The world-acclaimed contemporary circus arts company Circa this week premieres the seventh of the remarkable ten new works created during COVID, with the world premiere of a newly staged version of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells: Live in Concert at London’s Royal Festival Hall (7 – 15 August). Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz directs ten heart-stopping Circa acrobats interpreting Oldfield’s 1973 multi-instrumental masterpiece, backed by a live band, in the 50th anniversary year of the landmark studio album. The musical director, Robin Smith, has collaborated with Mike Oldfield over three decades including memorable performances of Tubular Bells at Edinburgh Castle in 1992 and at the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony.
Circa Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz Said:
Tubular Bells is both epic and intimate – a transcendent experience that is accessible to anyone. In Circa’s production we take great acrobatics, striking visuals and blend them with the wonderful musicians to bring a physical dimension to the show. It is both the Tubular Bells you know and love, and something fresh.
After the seismic disruptions of COVID first reverberated eighteen months ago, Circa was the first Australian performing arts company to be allowed back into the rehearsal room without physical distancing. Soon, they were among the first major Australian arts companies back on stage. In June this year, with the premiere of Astor Piazzolla’s tango opera Maria de Buenos Aires with Opera Lyon at the Les Nuits de Fourvière Festival in France, Circa became the first major Australian performing arts company to be again performing internationally.
Since January 2020, Circa has debuted twelve new works, performing to live audiences totalling nearly 100,000, with another 50,000 people tuning in digitally.
In addition to sensational premiere performances, Circa is presenting a six-month residency at Berlin’s Chamäleon Theatre starting this month, presenting over a hundred performances of four of their acclaimed productions – Circa’s Peepshow, Humans, Humans 2.0 and What Will Have Been.
Circa Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz Said:
With an ensemble of exceptional, multi-skilled circus artists, Circa are a company who are expected to manage risk, who embody great flexibility and the value of ‘hanging on’. Over the last 18 months, that stopped being a metaphor and has become a lived reality for us. During an unprecedented period of uncertainty, we have tirelessly continued working, creating and performing.
Over the next four months, Circa continue to premiere incredible new works created during COVID, demonstrating the incredible diversity of the company in their collaborations with world-leading creatives, classical and contemporary musicians, architects, theatre-makers, and filmmakers.
Premiering at the 2021 Cairns Festival (27 August–5 September), The Future Begins Now is presented inside a 15-metre torus, in which Circa acrobats will perform alongside 100 local participants.
Enjoying its fourth collaboration with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Circa presents Italian Baroque (21 – 30 October, Melbourne and Sydney), a rollicking, fabulous ride through Italy’s multi-layered past. From the crumbling columns of the Roman Forum to Dante’s flourishing Florence, dynamic dream-worlds will emerge in daring new choreography.
Circa Executive Director Shaun Comerford Said:
The past 18 months has brought out the absolute best in Circa, and despite all obstacles we have kept moving. When we were unable to perform, our team adapted to new methods of rehearsing and collaborating, and the ten new Circa works that were created through COVID are among our most exciting and ambitious to date. Keeping our team together, employed and working throughout 2020 was a point of difference to many other organizations internationally. There was a time there in 2020 where Circa was probably the only company in the world with an employed working ensemble of circus artists.
Circa Contemporary Circus is one of the world’s leading performance companies. Since 2004, from its base in Brisbane, Australia, Circa has pioneered a daring new vision of contemporary circus that combines extreme physicality, music, theatre and acrobatics into a mesmerizing spectacle of movement and expression. From their home base in Brisbane, the company have performed at the world’s leading venues and festivals, with seasons at places like the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and London’s Barbican Centre as well as major Australian festivals – thrilling over a million people in 40 countries to date. Their works have been greeted with standing ovations, rave reviews and sold-out houses across six continents, leading their majestic productions to be hailed as a “masterpiece of circus arts” (La Presse, Montreal), “astonishing physical mastery” (New York Times), and “a revolution in the spectacle of circus” (Les Echos, France).
The company currently employs an ensemble of twenty two full-time performers, six full-time directors and designers, and in 2021 engages with forty four guest artists and collaborators (video artists, musicians, opera singers, architects, guest directors and guest performers). Under the visionary direction of Yaron Lifschitz, and the Circa board led by Michael Lynch AO CBE, Circa continues to grow in size and reputation, redefining the limits of what is possible in circus.
Venue: Royal Festival Hall, London
Date: 7 – 15 August
Venue: Cairns Festival
Date: 27 Aug–5 Sept-21
Venue: Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, Melbourne, Australia
Date: 21 – 30 Oct-21
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