NICA graduates flying

The National Institute if Circus Arts (NICA) has been training and developing circus artists for over ten years and is the only place in Australia to get a Bachelor of Circus Arts. If you’ve seen any large or tiny circus show in recent years, the chances are you’ve seen a NICA graduate – and that you’ve been mighty impressed. Lucy and The Lost Boy is the showcase performance for this year’s final year students.

NICA's Lucy and the Lost Boy. Image by David Wyatt
Lucy and the Lost Boy. Image by David Wyatt

Lucy’s parents want her to hit the books and be serious about earning money, but she’s glimpsed the life of the Lost Boy and wants to follow her dream of being an artist.  Director Sally Richardson (Steamworks Arts Productions, from Perth) worked with the students and drew ideas from well-known local street artists, such as Vexta, Urbn Cake Lady, Ha-Ha and Anthony Lister, to create a work that incorporates their diverse talents and celebrates the freedom of urban art and street culture.

The NICA performance space is wonderfully huge which allows for a surround of music, walls of projected art, a multi-level scaffold, enough floor space for full-cast routines and lots of sky for flying.  With many mesmerising moments, the highlights are the original ariels including innovative uses of nets, chains and a wall of rubber tubing, and a final old-school single trapeze that leaves you wanting to take off.

As ever, this year’s graduates are awesome and the show is created to show off just how wonderful they are. This makes for a longish night and at times it is more showcase than story, but it’s all beautiful and created an infectious passion that makes up for any narrative hicoughs.

Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

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