On the Couch with Rob Tannion

Rob Tannion Arts Review On the CouchWho is Rob Tannion?
I am the new Artistic Director of Circus Oz in Melbourne. Past lives include choreographer, fight director, dancer, cow farmer, bartender, ceramic tiling. I left Brisbane 23 years ago on “a short trip around Europe with my sister” after she won big on a scratch card and shouted me the airfare. Have only just managed to return to Oz, minus the sister or backpack but with more languages, wrinkles, experience and four children.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Artistically nothing… I love what I do, and cannot think of anything better right now. I am where I need to be in this part of my life.

Who inspires you and why?
There are many people, but I would say my father. He was a single dad with 4 kids in the early 80’s, who worked hard, lead by example and inspired me to follow my love of the arts. He was strong because he accepted his vulnerabilities, and our house was always full of visitors, live music jams, and the door was always open. He doused me with unforgettable quips and quotes which seemed to make no sense at all, until one day they did. Make haste slowly. Shit happens. How important is it really? A day at a time.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Make sure that corporations and multinationals are both financially, socially and culturally responsible. Fair payment of taxes, raise the bar on workers rights, pay and conditions  – BEFORE they begin talking profits for the few. Give every child equal conditions and opportunity to thrive with awareness, equality, education, and access to health, housing and protection.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Old fashioned family camping trip on Fraser Island, with access to plenty of activities and hiking and NO internet. Real time with people who matter.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
An experience of the things that make Melbourne so special to me: A great flat white, a spin on the trams, a breakfast BBQ in a public park, a walk along the Yarra, discovering the amazing graffiti and street art, their choice of any international cuisine, a sporting event, and of course taking in a circus/theatre/dance show that this brilliant cultural capital has to offer. Possibly better not all on the same day.

What are you currently reading?
Trailblazers – Australia’s 50 Greatest Explorers from the Australian Museum.

What are you currently listening to?
Zoe Keating  – ‘Escape Artist’ An amazing cellist who composes and performs with passion, gravity, and depth.

Happiness is?
Within. (And time well spent with those I love)

What does the future hold for you?
To continue to be an seriously inspired fool. To keep being a strong advocate for the arts and underlining the immense value it offers socially, culturally, creatively, economically, as well as its ability to offer a voice, reflection, challenge and change, as well as art and entertainment.

Circus Oz’s latest show, TWENTYSIXTEEN opens under The Big Top at Birrarung Marr, Melbourne on Thursday 16 June 2016. For more information, visit: www.circusoz.com for details.

Image: Rob Tannion