Articles on Circus

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Circus and opera crash together in Cirque de la Symphonie. Daniel Aulsebrook

Sequins and symphonies: how opera ran away with the circus

Barriers between artforms are tumbling down in three recent productions that mix circus and opera. The shows range from sombre to silly, but all hit magnificent high notes.
The use of live animals in the visual arts provokes important ethic questions. Pictured: Pierre Huyghe Untilled (2011-2012). Courtesy the artist; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, Paris; Esther Schipper, Berlin.

Contemporary art, animals and ethics: Pierre Huyghe’s interspecies worlds

An exhibition of works by contemporary French artist Pierre Huyghe raises questions around the ethical treatment of animals by artists - and whether live animals have a place in the visual arts.
Circus posters. flickr

Circus and politics: a very Australian mix

Contemporary circus and circus-infused physical theatre are amongst Australia’s most innovative and in-demand cultural exports. It's a performance craft with a proud history behind it.
James Thierrée’s Tabac Rouge - a ghoulish dreamscape “choreodrama” at Sydney Festival. AAP/Paul Miller

Theatre of disarray: Tabac Rouge at the 2015 Sydney Festival

French circus performer and director James Thierrée famously eschews comparison with his grandfather Charlie Chaplin, to whom he bears a conspicuous resemblance. But as he and his troupe stood on stage…
In the realm of pop culture, ‘killer clowns’ have really proliferated and fostered coulrophobia – the fear of clowns. Mark Crossfield

Are clowns scary? Ha ha aaaargh

When Australian singer and TV personality Mark Holden appeared as a clown recently on Channel 7’s Dancing with the Stars, his supposedly “bizarre” behaviour sparked furious debate and complaints to the…
In Opus, circus and chamber music collide in an astounding fashion. Melbourne Festival

Orchestrating wonder: Opus at the Melbourne Festival

Rambunctious, athletic circus with elegant, controlled chamber music. Do opposites collide? Not in Opus, an intriguing collaboration between the chamber music Debussy String Quartet from Lyon, France and…
The Ninja Circus from Mutitjulu shows the benefits social circus can deliver. Ninja Circus

Circus training instead of school sports? Now there’s an idea

What if social policy-makers knew how beneficial circuses were to the community? This was the provocation pitched to circus producers, trainers, performers and academics who met in the Melba Spiegeltent…
A renewal of the circus arts has been underway since the 1970s. Cirkopolis/Melbourne Festival

The big top’s evolution: Cirkopolis by Cirque Eloize

Elegance, elite athleticism, light-handed humour and a gentle narrative about the value of individuality are the principal elements of Cirkopolis, which opens this week at the Melbourne International Arts…
Performers cavort around five onstage bathtubs in Soap, currently playing at the Brisbane Festival. Andy Phillipson/Brisbane Festival

Soap: a sexy night on the tiles at the Brisbane Festival

Traditionally soap is made by rendering down lard. But in this tight show, Soap, playing at the Brisbane Festival, there isn’t an ounce of fat to be seen. The pace is fast and the bodies are lean. It’s…
Animals in circuses are kept in anything but natural surroundings. DirkJan Ranzijn

Runaway camels? It’s time to rethink animals as entertainment

The idea of animals as spectacle – in zoos, circuses, aquaria, tests of strength and even criminal proceedings – is an old one, dating back to at least ancient Greece and Rome. Similarly, the use of animals…

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