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The Landscape Project by The National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) - Review

Home > Melbourne > Circus | Community Theatre | Family | Performing Arts | Unusual Things to do
by EricaL (subscribe)
Freelance writer. Editor of: melbourne.kidtown.com.au
Event: -
Excellent show by the 2016 Bachelor of Circus Art Graduates
The National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) opened The Landscape Project last night; another excellent show performed by this year's Bachelor of Circus Arts graduates.

Ryan Darwin on Rolla Bolla in The Landscape Project
Ryan Darwin on Rolla Bolla in The Landscape Project


NICA is Australia's Centre of Excellence for training in contemporary circus arts, and the only institute in the country to offer the Bachelor of Circus Arts. Each year, fifteen new students join the intensive performing arts program in Prahran, which welcomes applicants from all around Australia and overseas.

If you want to experience the art of circus in its rawest form, go and see any one of NICA's graduate showcases, the current performance of The Landscape Project being the latest spectacle.

Tara Silcock The Landscape Project
Tara Silcock Foot Juggling in The Landscape Projec


The Landscape Project; circus as a reaction to space, time and intensity, asks the question "How do we engage with our landscape to unearth the show waiting to be exposed?", to which the 2016 graduate troupe respond in a circus art, whether it be aerial rope, bottle walking, hula hoop, group acrobatics, slackline, tumbling, trampoline or clowning.

NICA Graduate Ensemble
NICA Graduate Ensemble in The Landscape Project


Every NICA Graduate Showcase is completely different, right down to the configuration of the centre's stage off Chapel Street in Prahran.

This time around, as a member of the audience you are seated facing forward, to the right of the stage as you walk in.

In typical NICA fashion, right from the onset you don't quite know where to look, as all members of the troupe are present on stage together, performing in their own little spot both high up on the apparatus and on the floor.

This sequence happens quite frequently throughout the show, with the troupe gathered together, showing off their individual skill while retaining a group scenario.

Leigh Rhodes in The Landscape Project
Leigh Rhodes in The Landscape Project


That said, there are solo moments when graduates really get the chance to shine. Stand out performers, in my humble opinion, would be:

The hilarious Leigh Rhodes in a group juggling routine with a chair, accompanied by fellow jugglers Hugo and Ryan.
Tara Silcock and her parasol foot juggling routine.
Charlie Rust, and her incredible strength on the aerial straps.
Bede Nash and his super quick fast track acrobatics
Lachlan Sukroo on the Chinese pole.
Ryan Darwin on the Rolla Bolla

Bede Nash in The Landscape Project
Bede Nash in The Landscape Project


NICA Showcases are always a joy, and can be enjoyed by all ages. This is the first time I took my 8yo son with me, and despite going on quite late into the night, he really enjoyed The Landscape Project, giggling at humorous moments throughout. Note there are a couple of profanities thrown into the performance, which didn't offend my son nor I, but is something to be aware of.

Don't expect elaborate stage sets, or costumes, this is far from your typical circus show. Performed by the latest talented batch of Bachelor of Circus Arts graduates, The Landscape Project shows the abilities of tomorrow's circus stars, who have worked tirelessly over 3 years to get to where they are. Students are at the peak of their physical ability, and have spent countless hours honing in their individual styles, performance personalities and skill-set.

You are also treated to a sneak peak 'behind-the-scenes' of NICA's Bachelor of Circus Arts' studies during interval time, when you can watch (through glass windows) the up-and-coming graduates run, climb, jump and spin in centre's high-tech gymnasium.

The Landscape Project showcases the best of the best circus stars of the future, in a show without any frills, but filled with hilarity and raw talent. Sure there are a few mishaps along the way, but you will be in awe of what this amazing troupe can do.

Support NICA's 2016 Circus Graduates, and book a ticket to see The Landscape Project; an entertaining and awe-inspiring show. Closing Saturday 3 December 2016, reserve your seat HERE.

Images by Aaron Walker
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Why? Not your average circus
When: Wed 23 Nov - Sat 3 Dec 2016
Phone: 9214 6975
Where: NICA National Circus Centre (NCC), 39-59 Green St Prahran
Cost: Adult $36, Concession $29, Child $24. Family and group ticket packages available
Your Comment
Great review this sounds amazing!
by Jay Johnson (score: 3|1368) 1089 days ago
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