CIRCUS ARTS: 22 MARCH 2017
By GRAEME WILLINGHAM
Circus Oz’s Model Citizens on tour in Victoria, NSW and Queensland
An enormous pair of daggy old men’s white Y-front underpants, say 1.5m by 1.5m, hanging five metres above the stage, is a prop for an acrobat who hauls herself into the waist band after flying to the scene on a pair of scale-sized pantyhose. She twists and turns within the underpants and pops her head out of the fly hole as part of her routine.
Other acrobats back-flip off a giant vertical clothes peg, become tangled in an oversized cotton reel, roll bowling balls haphazardly, unzip giant zippers and nail-bitingly balance on a house of oversized collapsing cards.
This is Circus Oz’s new Model Citizens production appearing through Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland from March 24 to June 3, before arriving as a key attraction at Melbourne’s Winter Festival, in The Big Top in Birrarung Marr, June 20 to July 16.
Exposing circus skills in unconventional ways, Model Citizens presents stunning group acrobatics with a twist … a 10-pin roué cyr act, quirky ball juggling, diving through giant scissors, hard-core hula-hoops and pyjama escapism.
Concept and artist director, Rob Tannion said at a media preview at Circus Oz HQ in Collingwood last week that the production blends the risk and beauty of breathtaking physical improbability with theatricality, choreography and Circus Oz’s distinct brand of Australian humour. The two-hour show will be stunningly lit and driven by a live music soundtrack.
Tannion says Model Citizens unfolds within a cleverly designed model-kit world that challenges perspective, scale and concepts of normality. Over-sized everyday objects are used as unexpected circus equipment that create an intriguing new playground for the all-human ensemble.
For the Circus Oz, Big Top premiere, Tannion will create a specially crafted season of Model Citizens on a larger scale, filling the generous dimensions of the tent and expanding the ensemble with four new artists.
Other members of the artistic team are Laurel Frank (costume design), Michael Baxter (production design), Sian James-Holland (lighting design), Ania Reynolds (musical direction), Ryan Taplin (rigging design), Tim Coldwell (senior circus artist), Sebastien Pasche and Mitch Jones (provocateurs), Cath Carmody (stage manager) and Vince van Berkel (associate artist and ensemble trainer).
The creative collaborating artists are Ania Reynolds (musician), Freyja Edney, Jake Silvestro, Jarred Dewey, Jeremy Hopkins (musician), Luke Ha, Mitch Jones (aka Captain Ruin), Olivia Porter, Roseanne Chalker-McGann and Steph Moaut.
PS: If you didn’t already know, Circus Oz is a fabulous Aussie arts institution. Credited with revitalising a traditional artform in a uniquely Australian way, Circus Oz is a rock ’n’ roll, animal-free circus that’s influenced circus arts around the world since 1978. Circus Oz undertook its first and critically praised international tour in 1980 and has continued touring to over 100 cities and regions in 27 countries playing to over four million people.
Image credit: Rob Blackburn.
24-25 March 2017: Dandenong, Victoria
31 March-1 April 2017: Ballarat, Victoria
8 April 2017: Shepparton, Victoria
12-15 April 2017: Brisbane, Queensland
20-21 April 2017: Townsville, Queensland
26 April 2017: Rockhampton, Queensland
29-30 April 2017: Mackay, Queensland
10 May 2017: Gold Coast, Queensland
12-13 May 2017: Lismore, NSW
19-20 May 2017: Wyong, NSW
26-27 May 2017: Penrith, NSW
31 May 2017: Griffith, NSW
2-3 June 2017: Wagga Wagga, NSW
20 June-16 July 2017: Melbourne, Victoria Circus Oz Big Top premiere
For bookings, visit ticketek.com.au.