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.
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.
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.
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?
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.