Byron Bay’s Circus Arts Performance Troupe added a blast of steam punk vibe to the glitz of the Gold Coast Show recently. In addition to performing three shows a day, showcasing their acrobatic and teeterboard skills, they ran circus skills workshops and delighted show-goers with roving stilt walking and unicycle-riding.
‘They’ve showed real professionalism,’ says Belinda Hultgren, director of Circus Arts Australia, of the 18–strong troupe, ranging in age from 11 to 23. ‘Having the opportunity to perform nine shows over three days has been a huge boost for the troupe’s skills and has really cemented their friendships.’
Most of the younger members attend local schools, including Byron High, Mullumbimby High, Cape Byron Steiner, Brunswick Heads Public, and Byron Public. They train for a minimum of six hours per week under the expert coaching of Simon Adams and Alex Frith.
Celebrating 20 years
On the weekend, the troupe performed alongside Gold Coast’s Trix Circus and were supported in their weekend away by Friends of The Circus (Circus Arts’ not-for-profit arm), Ashton Entertainment, and Gold Coast radio station Hot Tomato 102.9 FM.
Circus Arts are celebrating their 20th birthday this year and have been launching kids and adults into the thrills of circus in Byron for 13 years. Performance opportunities like the Gold Coast Show, Bluesfest, and Splendour in the Grass allow up-and-coming performers to bridge the gap between classes and the professional circus world.
The weekend’s intensive performance schedule allowed the troupe to perfect skills ahead of competing in the Australian Circus Festival, to be held in Brisbane in late November.
If you’d like to see the troupe in action, you can see the thrilling acrobatics and comedic human-seesaw teeterboard act at Circus Arts’ Showcase on Friday 27 September, the last day of the school term.