As several aerialists in vibrant costumes glide over the heads of audience members and a strongwoman holds up a team of acrobats with one hand, the circus reminds viewers that anything is possible when people come together.
Through emphasizing diversity and the extraordinary aspects of the carnivalesque, Circus Oz, a touring group from Australia, brings a message of inclusion and empowerment to Iowa City, with a special focus on its LGBTQ+ community.
The troupe will deliver its message when it performs at Hancher at 7:30 p.m. Friday and at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Originating in Melbourne, Australia, in 1978, Circus Oz has showcased death-defying stunts, raucous humor, and themes of social justice around the world. Complete with a live musical score, the animal-free circus creates an eclectic experience for audiences of various tastes.
The company’s ensembles contain 11 to 13 performers, each of whom have spent a majority of their lives mastering their craft.
The contemporary circus has largely grown as an art form in Australia, complete with university programs specializing in circus performance. The high level of experience among members of Circus Oz enables the grace, power, and energy for which their performances are renowned.
The show unfolds as a series of isolated acts ranging from a routine in which firefighters spin down a length of rope to more conventional human trapeze dance numbers. When performers are risking their lives for our entertainment, it’s nice to break the tension with some comedy as well. Throughout the stunts and the juggling, the performers often take on humorous personas such as spiritual yoga gurus to add another level of enjoyment.
Live music plays a key role in Circus Oz’s presentation and provides the audience with an additional wonder that most modern circuses don’t provide. The diverse mix of music is performed by an extremely multitalented ensemble.
Link to Full Review on The Daily Iowan.