Circus Coordinator's Corner

Posted by Meredith Benke Bell

Circus kids had a great time exploring the expression of emotions during Catherine Daniels' clowning workshops. Pictured here are Freja Gorring, Asha Vincent, Tully McDonald and Enya Lippert.


Hello Friends,

It’s my turn to put a few words down about what’s been happening in the circus arena. We’ve had quite a lot going on so far this year, and we’re looking forward to next term when training and rehearsals start gearing up for our big show, “Total Rebuild,” September 4 & 5. We will soon welcome two extraordinary circus artists to help Franque and Reuben shape the show.

Since Nel Simpson’s visit for our Train-the-Trainer weekend (see her recent blog), we’ve had several more talented visitors. Catherine Daniel of Vertical Circus worked with us in town for two weeks before heading out bush to work on the outreach program at Bayulu. She did a great series of workshops in areas such as clowning, hula hoops, tumbling, and various aerials. Catherine will return in Term 3 to help us rig for our show.

This week we’ve welcomed a team from NICA (National Institute of Circus Arts) in Melbourne. Andrea Ousley is their Community and Social Circus Coordinator and their Certificate III coordinator, and Miriam Cawley and Jilliy Barns-Riley are year 3 students at the end of their Bachelor of Circus Arts degree. This talented team are working with our circus kids as well as teaching aerials to students from Broome’s Dreamtime Dancers. Many, many, many thanks to the Hunts (Madhavi’s family) and the Smiths (Stirling’s family) for their generosity in hosting the NICA team. All Sandfly and Marchfly circus kids are invited to participate in extra workshops with the NICA crew this week – it’s such a great opportunity, don’t miss out!

Next week, the NICA crew will join TK at Bayulu for production week of their project. This is the project that Catherine has been working on all month at the Bayulu school. Andrea, Miriam and Jilliy will also teach circus to the Fitzroy Girls Academy students.

Meanwhile, out and about in Broome, you may have seen us at a number of community events. We did a short performance for the Mother’s Day Classic at Gantheaume Beach, a fundraiser for breast cancer research (and yes, we wore lots of pink!). Also in May, we did circus workshops for children attending the International Family Day celebrations at Jalygurr Guwan Daycare Centre. Some of our senior Marchflies, Kai Murphy and Reuben Pedlar, represented us at Broome Turf Club in June, and will perform there again on August 1. We have also taught circus workshops at the Cable Beach Club during the April school holidays, and will do so again for the upcoming school holidays.

If you (or someone you know!) are keen to help out with our big show, please let me know. We are always looking for volunteers – in costume making, front-of-house, backstage, child wrangling, etc, etc – and there are always lots of odd jobs. Your assistance is a great help to us, and it’s also a way to learn skills in theatre production. Be in touch with an emailmebenke@hotmail.com or call me at 0439 984 003. Thanks for your support of the Act-Belong-Commit Sandfly Circus – we couldn’t do it without you!

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