Circus Oz extends its creative activities

Circus OzWith over 35 years of experience and an extraordinary ensemble of multi-talented performers taking its contemporary circus show to the international stage, Circus Oz continues to extend its creative activities across a range of exciting initiatives and achievements.

Cranked Up continues its national tour, criss-crossing this vast country from performances and workshops in the remote communities in Arnhem Land (including the Garma Festival) to performing in major national capitals with rave reviews.

Circus Oz has just completed successful seasons in Darwin and Alice Springs, with workshops for schools groups. The tour continues throughout South Australia, with a night in Warrnambool before ending the Australian tour with a four week season in the Circus Oz Big Top in Sydney from 1 – 27 January 2014.

Circus Oz is hosting a special fundraiser to launch the inaugural Circus Oz Strong Women Program – building a dedicated pathway for the development of women within contemporary circus through initiatives including tailored masterclasses, mentoring and scholarships.

Featuring acts from past and present Circus Oz strong women, including Mel Fyfe and cabaret singer Sarah Ward along with other surprise artists, this event will be in the Circus Oz Melba Spiegeltent (currently located in the Docklands) on Thursday 24 October and will celebrate what women are capable of: leadership, risk taking, incredible strength and stamina, extraordinary grace, rebellious spirit and an ability to laugh in the face of adversity.

This week Circus Oz received the 2013 Governor of Victoria Export Award – Creative Industries, presented at Government House Victoria by the Governor, the Honourable Alex Chernov AC QC and the Honourable Louise Asher MP.

This award reflects Circus Oz’s ongoing international presence and its role as Australia’s national circus. Since its first international tour in 1980, Circus Oz has toured to 26 countries from the jungles of South America to Broadway and will tour America and Canada early in 2014.

Circus Oz was recently formally recognised for its philanthropic partnership with Annamila that created the Circus Oz BLAKflip program by receiving the Victorian Creative Partnerships Philanthropy Program Award.

BLAKflip is an Indigenous recruitment program providing pathways for talented performers to be mentored as potential members of the ensemble through masterclasses, scholarships and internships. Current ensemble members, Dale Woodbridge and Mark Sheppard were recruited through the BLAKflip program.

Circus Oz will conduct its third Indigenous BLAKflip masterclass – an intense two-week program providing an introduction and orientation to circus skills, training and performance. Nine ‘deadly’ participants have been selected from a rich pool of talent in Indigenous dance, theatre, comedy, visual art and music.

The masterclass will focus on the development of specialist solo acts, working with guest trainers and Circus Oz artistic staff.

Broadening the scope of the Circus Oz classes program, Circus FIT! is a new affordable Tuesday morning (7am and 8am) class that reaches beyond the traditional circus skills training.

Circus FIT! is a unique form of exercise, developing core strength, cardio, balance and coordination structured around key circus activities, including hula hoop, trapeze and flexibility training. With no circus experience required, Circus FIT! extends the experience of the circus whilst actively promoting health and fitness.

Circus Oz undertook its first and critically praised international tour in 1980 and has continued touring to over 100 cities and regions in 26 countries, playing to over 3.5 million people.

For more information, visit: www.circusoz.com for details.

Image: Circus Oz 2011: Steampowered, Performer: Sarah Ward, Photographer: Rob Blackburn

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