For the first time, the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) is the home of circus for Melbourne Fringe Festival 2023, with the support of the Australia Council for the Arts, the State Government of Victoria, Melbourne Fringe and the City of Stonnington.
NICA will support independent artists and small to medium companies to present works within NICA’s renowned venue, the NICA National Circus Centre, in Prahran. Operating over two-and-a-half weeks, multiple shows will be programmed as part of the festival with new Australian work and international Taiwanese circus company FOCA bringing the space to life.
Brand-new works include:
Alienation by Jake Silvestro (5 – 14 October, 7:45pm)
Jake Silvestro is presenting his new work Alienation. The show is absurd, highly physical and begs to excite audiences. It is beyond circus, incorporating acrobatics, dance and even roller skating. Stranded in a faraway place, Alienation tells the story of friends in a sticky situation. What do they need to survive? Can they work together to solve the problems they’re facing? What happens if they disagree?
Apricity by Casus Creations (11 – 21 October, 6:30pm)
Internationally renowned Brisbane-based circus company is debuting their brand-new work Apricity (top right), starring graduates from NICA. Apricity is an awe-inspiring contemporary circus show that illuminates the power of human connection in times of darkness. Renowned for their theatrical and artistic vision, Casus weaves exquisite imagery with world-class circus artistry in a symphony of aerial apparatuses, ground-breaking acrobatics, and graceful movement intertwined with a touch of humour.
Other program highlights include:
Mr Three by Formosa Circus Art (11 – 14 October, 9pm)
From Taiwan’s Formosa Circus Art (FOCA) comes the Australian premiere of Mr Three (Mr. III三III). A juggling, music and acrobatic adventure about ditching the suit and tie and reclaiming joy. Formosa Circus Art is named after the beautiful island, Taiwan. Established in 2011, its purpose is to develop the various contemporary circus arts of Taiwan, mixing them with other styles of performance including traditional forms, acrobatics, street culture and theatre arts, creating a physical vocabulary that is unique for many audiences to experience.
The Dumtectives in Cirque Noir by Dummies Corp (18 – 21 October, 8:30pm)
From the internationally acclaimed Dummies Corp (left) comes a killer circus comedy set in a bygone era divulging a noir mystery shaken up with “Charlie Chaplin-esque slapstick gold” (Time Out), a touch of burlesque, and high-flying aerial. This farcical cocktail makes for a delicious night out. Featuring truly world class artists, Dummies Corp have honed their unique brand of circus comedy staging productions in thirteen countries and counting. From remote Australian towns to Arts Centre Melbourne and Sydney Festival, they have delighted audiences, won coveted awards and received rave reviews across the board.
For two nights only, NICA’s third-year students will be presenting Head Count as part of Melbourne Fringe as well. Head Count features 20 breathtaking displays of gravity-defying physical feats, brought to you by Company 23 and the NICA. Head Count will be showing Friday 6 and Saturday 7 October, at 6pm.