SUE JACKSON Therapist/Writer/Photographer/Activist

Last year, as the unofficial blogger/photographer to the anti-East-West Link campaign, our battles were my blog's entire focus. But by Christmas, with the electoral win for people power and the dumping of the dud Tunnel, I was suddenly at a loss. What to write about now? Not sure yet. But there will be ongoing musings and images from this Australian life. So please leave a message. (No need to sign into an account. Simply comment as ‘anonymous’; then leave your name within the comment itself.)

Friday, September 04, 2015

Circus Oz's Strong Women

Two strong women talking to a third - Director Nicci Wilks

This afternoon I ran away to the circus. Or to be more precise I gratefully accepted the invitation from my friend, Ponch Hawkes, to join her for a preview of what the seven new graduates of Circus Oz's Strong Women Masterclass are up to. These emerging circus artists had travelled to Melbourne from different parts of Australia to work together for three weeks to hone their performance skills, learning from each other and a range of experts. And this afternoon was their opportunity to showcase their talents.
I took my camera but, understandably, wasn't able to use it during the show, so you will have to take my word for it that it was great.

If I needed a reminder that the circus is a magical place I had it this afternoon. Clothed in darkness and a nude costume, spotlit, and with the sound of water trickling in the background Vanessa (above) morphed into a glorious water nymph stretching luxuriously within her grotto. It was only afterwards that I spotted the 'grotto':

The grotto?!

And on the bike below, Abby, its rider, supported five of her fellow performers as they hurtled round the stage leaning out at seemingly precarious but perfectly balanced angles:

I found it amazing that in such a short time these young women, who had previously been strangers to each other, developed such obvious rapport and the trust necessary to put their well-being entirely in each others' hands.
It was a delight to watch how strong, lithe and confident they were in their bodies, how skilful they were in their art and how apparently effortlessly they engaged their audience. And being able to observe them at such close quarters was a real treat.
Something else I appreciated about the event was, because it was 'by invitation only', the select audience included former Circus Oz cast members, staff and supporters. It was great to see them mingling with the young women and encouraging their efforts.

Thank you Circus Oz for extending your invitation to this ring-in. Running away to the circus was exactly what I needed.


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