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ON by Circa

CIRCA CONTEMPORARY CIRCUS has earned its stripes as one of the world’s leading performance companies, wowing audiences from the far corners of the world with their high level of skill, contemporary format and thrilling creations.

By Tierney Seccull

Challenging the traditional principles of what a circus is – with a big top, ringmaster and clowns – Circa has established a new genre of performance art, taking audiences to places that are emotionally challenging and different.

Under the careful direction of circus visionary Yaron Lifschitz, the company’s latest creation, On by Circa, is the perfect example of their unique work.

“We’ve been making a lot of shows that have been great big acrobatic shows, with lots of bodies doing kind of cool-looking and complicated things. My feeling was that the time was right to make a show where we look more at what happens between people – the beauty and complexity and difficulty of relationships and encounters,” he says.

“I feel like it’s easy to make circus that’s exciting, that’s full of skill and that looks good, and I think On has all of those things in it. But I also wanted to make a circus that moves people and makes them think – really makes them feel something.”

An ensemble of seven extraordinary acrobats move to a score by Melbourne composer Jethro Woodward, their muscular bodies draped in striking lighting design by Paul Jackson. Lifschitz says the work was partly inspired by the pandemic.

“We spent a couple of years elbow bumping and wearing masks around each other, and I was really interested in this axis of encounter,” Lifschitz says.

“On has two different meanings that particularly interested me. One is literally being on top of somebody, which is something we do in circus a lot, and the other is being sort of switched on or turned on – like when you turn the TV on or answer a phone call – you’re creating new circuits and new connections… It’s a show that I think looks quite deeply into how people are with each other. What is the experience of intimacy and connection, and therefore of the opposite?”

Layering complex acrobatic sequences with sharp moments of close-up intimacy, the ensemble creates a stripped back circus of the heart that’s uncompromisingly bold and unashamedly athletic. Don’t miss it.

ON by Circa
WED 13 & THU 14 APR | 7PM
COST $55 | $45 MEMB/CONC

Thumbnail, header & inset: David Kelly Wide

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