Australia has a unique role in the circus world where both traditional and contemporary circus flourish, and the international touring circuit is strong. Australia also hosts large Fringe festivals in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne which feature a high rate of circus. Big names have emerged in contemporary circus in Australia over the past few years, including Gravity and Other Myths, Company 2 and Yuck Circus to name a few. There are several long-standing companies as well, Circus Oz, Circa, Briefs Factory, Casus Circus, and Hot Brown Honey. With just one professional circus school (NICA), a host of community-based circuses (Vulcana Women’s Circus, Women’s Circus, and iconic youth circuses like Flipside Circus), Australia manages to produce thoughtful, spirited works that push the envelope in the contemporary circus realm.
In this panel, we ask how the circus sector in Australia has been adapting to pandemic lockdowns and restrictions. What has been the impact on working and touring artists? How have tour strategies shifted to accommodate international travel restrictions? Are companies developing long term and backup plans to keep circus artists training, paid and creating? What has the government response been to the arts unemployment crisis and how has the circus sector fared in that regard? In short, ‘What’s up with circus in Australia?’
Read more about the Circus and Changing Realities 2020 Panel Series.