HOW DID YOU GET INTO CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE?
Avalon was established about 25 years ago in Tasmania. Just seemed a good idea at the time. Now we have a 300 seater big top, about 30 performing adults and 70 youth circus members. Its grown slowly and organically over that time, under my direction (John Campbell).
WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?
Avalon teaches circus to around 300 people a week, performs most weeks and runs larger seasons 4 times a year.
WHAT DOES CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE MEAN TO YOU?
Freedom. Freedom of movement, freedom from fear, freedom of expression, freedom from stagnation.
WHAT’S THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE CAREER SO FAR?
Putting 12 aerialists up simultaneously in a mass scene in a show (Inside the Brain of Edward Tulip). They were all dressed in Venetian masks, exquisite corsets and in black, white, plus a touch of gold and silver. Under them were 7 pairs of ballroom dancers, similarly attired. Then into that dropped the first piece of vivid colour the audience had seen (except for 3 tiny red tulips) for 45 minutes – a 10m scarlet silk. It’s a moment I will treasure, until we do something better.
IF YOU WEREN’T DOING CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING RIGHT NOW?
Wishing I was. It’s what I have done with most of my adult life.
WHAT SKILLS DO YOU LIKE PERFORMING AND WHY?
Personally? Adagio. It’s naturally dramatic, and has performer relationship built into it. Its deeply meaningful to me – trusting and being trusted, fluid movement of yin and yang, power and compliance making a beautiful whole. As a circus? What is most desired by the people
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE IN 5 YEARS TIME?
Returning to Australia, triumphant.
WHY DO WE NEED CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE IN THE WORLD?
For exactly the same reason we need music, dance and a heap of other activities. To make life worth living, to both meaning and create it, to bond to a group, to explore ourselves, to communicate. I can’t imagine humans living without it. We might exist, survive perhaps, but in a very faded form.