Australian students attend circus education forum in France

Australian students attend circus education forum in France

Australian students and their trainers will be travelling to France to attend an educational forum on circus at a gathering of the world’s leading circus schools. The event is part of an ongoing series of exchanges but it is the first time the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) has participated in the performance component.

The 22nd Festival Circa, held in Auch, France from 23 – 31 October, epitomises the spirit of innovation and artistic quality. For the festival the European Federation of Professional Circus Schools (FEDEC) is hosting Circle, comprising 4 days of meetings and demonstrations by its member organisations. NICA is the Australian member of FEDEC, an international network that represents 41 professional circus schools located in 21 countries.

The four students chosen are in the second year of the Bachelor of Circus Arts at NICA and have been creating and rehearsing a new dramatic circus act for the past month. Daniel Crisp from Brisbane, Nathan Boyle from Bangor (NSW), Todd Kilby from Newcastle and Renee Koehler from Canberra are among the 60 students studying at NICA, Australia’s centre of excellence for professional training in contemporary circus arts and physical theatre. The tertiary qualification, accredited through Swinburne University of Technology, is the only circus degree in the Southern Hemisphere and attracts applicants from across Australia and overseas.

The performance titled “In the grip of….” uses high-energy circus, spectacular adagio, teeterboard, hoop-diving, straps and acrobatics to explore the characters’ experience of being gripped by extreme states of feeling, in each others’ grasp and at the mercy of their fantasies. Creative choreography combines with outstanding technique to offer audiences an experience that is captivating and mesmerising.

In addition to daily rehearsals with their circus trainers, the students have been working with theatre professionals including director Megan Jones who is NICA’s Head of Performance, Meredith Kitchen who has worked with the international award winning Compagnie Philippe Genty and emerging choreographer Mark Hill.

The students are looking forward to travelling to France, a country synonymous with love. Kilby adds that he feels “fortunate to be able to participate in the international world of circus as part of our studies.”

Career prospects for circus performers are strong and since the course started in 2001 NICA graduates have been employed by the world’s leading companies including Circus Oz and Cirque du Soleil.

Interviews are available by request with; Daniel Crisp, Nathan Boyle, Todd Kilby and Renee Koehler. Photos of the performers are available on request.

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