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Girls with Altitude

International Women’s Day may be done and dusted for the year, but we are far from finished celebrating our young female leads. They can lead a country, they can fight for the climate and they can certainly hold their own in a circus.

By Hannah Muir

Australia’s phenomenal Flying Fruit Fly Circus tumble their new show towards Central Australia for one day only at Araluen Arts Centre.

The performance, Girls with Altitude, features young female acrobats aged 8-19 years. The show is a spectacular example of the expectations of women, and this show is a response to that.”

While the show is an opportunity to highlight the usual nature of interchangeable roles for female performers, Annie hopes that the performers are seen in their full glory without the show being tokenised.

“Reflecting on the absence of boys should be secondary,” Davey says.

The Flying Fruit Fly Circus was born way back in 1979 and has been consistently offering a platform for diversity ever since. Big and strong down the bottom, light up the top, bendy in the air, introverts juggling, extroverts engaging the audience strong young bodies taking up the space that is rightfully theirs and encouraging others to do the same.

The show’s director, Annie Davey, is passionate about redressing an imbalance of meaningful performance opportunities for young girls. By collaborating with Australian illustrator Judy Horscek, of Where is the Green Sheep? fame, she has created a work that explores the expectation society has on girls and offers new perspectives for the future.

“Judy is a gentle and yet fiercely feminist cartoonist,” Davey says.

“She really ruminates on flipping the narrative of female behaviour or making them laugh – this circus is intrinsically inclusive.

“What I love about circus is that hopefully any kid, in this instance a girl, can see this performance, see these strong and confident performers and think, one of those girls is like me. ‘That could be me. I could do that’,” Davey says.

“It’s not often that young girls get to see strong, powerful women role models.”

Girls with Altitude
COST $25-$36

Thumbnail, header & inset: Photo: Nic Fenton

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