Circus Voices, a podcast brought to you by CircusTalk, is pleased to present a series called Circus in Process with Casus Circus. In this series, we will follow the progress of the show Casus is currently creating called Amataga, from concept to creation process, to production and touring. What does it take to make a world-class show that has an impact? How will Casus need to adapt and rethink their plans as they attempt to develop and launch a tour during a worldwide pandemic? In some ways, their struggle is one all performance creators are grappling with now, and yet they develop their own unique response. This Brisbane-based contemporary circus company has toured the world with their shows, starting with their premier workKnee Deep (2011), which is still booking tours to this day.
In episode 4, it is the last talk with Casus director Natano Fa’anana about the show Amataga. He opens up about the challenges of getting Casus’ socially relevant work about Black and Brown people funded. The show theme of rites of passage was to be a jubilant sharing of the artists’ research and rituals as they reclaimed parts of their culture that have been suppressed. In episodes 1 to 3, we explored the ups and downs of show planning, producing, performing and directing as they got closer to the premiere in March. But the arts funding and commitments to the show fell through, halting rehearsals and production for now, and leaving the whole concept in peril. Natano and his cast are resilient and forge onward with their other productions, but the irony doesn’t escape them that their show with the most pertinent message to our times that would be received in a world hungry for meaning was the one that was rejected by venues and programmers.