A Flippin' Good Time in Yiramalay
Circus artist Catherine Daniel writes to us from Yiramalay

Posted by Catherine Daniel

Multi talented - students perform plate spinning on the rolla bolla

Yiramalay students - Rocking the sound system

Theatre Kimberley's amazing team have just completed 2 weeks of Circus workshops and a dazzling performance with Wesley College Studio School students in the remote community of Yiramalay.  

Catherine writes to us during her residency there:

If you drive up along the Great Western Highway, 40 kms before Fitzroy Crossing, turn into the Tunnel Creek road, drive for another hour or so and you will have reached us at the Yiramalay/Wesley Studio School. The school is on the Leopold Downs Station which is in Bunuba country.

Rachel and I have spent the last week getting to know the 37 students, some of whom we recognised from former Theatre Kimberley outreach projects. The students come from as far as Karratha, Port Hedland and the Northern Territory. Some are locals from Fitzroy Crossing & Halls Creek. We have taught them to uni-cycle, use the rolla bolla, diablo, spin plates, hula hoop and juggle. Many students could already juggle and those who couldn’t learnt quickly in a place where footy is played by everyone.

The mini-tramp has been the highlight! Most students are already able to do somersaults with no instruction necessary and some are even doing double somersaults with a twist at the end! Everyone has been inspired, with those not as fearless having the opportunity to learn a backflip with instruction and support from Rachel and myself.

Today we gave the students their first taste of a clowning workshop which we plan for Social Circus Coordinator, Andrea Ousley, from the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) to further develop when she arrives on Sunday with two second year NICA students.

We also had a taster of performing; the students combined skills they had learnt during the week to showcase to each other to music they chose; gangsta music, with no swearing of course!

Being a boarding school we share meals with the students, mentors, teachers and other staff for breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Phew, it’s a lot of food even for an acrobat and very tasty too.

There is a small water hole within walking distance and the quarry, a short drive on the way back to Broome. The quarry only has water in the wet. Currently, it is 8 metres deep and dries up to nothing within a few months. We all showed our bravery jumping off the rocks, the even braver students flipped off the rocks.

We are having a great time and are grateful to the students for applying themselves so diligently to all the tasks we give them. We look forward to rocking the sound system and the audience in our show on Thursday night!

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