Circus Oz

Review in Issue 17-1 | Spring 2005

You’ll notice that there is no show title: this is circus – not circus-theatre or any other circus hybrid. What we see is staged with a contemporary aesthetic, but in essence is a series of well-executed tricks and turns delivered with razzmatazz. There’s trapeze of all sorts, Chinese pole, German wheel acrobatics and BMX trick biking. Perhaps I shouldn’t single anyone out of a company so keen on its presentation as a collective – but can’t resist singing the praises of Ethiopian-born Sosi, contortionist extraordinaire and eight-ball juggler who, wearing a wondrous white wig and a wicked grin, bounces the balls off the ground in a percussive patter, catching all eight on the way up. Circus Oz come with a trail-blazing reputation – their political commitment to work with all-human performers, with gender equity and with collective ownership and creation of the work as valid now as when they formed in 1977. And they continue to take this political commitment into performance. There’s the personal politics in the way female bodies are presented (sassy, sexy and all shapes and sizes) and the way women are as likely to be the base as the flyer. And though some might think that circus is not a medium to tackle global politics, Oz give the lie to that in their image of grasping power-hungry men-in-suits climbing all over each other to reach the top of the human pyramid, accompanied by soundbites of the voice of America. Brash, funny and uplifting – the veterans of new circus are still flying high.

Artforms
Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Sep 2004

This article in the magazine

Issue 17-1
p. 30