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Run away to the circus at NICA Circus Showcase 2013
The Circus is coming to town and WeekendNotes is very excited. We interview Megan Jones, Head of Performance Studies at the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) in hipster heaven, Prahran, Melbourne!
No stranger to treading the boards (or should that be tightrope) herself, Megan has performed at the Malthouse, La Mama, in the Melbourne International Festival, and has directed for circus, opera and theatre. She also taught for Cirque du Soleil, the VCA Drama and Opera Schools, The National Theatre, St Martin's Youth Theatre and lectured at several universities both in Australia and overseas. She has been with NICA since 2008 and has been directing its sell out performances since then:
How long has the Bachelor of Circus Arts been available at Swinburne University?
What has created the need for a course such as this in Melbourne?
There were no professional circus training opportunities available in Melbourne or anywhere else in Australia. Anyone who wanted to be a circus artist and work in the industry had to leave Australia for training opportunities overseas. This was very expensive and out of reach for many young people.
No, we are the only professional training organisation in the country.
How many years duration is the course?
The Bachelor of Circus Arts Degree is three years, but there is an opportunity to exit after two years with an Associate Degree. There is a Diploma (one year) and a Certificate III and IV (which are both one year qualifications).
How hard is it to win a place?
It is very competitive to gain a place in the Bachelor of Circus Arts three year degree, as it is an elite training program for a very specific industry with very particular needs.
Physical suitability to circus training, determined through an audition process and a background in circus, physical movement and/or performance.
What sort of attributes are the course convenors looking for?
High level performance and physical skills, the ability to work well as part of a team, an open creative mind with a passionate commitment to artistry and training.
What can you promise Melbourne audiences at Circus Showcase 2013?
Some cutting edge acts on new apparatus including swinging pole, duo rope and a new style of world class urban juggling. It's a very entertaining evening of colourful contemporary spectacle, showcasing a variety of beautiful, exciting, poetic and dynamic acts from the newest emerging circus artists in Australia.
Circus Showcase 2013 at the NICA National Circus Centre (39- 59 Green Street, Prahran), from 27 November to 7 December 2013.
Session dates and times:
Evenings: 27, 28, 29, 30 Nov and 4,5,6,7 Dec @7.30pm
School matinees: Fri 29 Nov @1pm
Saturday matinees: 30 Nov and 7 Dec @1.30pm
Adult $30 / Conc $25 / Child U16 $20
Family (2 adults & 2 children) $80
Groups (min 10) $20pp
Primary & Secondary school groups (min 20) $15pp