Richard Watts  |  Artshub  |  Wednesday 26 February, 2014

The South Australian Circus Centre will next week welcome youth circus delegates from across the country.

Hosted by South Australian organisation Cirkidz, the 2014 National Youth Circus Symposium will see representatives from around the country converge on Adelaide for three days of presentations and discussion about current and future issues facing their small but vibrant sector.

Among the many topics to be discussed at the Symposium, one of the most important is likely to be the impact of the recent Australia Council restructure on the youth circus sector, according to Cirkidz Artistic Director Josh Hoare.

‘The OzCo’s restructuring of funding is a massive one. It means that youth companies will be competing against larger mainstage companies for funding,’ he told artsHub.

A national strategy document is in the process of being formalised, which will make up a large part of the Symposium conversation. There will also be a session on insurance, which Hoare acknowledges is ‘a topic we always need to talk about.’

Strategy and development for accreditation for circus as an art form and for trainers will be another topic. There will also be some discussion around the Catapult Festival, a youth-focused physical theatre and circus festival, coming up in Bathurst in April.

The opportunity for Cirkidz to host the Symposium was important for many reasons, Hoare explained, not least because the event has not previously been held in Adelaide.

‘It’s significant that the community comes together; we’re such a strong community – I know it’s clichéd, but the circus community really has each other’s back. We’re really supportive of each other and really community minded, so the fact that we get to meet once a year like this is super important,’ he told artsHub.

‘It also means we can show off Adelaide a bit more, and our festival culture. The fact that we’re doing it at the same time as Fringe and the Adelaide Festival are great opportunities. Circus has such a high presence in Fringe.’

Hoare pointed to the presence of high-profile Cirkidz graduates Gravity and Other Myths and other youth companies in Fringe as indicative of the positive impact circus arts could have on young people.

‘Gravity And Other Myths are graduates of the Cirkidz program and stacks of others. There’s also six of our performance troupe who are doing their own show, Temper, by Point and Flex; teenagers who are producing and putting on their own work in the Fringe Festival, which is amazing. That’s one of the amazing things about youth circus – kids with initiative who are producing on their own work and putting it on.’

2014 National Youth Circus Symposium

South Australian Circus Centre, Bowden

7-9 March

IMAGE: Cirkidz’s 2013 production, Nest. Image via Twitter.