Strengthening the art in circus arts

Lack of funding and limited touring opportunities are restricting the artistic development of Australian circus, but new initiatives are set to change that.

Circus Oz Sidesault at The Melba: Tumble Circus’ Unsuitable. Image supplied.

From the national youth company, the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, to established companies like Circus Oz, Circa, and Gravity and Other Myths, Australia’s contemporary circus sector is thriving and successful.

Artistic innovation and experimentation, however, are being held back by a number of factors, including a lack of funding and the limited opportunities in Australia for touring and presenting risk-taking circus works. As Antonella Casella, Senior Artistic Associate at Circus Oz explained in a recent ArtsHub feature, the bulk of circus work in Australia is unfunded and relegated to the Fringe Festival circuit.

Unlock Padlock Icon

Like this content?

Become a Member and unlock unlimited Access today

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