Tag: Angelique Ross

Circus Oz Presents SIDESAULT FESTIVAL

Sheer delight

By Lois Maskiell

Sidesault Festival kicked off with a roaring double bill on Wednesday the 8th of November. This experimental circus festival presented by Circus Oz is showcasing emerging and established circus artists in the wondrous Melba Speigeltent and features a range of independant artists from Melbourne and beyond. Casting Off by Australian troupe, A Good Catch and Unsuitable by Tumble Circus from Belfast certainly delivered the goods on the opening night.

Casting Off.jpg

Casting Off commenced with three performers sitting under a table all the while deliberating how to start their own show. These candid clowns soon took their audience on a ride as absurd as it was touching. The dialogue was fresh, carrying the show along with popping originality. The acrobatics, fast-paced and true to the Australian circus tradition, were pleasingly raw and rough around the edges.

Performers Debra Batton, Sharon Gruenert and Spenser Inwood clearly have a bond that only years of training circus could provide. Debra’s one-liners, planned or improvised were goldmines of laughter. She dropped pearls of nonsensical wisdom, including forgetting what the meaning of life was on top of a three-chair stack. Gruenert threw firey tantrums that could outdo a toddler amidst her air-piercing acrobatics. Finally, the charming Spenser Inwood effortlessly executed an aerial cradle routine, throwing and catching Sharon while jazz scat-singing melodiously.

Casting Off was relaxed, personal and fantastically inappropriate. Not surprising to see these Circus Oz performers pushing their art to new places here in Melbourne.

The ambiance of the Melba Spiegeltent is like no other venue. It’s a space whose magic has been collecting like dust since it was made in Belgium in 1910. The second show on the bill, Unsuitable reflected the facets of this mirrored tent well with its revue-type show consisting of a series of individual acts.

Unsuitable by Tumble Circus premiered at Sidesault Festival, and to say it was welcomed warmly would be an understatement. This full-length show commenced with a short vignette of three mischevieous clowns who liked to kick each others’ butts to psychtrance.

Ken Fanning, Tina Segner and Angelique Ross demonstrated their talent in a series of individual and group acts. All our favourite apparatus took the stage: trapeze, tissue, hula hoops and even a group juggling act with all performers in spangled leotards, platforms and blonde wigs.

Highlights include Tina’s tissue routine performed in motorcycle helmet, Angelique’s poetic tightwire act that told the story of a trip on the metro and featured some edible props, and Ken’s clowning act that proves the art of buffooning is very much alive. He really had the audience in the palm of his hand, eliciting high-pitched cackles with ease.

Sharp, edgy and hilarious: Tumble Circus’s Unsuitable is guaranteed to keep you engaged and laughing.

Supported by the City of Yarra and presented by Circus Oz, Sidesault Festival runs from the 8th to the 18th and is not to be missed. For tickets and more information: http://www.circusoz.com/the-spiegeltent/shows-at-the-melba.html

Image by Rob Blackburn

REVIEW: NICA’s ONE FALSE MOVE

A glimpse of the dazzling future of Australian circus

By Myron My

One False Move is a showcase circus performance featuring NICA’s second-year artists in some impressive and intense acts. The show is inspired by film noir and there are a lot of shady characters, deadly women and clever use of various iconic props that help support this genre.

One False Move

The lighting design by Eduard Ingles, the costumes by Emily Barrie and the live music throughout the show (by the performers themselves) all add to that film-noir feel: edgy, dangerous and exciting. What One False Move then does very well is infuse touches of comedy throughout. A perfect example is the use of black screens sliding across the stage, dropping off and picking up performers in their travels where we witness murders and sexual escapades aplenty but with the comic timing adding a strong dose of humour.

As with any circus show there is a risk of failure: an off-the-mark landing, a prop getting a mind of its own or a loss balance. Part of the skill of being a good performer is how you recover from this, and with occasional hiccups occurring all the students remained highly professional and ensured the show kept on going. This embracing of and then triumphing over problems ultimately gets the audience on side, and made the consequent accomplishments even more worthy of cheers.

Another important focus required for circus shows is to retain engagement with the audience. What these guys are doing is not easy but they need to be able to make it look easy and be relaxed with their audience. Chelsea Angell and Ashleigh Tomasini‘s cheeky and flirtatious audience interaction whilst doing their Russian wheel routine was a wonderful example.

I was also very impressed with the pole act by Isabel Rose and Patrick Denison – despite the physical demands of such an performance, they both remained beautifully in the realm of film noir and worked together to create an act that had great sexual tension between the femme fatale and the brooding man. Other notable performers included Morgan Wilson, Angelique Ross, Dylan Rodriguez and Jon Bonaventura who all provided some highly entertaining moments.

NICA’s One False Move has some tremendously talented performers in it and I feel confident the future of the circus industry is more than safe in the powerful hands of these charismatic young people.

Venue: NICA National Circus Centre, 39-59 Green Street, Prahran.

Season: Until 29 June | Wed-Sat 7:30pm, Sat 1:30pm, Thurs 1:00pm

Tickets: $27 Full | $22 Conc

Bookings: http://www.nica.com.au