Media Release: Westside Circus: going back to school

Westside Circus is excitedly preparing for their Extended Schools Residency program, Belonging, which will run over Terms 2 and 3 at Truganina South Primary School.

Funded through the Extended School Residencies program, which is supported by the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria and the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, Belonging will be launched by the Hon Heidi Victoria MP, Minister for the Arts at a special event on Wednesday April 30.

Ms Victoria congratulated both Westside Circus and Truganina South Primary School on undertaking this substantial project.

“When young people become involved in the arts, powerful things can happen. The arts can foster new ways of learning and support young people in their critical thinking, in making social connections and in their personal development.

“Importantly, with Extended Schools Residency projects, it is not only the students that benefit. These projects provide new skills for teachers and the school community. They also provide new inspiration for arts organisations by connecting them to some of the most creative and imaginative people in the community – young people.”

Belonging is an exciting project during which Westside work with up to 75 students each week over Terms 2 and 3. The project will culminate in a circus performance contributed to by the whole of the Year 4, 5, 6 communities – a total of around 225 students. Students will team up to work in design, production, music, video, stage management and marketing over the two terms, with everybody investigating and playing with ideas around ‘belonging’, what is the difference between inclusion and exclusion, where do we belong, when do we feel like an outsider and what are our stories of arrival?

Circus is an art form that historically has recruited people from all walks of life, with its disciplines celebrating a wide variety of interests and skills. From the grounded and strength based acro-balance to the flowing aerials or the hand eye coordination that is necessary in juggling and manipulation, to the natural and practiced clowns, in the circus there is a place for everybody. The theme of ‘belonging’ is inherent within the art form itself.

“We’re really excited about embarking on a multidisciplinary project that examines our identity as Australians and the different groups we belong to.” – Mandy O’Mara (Principal, Truganina PS)

Westside Circus believes in the universal accessibility of circus and the ability of youth performance to express complex human experiences to audiences in exciting and meaningful ways. Given the opportunity, young people artistically express themselves with the same depth of feeling and insight that makes all good theatre dynamic and relevant.

As part of the launch of the program, the Westside Circus Performance Troupe will perform an excerpt of their latest show Beach Bodies, which was commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria for their inaugural Children’s Festival in January and was recently performed in Bathurst at the National Youth Circus Festival, to rave reviews!

When: April 30 @ 9am! (Expected run time 45 min)

Where: Truganina South Primary School, 3-19 Parkvista Drive, Truganina

To register your attendance or arrange an interview with Westside Circus CEO Simon Clarke please contact, or call 9383 2299