Corinna Di Niro [SA]

CommediaconCorinna 524x349HOW DID YOU GET INTO CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE?
After working as an usher for Alegria (Cirque du Soleil) I fell in love so much with the roving characters that I wanted to be one! An artist in the company told me my best chance would be to learn Commedia dell’Arte then audition! So I did! Well, the first bit anyway! I got accepted into the International Commedia dell’Arte and Comic Acting school in Italy by world commedia expert Antonio Fava in 2004. When I returned home to Australia I immediately discovered…the commedia we know here is not the true form; it had been lost after 400 years of reinterpretation. So I decided to fore-go my ‘run away with the circus’ idea and set out to showcase commedia as it was intended to be whilst still remaining contemporary, up to date, relevant, exciting, engaging, multilingual PLUS educational!

WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?
My passion for commedia has led me to an academic career. I am currently doing my PhD in Commedia dell’Arte pedagogy and practise and I lecture in a range of performing arts genres including Lecoq, Laban, Viewpoints, Commedia and Physical Theatre.

WHAT DOES CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE MEAN TO YOU?
For me I am mostly connected to how circus and physical theatre (commedia included) embodies a universal language and a freedom to be performed or taught anywhere with any budget. The simplicity of expression through the body and voice and not the fancy lighting design or set showcases the amazing talent of the artist and their creative spirit.

WHAT’S THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE CAREER SO FAR?
In November 2011, I brought world expert of commedia, Antonio Fava to Adelaide! He assisted in refining my own commedia show ‘The Marriage of Flavio and Isabella‘ so that it is a true example of authentic commedia for a modern audience. Together we performed in my ‘Commedia Showcase’ at Nexus Theatre, Adelaide to a sold out crowd. Over 200 people attended the event!

IF YOU WEREN’T DOING CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING RIGHT NOW?
Watching circus / physical theatre!

WHAT SKILLS DO YOU LIKE PERFORMING AND WHY?
Anything physical! While I love performing I also love learning and sharing skills. I don’t see myself needing to be in the spotlight all the time. I enjoy using circus / physical theatre / commedia dell’arte as modes of communication. I’ve been lucky to share my commedia skills to many non-English speakers, including my time in Peru at a disadvantaged school in 2010.

WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE IN 5 YEARS TIME?
I’d like to open an international commedia school in Australia and run a community arts space to support local circus / physical theatre artists.

WHY DO WE NEED CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE IN THE WORLD?
We don’t NEED anything but it would be a great shame if we didn’t have these genres of performance that are so thrilling, engaging, universal and experimental. As both a performer and spectator – the physical arts are for all humanity. They connect us to the world and should be respected and preserved.

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Australian Circus & Physical Theatre Association