From its beginning Circus Oz has been visibly and vocally committed to the cause of land rights and reconciliation with Australia’s First Peoples, both as an organisation and through our work.
Over the past five years we have been busy solidifying our First Nations Program, BLAKflip and Beyond. This is a broad strategy intended to build stronger connections and collaboration with the First Peoples of this land. This program has provided a pathway for talented First Nations performers to be mentored and supported as potential members of the Circus Oz ensemble. This highly successful program, has so far resulted in over 50 participants in our annual masterclasses, with five being cast into the touring ensemble.
Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival presented the second performance outcome to come from our BLAKflip program in May 2017. Chasing Smoke is a unique glimpse into the world’s oldest living culture told through the limitless artform of contemporary circus. Tumbling through life while juggling our responsibilities in an age where culture, tradition, land and identity are under threat, these performers will capture your imagination as they paint the world that was, that is, and that could be.
Directed by Samoan-Australian director Natano Fa’anana (Polytoxic, Briefs, Casus Circus) an unconventional storyteller who chooses to learn from individuals rather than institutions, the premier of Chasing Smoke not only challenged, amazed and entertained, but also showcased the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander circus legends.
Check out this video to see more.
This program aims to develop female circus artists that are able to send an empowering message to the broader community that sexism is not ok, that women are all shapes and sizes, that girls don’t have to behave or look a certain way, and importantly that women are strong and capable.
Circus Oz celebrate what women are capable of – incredible strength and stamina, extraordinary grace, rebellious spirit and ability to laugh in the face of danger.
While a giant step forward was made for gender equity in the 70’s, Circus Oz believes it is still a long journey towards true equality. This is why Circus Oz champions the potential and actual achievements of women by promoting role models and challenging perceptions.
Our program provides a dedicated path for the development and celebration of women within the contemporary circus industry, nurturing emerging talent through dedicated training, masterclasses, mentoring and recruitment.
With your help, we can continue to create these opportunities for women, ensuring the next generation of Strong Women emerges from within our circus ranks.
In 2017, our strong women participants had the amazing opportunity to perform as part of Taylor Mac's 24-Decade History of Popular Music at the Melbourne Festival performance in October 2017.
To find out more watch this video.
Born in the heart of Australia’s live music scene in Melbourne, Circus Oz is the only Australian circus company that includes original live music in its shows. To make sure music is always a part of the Circus Oz experience we have established a dedicated Live Music Fund to invest in instruments, technicians and transport.
Circus Oz band creates music that enhances every individual circus act on stage, tailored to mirror every movement for the performance. Group music songs involve everyone on stage including the circus performers and demonstrates just how multi-skilled everyone is, a true strength of the company.
To maintain our artistic vitality we need to continue to have live music at the very heart of every Circus Oz performance. It is our point of difference, and it is critical that is always part of the show for our national and international touring.
Sidesault is about by providing access to our purpose built circus facilities and offering support to independent artists. We support over 120 independent artists and members of small companies to train and develop new work. These incredible, innovative artists have pushed the boundaries of the artform and developed award-winning shows such as Perhaps There Is Hope - Company Here and Now, Undertone - Avan Whaite and co, Knee Deep - Casus, Left - Long Answers to Simple Questions, My Life in Boxes - Gravity Dolls and No Punchline - Sara Pheasant and co.
In 2017, Sidesault was all about artform development through a series of new artistic collaborations exploring the rich diversity of contemporary Australian circus today. Circus Oz bought together an eclectic group of five independent small to medium circus companies together that opened up new creative and physical dialogue regarding the artistic process, artistic visions, and performance outcomes.