Circus Oz to explore new artistic directions

Circus Oz Penny Miles - photo by John DobieAustralia’s national circus company, Circus Oz has announced exciting new artistic plans that will reposition the company within the new National Performing Arts Partnerships Framework announced at the Meeting of Cultural Ministers in October 2019.

In 2020, Circus Oz will introduce a new guest director program that will explore the artistic potential of the company and enable a range of artistic leaders to experiment with different forms and formats.

Working with a new core group of full-time performers and other creative artists, the program will leverage the world-class facilities at the Circus Oz headquarters in Collingwood to expand the possibilities of contemporary circus.

Led by Circus Oz Executive Director Penny Miles, this revived approach forms part of a renewed vision for the company that will examine, challenge and trial future artistic directions.

“As a company that pioneered contemporary circus, this is a pivotal time for Circus Oz to consider what our place is now. Circus is a dynamic and evolving sector that looks very different today than it did 20, 10, or even five years ago,” said Miles.

Miles explained that Circus Oz has recently reviewed and scrutinized their place in the Australian and international creative sector, “The new National Performing Arts Partnerships Framework is a catalyst to reinforce and intensify our extraordinary strength and spirit, which holds a very special place in the hearts of many Australians.”

“As well as showcasing phenomenal circus and providing unique platforms for social issues and commentary, we will emphasize our crucial role in supporting the circus sector, in particular providing pathways for independent and First Nations artists,” said Miles.

“In Australia we are fortunate to have an extraordinary pool of talented circus artists. Through our diverse programs at Circus Oz – including Sidesault, Strong Women and BLAKflip – we are seeing energetic, intriguing and provocative new ways to experience circus,” Miles highlighted.

“We take our role in supporting a vibrant Australian circus sector very seriously, and – if complemented with increased and targeted government investment in independent artists and small to medium organisations – our sector could be world-leading,” Miles stated.

“Our renewed vision will allow us to support the next generation of circus pioneers, while providing an incubator for new works as we discover and expose the best artistic leadership models for Circus Oz,” said Miles.

Building on the remarkable Circus Oz legacy, the future-focus for the company will include a number of intensive creative developments rolled out in 2020.

Over the coming months, Circus Oz will search for guest directors and creatives to explore the artistic potential of the company. Further updates announcements are anticipated in early 2020. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Penny Miles – photo by John Dobie