antechamber (2007) for Women’s Circus. In 2010 Anni was the recipient of the Australia Council for the Arts fellowship as an emerging circus and physical theatre director. In 2012 she directed The Rat Trap by Polytoxic, co-produced by the Queensland Theatre Company, and most recently was one of the artistic collaborators on Retro Futurismus – an immersive performance extravaganza which premiered in 2015.