Does Australian circus have a superpower?

From an innate spirit of innovation to kindness and community engagement, circus arts have a superpower all their own.
Circus. Image is two acrobats, one doing a one-handed handstand on a row of footlights and the other crouching and helping the first to balance.

‘Circus is an art form in which there is no end to the possibilities … and I think one of the key reasons for this is that circus – as we think of it in this community, as it’s programmed in mainstage festivals – still is very much perceived by audiences as new and exciting,’ said Antonella Casella, a founding member of Brisbane’s Rock’n’Roll Circus (now Circa), ex-street performer and long-term creative practitioner and sector advocate, who now lectures in Circus History at Melbourne’s National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA).

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts