The Mullumbimby Circus Festival is just around the corner, with members of the big extended circus family converging on the biggest little town for their workshop intensive and some serious world-class shows.
One of the acts gracing stages is Casus Circus. Seven caught up with them.
What are Casus up to right now?
Casus Circus have just wrapped up a dual 4-month tour in UK, Germany, France, USA and Brazil. We had two independent tours of Driftwood.
We’ve all taken some well-deserved time off before our next season, which is Brisbane Festival just before Mullum Circus Fest. Activities include cocktails on the beaches of Indonesia, building huts up north QLD, hugging our mums, long-awaited family time… and I’m in London partying with my brothers and the Briefs boys.
What does your name mean / what inspired it?
We stumbled across the word Casus initially researching words that, translated, meant ‘controlled falling’. Upon further reading up on the word Casus there is another Latin definition that means ‘a culmination of circumstances’. This was fitting as, at the time we created our premiere work Knee Deep, we were scattered around the world. Casus – a culmination of circumstances.
How did you come up with Driftwood?
We work hard at creating shows not only demonstrating boundary-pushing circus but also demonstrating our strong connection with each other. Driftwood came about after observing how a piece of wood would make a journey along currents of water: gather in clumps, drift alone, collect on the banks, split in half, go separate ways. We related observations to our relationships then applied these stories acrobatically.
Do you mind all the crazy praise you’re getting for the show overseas?
No, we don’t mind. The attention we are receiving is due to our art’s moving people, inspiring some, making people happy, creating escape. The world is going through some troubling times at the moment. There’s a real shift. In some parts of the world – horrific. On two occasions we’ve been in cities performing when terror attacks have occurred. Worldwide the powers that be are threatening our basic freedoms. Our art represents what humans are capable of without the bullshit. It represents care, love, joy, human spirit and what humans are capable of from pureness of art and not hate.
Tell us about your earlier MCF experiences.
Only a truckload of amazingness. Casus performed Knee Deep two festivals ago as well as held workshops during the training week. Something we are proud of is our fiercely connected and strong circus community in ‘the corridor’ (NSW northern rivers up to Brisbane). We work hard at supporting one another and sharing our skills. MCF is a time of which this can be experienced firsthand by everyone.
How did you get into circus?
My brother-in-law Mark Winmill (Briefs) sent me a pamphlet for an adult circus class in Sydney where I lived at the time. I was 28. I took that class; a switch flipped in my head. When I turned 30 I sold my belongings and packed whatever I could fit into my car and moved to Brisbane to pursue a career in circus. My brother Fez, cousin Lisa Fa’alafi, and friend Leah Shelton brought me into their company Polytoxic. From here my brothers and I formed Briefs. Two years later Casus was born. The rest is history – or still being written.
What’s next for Casus?
We have some touring and new creations in the works. The upcoming tours for 2017/18 include France, New Zealand, Central America, UK, and back on the home ground we take Driftwood to Perth, Adelaide and the Sydney Opera House. In terms of new creations, stay tuned. We are still a completely independent company, totally unfunded. Our company had a growth spurt and doubled in size. It’s tight but we manage to maintain work for all of us that keeps food on the table, and we get to share our art around the world proudly.
Casus are at Mullum Circus Festival 29 Sep till 1 Oct. For tickets go to the website mullumcircusfest.com.