Roll up, roll up. This year marks a huge milestone for Circus Oz as they celebrate 40 years as Australia’s premiere, ground-breaking contemporary circus. They’re out to share their unique live performances as widely as possible, with a huge schedule of programs all over the country all year long.
“There’s definitely a lot going on,” says artistic director Rob Tannion. “What better way to celebrate our 40th anniversary than to create a whole series of shows.”
Back in 1978, Circus Oz was formed from the members of two existing groups to create a new kind of show that would encompass rock‘n’roll, theatre and satire. A fresh, original voice in circus, the company was a hit with Australian audiences – and it still is. In the time since its inception, Tannion says Circus Oz has adapted and evolved to be more than it was originally intended. “For the period of time it started out, it was a massive influencer in contemporary circus,” he says. “It was gender equitable, very ensemble-based and very much coming before those ideas and values became buzzwords now.
“All the works were very inventive and had a lot to say on stage – what was wonderful was a real strong ensemble of individual characters that came together to create really creative works, and I think that strength pushed to the forefront over many years and influenced a lot of other companies around the world.
“It’s a big deal – it has a historical value not only in the Australian arts scene but on the contemporary circus scene on an international level.”
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