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PLEASE HOLD: NICA Third Year Ensemble - Review

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by EricaL (subscribe)
Writer, blogger, Mum-of-two. Advocate for sustainable fashion (recycled-fashion.com) melbourne.kidtown.com.au/
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What does it really take to join the Circus?
The third year graduates from the National Institute of Circus Arts open their Ensemble Show Please Hold directed by Kate Champion tonight; Wednesday 29 November, 2017.

Image c/o Aaron Walker
NICA presents Please Hold


Before focusing on this year's Graduate Ensemble Show, let's talk about what it takes to get to this point. These 21 individuals were once selected to join NICA's Bachelor of Circus Arts program after an audition some three years prior.

The troupe are at the peak of their physical abilities, and many of these talented individuals go on to perform in big-name travelling circus shows. One individual (Nelson Smyles) from this graduating troupe has recently been signed to Cirque du Soleil and will soon begin more intense training before joining the largest theatrical producer in the world.

NICA performances are always vastly different, but the essence is the same; to showcase the individuals who have trained so hard to achieve their Bachelor of Circus Arts at the National Institute of Circus Arts.

Please Hold directed by Kate Champion is a show that combines the strengths and abilities of all 21 graduating artists. Unlike a Graduate Circus Showcase, which concentrates on the individual skill of each artist; with each one presenting a solo or duo act, this Third Year Ensemble Show coordinates the diverse skills of the troupe into one choreographed performance.

"Please Hold that thought, your tongue, your nerve. Please Hold that handstand… just a bit longer… Please Hold your breath in awe at what sheer determination and will can achieve."

The show concentrates on what it takes to be a circus artist and the narrative explores the perception of what others think circus means. Circus arts is probably for the most part misunderstood and that is the focus of Please Hold.

Image by Aaron Walker
Please Hold. Image c/o Aaron Walker

"When parents and peers alike implore you to choose a career that will provide you with security, what makes a young person spend years training to become a circus performer? With humour and insightful observations, Please Hold will dig into the impulse that drives these young adults to shun a 'normal' life in pursuit of something rare and exceptional."

The performance opens with one of the artists 'interviewing' fellow troupe members whilst the artist's balance in impressive freestyle handstand positions. The audience is taken into the lives of these circus students for a moment to understand a little more about what they want to achieve in their future and what their loved ones think of their chosen career paths.

Please Hold ensemble. Image c/o Aaron Walker
Please Hold ensemble. Image c/o Aaron Walker


Then on, the troupe perform in eye-opening acts, which see all artists work together in a deceptively effortless way to support tumbles, aerial work, Roue Cyr, unicycle and hula hoop acts. Although Please Hold misses out on individual skill focus, it is enjoyable to watch the troupe work together to present this seamless collaborative show.

Please Hold ensemble. Image c/o Aaron Walker
Please Hold ensemble. Image c/o Aaron Walker


Please Hold is a 70-minute long performance, with no interval (unlike other NICA performances). This is just the right amount of time to enjoy this incredibly talented ensemble perform before they reach out and join the vibrant circus arts industry both here in Melbourne and further afield.

Book your tickets here.
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Why? An insight into what it is really like to join the circus
When: 29 November - 9 December 2017
Phone: (03) 9214 6975
Where: NICA 39-59 Green St, Prahran
Cost: From $22 Concession - $29 Adult
Your Comment
I loved this article Erica.
by May Cross (score: 3|1123) 17 days ago
Sounds great!
by Jay Johnson (score: 3|1192) 17 days ago
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