Circus Showcase

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Circus Showcase

The National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) hosted their 3rd year showcase from 22 November till 1 December. I was dying to see what they were capable of since my Tumbling classmates were raving about the 2nd year showcase.

Testing the camera on Daniel

That's where I train

In London, I was training for Circus arts at the Circus Space (so if anyone wants to do tumbling/aerial/circusy things give it a look), and was actually searching for something to continue that here, in Melbourne. I found NICA, and from the short course point of view, I think they do a very good job. The trainers are competent, the people are fun, the facilities are good.


Needless to say, I expected much more from the showcase. So it had been a bit of a letdown overall; the second part was considerably better than the first one, yet still didn’t quite manage to wow me.


Ballerina in a box

A general criticism would be that very few had any grace – as such very few had seemed to train in some sorts of dance as well. Circus shouldn’t be only about raw skills (I use the term loosely, as sometimes not even that was present)! Also, some of the acts also seemed very unrehearsed: hands trembling on the poles, plenty of fuckups. Maybe I’m just too harsh, but then again, in gymnastics, you get more points for doing a lesser skill good than trying to do something amazing and falling on your butt.

Trying some alternative circus

Acrobalance (without the fuckup)

Two last rants: if there was a choreographer/director, he’s not a very talented one. The acts had little if any connection between them, which, again, I found a little disappointing. This was supposed to be the final show of a class that has trained together for 3 years, I expected some unity. Lastly, it was too gay. I mean, sure, you could see that most of the male circus acrobats were gay, but then you didn’t have to go and make them wear high heels, have obviously gay acts and such. I saw very few manly characters. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good gay story like any other person, but do they have to be so camp?

Now here's some real juggling


But credit is deserved where credit is due. Some acts were quite good. The alien tightrope (which opened to the sound of the Tardis!), where the girl obviously had trained in dance as well because she didn’t move like a robot. The juggling act (the woman in red), which also included dancing with a manequin, the mime acts. Some did their job.

I guess I just have much too high standards.

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    • The act of the guy on tight-wire. The final part of the balloon act too (tho admittedly that was funny). The guys in high heels in transition. Then the juggling act when the high heel guy was on stage.

      And i just think overall there was too much gayness (which is strange coming from me since I’m gay).

  1. im gay too, but it didnt bother me. The guy on the tightwire was fantastic. That looked like an act that was really vunerable and was taking a personal risk. I like seeing that on stage

    • He was good (I wouldn’t go so far as to say fantastic – at least when I saw him he missed a few landings). And the comment about gay acts was more as the overall atmosphere, I dont mind them as much as individual acts. Besides the fact that I think it just perpetuates stereotypes of homosexuality (from wearing high heels to falling in love with straight people).

      I guess my problem is about the way being gay was portrayed in this showcase, not so much a lot of gay elements. I wouldn’t have minded an acrobalance act with two guys being in love etc, I would have loved it! But I do mind when all they show is how gay guys are girly and wear high heels or how infatuated they can be of straight people. Though the show did attract a lot of gay audience (who would know that’s not how the entire gay world acts), it still included plenty of straight people and kids. So I’m sorry if I hate having these stereotypes exploited for the sake of humour of god knows what.

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