To celebrate 40 spectacular years of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, the Borderville Circus Festival hits Albury for a week of performances and workshops from 4 – 7 December all focussed around the Circus Big Top, located in Hovell Tree Park, Albury, the same location as the very first performance of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus in the summer of 1979.
“40 years ago an extraordinary thing happened in Albury! A bunch of ordinary, country kids trained together and made a circus,” said Anni Davey, Artistic Director of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus. “That circus is still here, still strong and still leading and influencing the development of contemporary circus throughout the world.”
The Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Australia’s National Youth Circus, will throw open its doors with the Borderville Circus Festival, which will immerse families in the magic of circus, celebrating the power of what young people can achieve, and Albury’s unique circus community.
The feature event will be a new work, Back in the Big Top, created by renowned circus director and Artistic Director of Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Anni Davey. Back in the Big Top will showcase the current 79 students of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, aged 8 – 19. It will be created in collaboration with artists from Circus Oz and Casus and will be the first time ever the entire ensemble has performed together.
Also created especially for the festival, Fruities at 40 is an epic one-night-only cabaret performance to celebrate four decades of talent, passion, magic, mayhem and unbreakable spirit, featuring generations of Flying Fruit Fly Circus superstars.
Other festival events will include Circus Open House, open workshops for children new to circus, Now and Then, a circus documentary double bill presented with festival partner Regent Cinema, plus Capturing Creativity, a photographic exhibition by local photographer Ian Sutherland who has been documenting the circus for the last five years.
The Flying Fruit Fly Circus has risen to become Australia’s premier youth performing arts organisation with a full-time circus program that uniquely boasts its own academic school, the Flying Fruit Fly Circus School. Many Flying Fruit Fly Circus alumni have gone on to major performance and behind-the-scenes roles across the globe, including with Circus Oz, Circa, Cirque du Soleil and Les 7 Doigts.
The full-time program is considered one of the best in the world, and graduate students choose to continue their training in renowned centres of excellence like the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) in Melbourne, or École Nationale de Cirque in Montreal, or transition straight into the industry, performing with circuses and other performing arts companies nationally and internationally.
Skills learned through the program are not just performance based but also help develop important life skills such as managing calculated risk, and working as a team member, setting up students for an enormous range of career possibilities.
The Flying Fruit Fly Circus was named circus-in-residence at the Sydney Opera House in 2015 and is a resident company at The Cube Wodonga. In recent years their shows have triumphed internationally on tour to Turkey, New Zealand and Vietnam, and across regional and metropolitan Australia.
Image: Flying Fruit Fly Circus presents the Borderville Circus Festival (supplied)