I have only had but a few circus experiences in my life. But preceding every one, there has always been a sense of excited anticipation. There is something about the circus, a youthful thrill that is always present. This was no exception. The show was far from what would typically come to mind when the word ‘circus’ is mentioned (grandiose tent, flaming hoops etc.) This was a modern circus, located at the Gasworks, which was not a modern building, in Port Melbourne.
What makes this a modern circus you ask? The ‘Gasworks Circus Showdown’ was unique in that 7 acts, which my date and I were to see 4 of, would compete across 4 nights for some incredible prizes. Three expert judges would be the deciders, scoring based on theatrics, skill and narrative amongst others. Once this had been explained to us by the presenter, a jovial fellow indeed, it was time for some jaw dropping entertainment.
Four Or More Circus Present – Out of This World
Firstly, we were rocketed into a world of interplanetary travel, aliens and heated discussion about Pluto ‘is it or isn’t it a planet.’ The variety of acrobatics were wowing, you should see what this lot can do with an exercise ball! I was immediately reminded of how strong you need to be to practice this art. Topped off with the most hilarious chuckling green Martian imaginable, the performance was lots of fun.
Gravity Dolls Present – Tandem
A truly atmospheric performance. The laws of balance come to mind when witnessing somebody moving around the room, vertically, on their hands, one cardboard tube at a time. There was also a truly dazzling juggling show, part of it improvised. The show ended with a rope manipulation that certainly knotted my comprehension.
Adica Arts Present – Untied
An exhibition of unparalleled synergy (might be to do with them being married). It began with a trapeze performance that I’d describe as a sensitive whirlwind, filled with not only elegance but grace too. The other performer counterbalanced the height of the trapeze on a Chinese pole and upon finishing that, performed a few death defying stunts of his own, dropping from metres high, head first only to stop at the last second.
Haylee Hoopa Present – Hoopdogg
With a disproportionately big boom box blasting beats, Hip hop beats that is, Haylee exploded on to the stage glittering and radiating gangster energy. Rapping along to her backing track and spinning 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and even more hoops at once, my date and I have never laughed so hard and it was certainly the way to finish a most entertaining evening.
Leah Sparks is a Canadian girl living in Melbourne. Other than her love for maple syrup, she digs the outdoors, live gigs, beer, the 70s and cruising around Fitzroy with her white wolf.