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Artmedia - Physical Theatre News -
July 2003 ======================================
Feature: Silver Tree Dance Studio, Newtown, Sydney, Australia
Playspace: Clown Masterclasses, Melbourne, Sydney, Ottawa, Vancouver
Networking: Expressions of Interest - Casual Circus Trainers, Adelaide Unpopular Culture -The 2004 Next Wave Festival, Melbourne Free website that will host 'Australia's fantastic performers' Australian National Unicycle Championships MotionFest East 2003, Baltimore, November 12-16, USA Workshops in Clown and Physical Theatre, Dell'Arte, USA Creation of Clown Movement Theater Workshop, Mexico Lunar Circus - embarking on an overland Asian Safari to Europe
Campaign: Forum on the role of Clown within an Aussie Circus Degree Sat 23rd August, 4pm, Cecil Street Studio, Fitzroy, Melbourne
Noticeboard: Dance group seeks expressions of interest from male performers Circus Club seeks local teachers of Circus, Central Coast, NSW Seeking links or sities where Mark can get acro-balance moves The clown conspiracy, Cereal Clowns, Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Artmedia: Newsletter Subscriptions & Unsubscriptions Newsletter Advertising and Artmedia site promotion
Welcome to the July edition of the Artmedia newsletter, a publication
with an Australasian focus and a global perspective.
We've got a bit of a bumper issue this month, because the June issue became the July issue, as I made my way back to Sydney from a very beautiful workshop in Connecticut, organised by Martin Ewen of 'Antigravity Theatre', who is doing some lovely work. Check out the Antigravity Theatre site under clowns at www.artmedia.com.au/links.htm
I have arrived back in the Australian winter, having checked out David Macmurray Smith's clown classes at the Fantastic Space in Vancouver, and Ronlin Forman's clown classes at the Dell'Arte school in Blue Lake, California, on the way. Both wonderful. Find these links under Training also on the above links page.
In our feature this month, The Silver Tree Studio in Newtown, Sydney, Australia, has rehearsal studio space available, 7 days a week, at very reasonable studio rates. Check them out at www.thesilvertree.com.au
In Playspace news, the clown masterclass series has proved so successful that four more have been schedualed, two Winter workshops in Australia in August, and two Autumn workshops in Canada in October. More information on these workshops at www.artmedia.com.au/Clown.htm
In the networking this month we have a call for expressions of interest for casual circus trainers at Cirkidz in Adelaide, and we present 'Unpopular Culture' as the theme of the 2004 Next Wave Festival in Melbourne, and we also have information on the Australian National Unicycle Championships.
In America we have information on August workshops in 'Clown' and 'Extreme Physical Theatre' at Dell'Arte in California, and on MotionFest East 2003, to be held in Baltimore from November 12-16, and we also have information on a 'Clown Movement Theater' workshop in Mexico.
Finally in the networking, Lunar Circus, a West Australian circus, tell us that they have just loaded two buses and a truck onto a freighter destined for Singapore. From there they will do shows through Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. On 1st February 2004 they plan to cross the border and drive through China, Kazakhstan, Russia and into Eastern Europe, to tour the 2004 European Summer Festival season.
On the Clown in NICA campaign, we have had a break through, with director, Pam Creed suggesting a Forum on the topic, and Physical Circus Skills Director, Mr Lu, explaining that they value clown so much that it is just one of 70 specialty skills taught. I welcome the Forum and suggest a late August date, and Chelsea from Rock n Roll Circus encourages us that we need more dialogue like this, coming from the professional circus industry in Australia.
And this dialogue is now possible at the Forum on Saturday 23rd August, 4pm, at Cecil Street Studio, in Fitzroy, Melbourne. Come along and support this process, and also let me know if you will not be able to attend, but would like to make a submission, either in writing or in some electronic medium, and we will endevour to present it.
In the noticeboard section we have a dance group seeking expressions of interest from male performers, a Circus Club which seeks local teachers of Circus, Central Coast, NSW, Mark in China, seeks links or sities where he can get some acro-balance moves, and the Clown Conspiracy presents Cereal Clowns at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
We aim to provide an avenue of communication for the growing physical theatre community, so please send us info for inclusion in this newsletter. Please also forward this to somebody else who may be interested.
================================================== Artmedia Site Clients - check them out at www.artmedia.com.au ==================================================
On the Artmedia site you can find a list of links to performers, companies, resources and festivals all over the world, and you can subscribe to this newsletter and find a copy of the latest issue.
In artmedia site news, Sue Broadway has updated information on her performance of The Soobee Show in Wollongong, July 10 to 12, at
www.artmedia.com.au/live.htm This show comes direct from the Andorra International Women's Clown Festival, where it was described as "Imbued with the essence of clown - gestural, imaginative, creative. A show that's honest, constructed with love and destined to engross."
And Sydney Aerial Theatre have new information on their School Holiday workshops at www.artmedia.com.au/classes.htm and the new aerial performance, Sleepless City, at the Newtown Theatre from 28th to 31st August.
================================================== Feature - Silver Tree Dance Studio, Newtown, Sydney, Australia ==================================================
Rehearsal Studio space available in Newtown, 7 days a week at Silver Tree Studio. Very reasonable studio rates varying from $7 to $17 per hour (conditions apply). High ceilings 3.6 metres, sprung floors and wall to wall mirrors. Affordable teaching and workshop rates too.
Regular classes at the Silver Tree include: Afro-Brazilian Dance, Greek Dancing for Adults, Oriental Dance (Bellydance), Pilates, Capoiera Martial Arts, Flamenco, Funk for Beginners, and Bellydance for Beginners.
Our web site is updated regularly, with information about the studio, classes and workshops at The Silver Tree, activities elsewhere, free tickets, special deals for teachers and other things. Visit www.thesilvertree.com.au for all the details.
================================================== Playspace - Clown Masterclasses, Australia and Canada ==================================================
The clown masterclass series has proved so successful that four more workshops have been schedualed, two Winter workshops in Australia in August, and another two Autumn workshops in Canada, in October.
Melbourne Clown Masterclass, Australia - August 18 to 20 (3 days) Cecil Street Studio, Fitzroy, Melbourne. 10am to 4pm. Aus$320 (earlybird, before July 18) Aus$400 (full). Telephone: Australia (03) 9443 0640. Enrolments and info firstname.lastname@example.org
Sydney Clown Masterclass, Australia - August 25 to 28 (4 days) Silver Tree Dance Studio, King St, Newtown. Cost: Aus$450 (earlybird, before July 25) Aus$550 (full). Enrolments and information
Ottawa Clown Masterclass, Canada - October 6 to 9 (4 days) 10am to 4pm. Can$500 (earlybird, before September 6) or Can$600 (full). Enrolments phone Brian Wilson, Orbital Entertainment, Canada (613) 248-8940 or 1-877-269-4897, email email@example.com
Vancouver Clown Masterclass, Canada - October 20 to 23 (4 days) 10am to 4pm, Can$500 ( earlybird, before September 20 ) or Can$600 (full). Scotia Dance Centre, 677 Davie Street - a lovely 7th fl studio in downtown Vancouver, close to comfortable Youth Hostels and the Aquatic Centre. email
The workshop provides a physical approach to the clown art form, exploring playfulness, irreverence, and the freedom of not knowing. Each day starts with a yoga warm up, followed by exercises to develop physical and emotional expression, and improvisational exercises to develop comic timing and rapport. More information at
"Calling for Expressions of Interest - Casual Circus Trainers Employer: Cirkidz Inc. Circus School and Performing Troupe Category: Performing Arts/Circus Location: Bowden, Adelaide, SA, Australia We are seeking expressions of interest from skilled and experienced Circus Trainers to teach children aged 4 to 18 years in a broad range of circus skills and performance. Positions available will be initially on a casual basis with the view to increase to part-time. Cirkidz runs in line with the South Australian public school term dates. Please send your expression of interest and detailed CV to: General Manager, Cirkidz Inc. 100 Drayton Street Bowden SA 5007." Find a link to the Cirkidz web site under Training at
"Hi Everyone, Submissions are open for the Next Wave Festival in Melbourne, Australia, to be held from 18th - 30th May 2004. The festival's theme is Unpopular Culture and we are looking for innovative and engaging takes on that notion. Artists' briefing notes, application forms and more information is available from the Application Downloads Section of the Next Wave web site. We are currently seeking proposals from artforms including music, theatre, dance, performance, and new media. Deadlines for applications are 1st August and 1st November 2003 - but the sooner you apply the better." Thanks for your interest, Marcus Westbury, Artistic Director. Find a link to the New Wave web- site under Festivals at
"I am building a free website that will host Australias fantastic performers for the world to see, I will advertise it and everything, am I charging? no !! why because its a simple thing to do which no one has done for free like this and Aussies deserve it. Please send me your contact details 2 photos a bit about your show and I will post it up ASAP and send you the link. Students and performers either yourself, your circus or school are also welcome to place a link and profile there, send same information as above." best wishes and cartwheels, Jasmine George. Find a link to Jasmine's site under Contortion at
"Alan, Can you put something in your networking about the Australian National Unicycle Championships, UniNats 2003, which will be held from 4-6 October 2003. Cost for Riders is Aus$75 and for Non-Riders, Aus$30. International Riders get it for Aus$10. UniNats 2003 will determine the top Freestyle, Track and Field, Hockey & Basketball champions for the next 2 years, leading up to the World Championships in Japan in 2004." Thanks, Chris Vevers, Secretary, Australian Unicycle Society. Find a link to the Unicycle Championships under Festivals at
"MotionFest East, Baltimore, USA, November 12-16. A career re-charge! Meet your performing peers! MotionFest was developed by professional entertainers using the questions, "what do we wish we had learned years ago? , "what can help us the most now? Then they set out to gather the people and info that answered those questions thus putting together the most valuable conference possible. Learn your tricks elsewhere, learn how to better perform them here. Meet and hang out with agents, trademark and copyright attorneys, accountants who specialize in self-employed, marketing professionals, comedy writers, performers from Broadway, Cirque du Soleil, and everywhere else successful performers work. Join performers from all over the world as they come work, play, laugh, learn and perform at MotionFest. In just a few years we have become famous for our critique sessions, video shoot shows, street performances at Harborplace and socials." Find a link to Motionfest under Festivals at
"August Workshops in Clown and Extreme Physical Theatre. Openings still remain for the August workshops at the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre. "Extreme Physical Theatre" with Stephen Buescher runs from August 5 to August 30, with "Through The Nose," an advanced clown workshop with Ronlin Foreman, taking place from August 12 to September 6. For more information and applications, visit the website." Find a link to the Dell'Arte site under training at
"Creation of Clown Movement Theater Workshop, 1st to 28th of Oct, 03, in Guanajuato, Guanajuato. México, with Sigfrido Aguilar. Learning Sigfrido's method for creating physical theater is a playful, organic process. Each individual performer can integrate it with their own experience, embodying a unique comic sense and style. The physical creative technique developed by Sigfrido provides the performing artist with a movement vocabulary which enables the artist to create pieces with a focus on comedy. The style is a blend of modern mime, theatrical clown and the natural actor. Along with the distinct physical playing of the method, it uses text, costumes and objects in creating complete pieces of theater. The four week course is a balance of creative training and an on-going preparation of pieces to be performed weekly in front of an audience in the open space of the amphitheater Teatro Tanque. During the month of October the city of Guanajuato becomes an international plaza for the arts as it hosts the "Festival Internacional Cervantino", the most famous international festival for the arts in all of Latin America. The workshop runs 9:00AM to 3:00PM, Monday through Friday. Performances: Friday and Saturday at 5:00PM. US$1,000 for four weeks. Please contact us if interested: firstname.lastname@example.org "
" Hi Alan, I have been reading Artmedia (I used to be tour manager for Fruit Flies) for many years and really enjoy finding out all the goss. I am now working with Lunar Circus on their world tour. Lunar Circus hails from Margaret River in Western Australia and has been thrilling audiences of all ages for six years. We are a dynamic New Circus consisting of eight performers, three musicians, a mechanic and a tour manager. Our circus consists of a big top (seating three hundred and fifty people), a foyer tent (half the size of the big top), a double decker bus (which is our living room on wheels and sleeping quarters for half the company), our café bus (consisting of a kitchen, four beds, a 42 kva generator and our beloved coffee machine) and a truck (carrying all our gear plus sleeping one to two couples). The double decker and café bus sport solar panels supplying us with clean electricity. The show itself is a high energy circus consisting of many of the traditional circus skills all backed by a live three sometimes four piece band. Our skills are derived from traditional circus, some of which include breath-taking aerials, back breaking acrobatics, skilful juggling routines, death defying 7m high chair, human balancing, unbelievable contortion, and a world class adagio (acro balance) routine. We also offer some great music, audience participation, enough laughs to require surgery and a good cup of coffee at the end of the show. In the last week of June of this year, we loaded the two buses and the truck onto a freighter destined for Singapore. From where we will drive, doing shows along the way, through Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam. On 1st February 2004 we will cross the border and drive through China, Kazakhstan, Russia and into Eastern Europe to tour the 2004 European Summer Festival season. Along the way, we will take our show to the many regional and isolated communities that do not have access to this type of entertainment. One example is our confirmed gig in Cambodia for the Starfish Circus Project for deaf children. We also have technology on board, such as computers and digital video cameras, which we will use in conjunction with our web site to provide anyone interested with updated reports of our progress." Regards, Faye Stevens, Tour Manager, Lunar Circus Find this link under Circus atwww.artmedia.com.au/links.htm
================================================== Campaign: Forum on Clown within an Aussie Circus Degree ==================================================
On the Clown in NICA campaign, we have had a breakthrough, with director, Pam Creed suggesting a Forum on the topic, and Physical Circus Skills Director, Mr Lu, explaining that they value clown so much that it is only one of 70 specialty skills taught, and therefore 'that is the end of the matter'. Well, Mr Lu, I have news for you, and so I welcome the Forum and suggest a late August date. Meanwhile Chelsea from Rock n Roll Circus encourages us that we need more dialogue like this in Australia, coming from the professional industry.
"Hi Alan, The Natinal Institute of Circus Arts has many different departments and I run the Circus part of training which includes 70 Circus Acts. Clowning is one of these specialty acts. There are also 6 different basic skills in Circus training as well, these are structured into the 1st and 2nd years of the physical training. As well as the physical components there is the Performing Arts aspect of study, this is headed by John Saunders. These Performing Arts include Drama, Dance, Movement, Clowning, and other performing skills that are related to Circus. There are in fact 4 students in second year that have selected clown as a specialty act, and 5 in first year. This is run by Alex Pinder on a weekly basis. There are also Business Studies in the course which will help the students to run their own professional work in the future. So as explained above, the course itself has 3 parts: Circus Skills, Performing Skills and Business Skills. During the students third year of study (if they study well), they may apply the skills that they have learnt in 1st and 2nd years to develop their creative ideas which is an extremely important part of their study. There is now obviously no further issues to be discussed as what you are concerned with (clowing in Australian Circus) is an important part of our program." Regards, Guang Rong Lu, Head of Physical Circus Skills Training, NICA.
"Hi Alan, Just reading your letters going to and from NICA! I have to say I was very inspired by your first letter to Pam and think we should be having much more dialogue like this coming from the professional industry to NICA . I have not seen a NICA shows since the first one they did but have heard may stories of students and trainers past and present. I totally agree with you about clown being an essential performance tool for all circus performer be it if they wish to specialize in physical skill or the craft of clown. I think to extent circus (as Pam mentions) into new directions is great but I believe to do this honestly you need to know where it comes from (especially if you are coming from an untraditional circus background). I think the history and the true craft of circus is to often forgotten. Again on Pams comments for me I DO NOT need to see clowns in baggy pants or elephants in each show 'representing traditions' but I want to know or feel as an audience member that the performers know where they are coming from and have an idea of where it is or can go." Thanks Chelsea. email@example.com
"Dear Alan, This is a topic best handled (in my opinion) in a more structured forum, where one can have a balanced and informed approach to all the issues.Where indepth considered dialogue can take place. There is a lot of feedback to me about the hours required to reach the high level of physical skills required which are expected by some sectors of the industry, and indeed by many of the students themselves. I would be happy to talk in detail about NICA's Circus curriculumn, our findings and our outcomes at an industry forum you might like to arrange, where you and hopefully others can put your views, as speakers if you wish, and engage in meaningful productive discussions. However I do not wish to engage in this debate in your newsletter, other than to express my willingness to participate, along with other Nica colleagues in a way outlined above. ie In a public forum where considered views and constructive, informative dialogue can take place. I respect your right and others to have and express opinions. I do not necessarily agree with them. Clown takes many hours-years- to learn. Many whole courses are devoted to it-and rightly so for those who want a full understanding of the artform. However in a course where the outcome is circus, and a BA of Circus at that, many different things need consideration in assigning prescious hours." Pam Creed, Director, National Institute of Circus Arts, Vic. Australia.
"Dear Pam, Thank you for your suggestion of a forum on the role of clown within the NICA curriculum. I have booked the Cecil Street Studio for a forum on Saturday, August 23rd, and am suggesting a 4pm start. I hope this is convenient from your side. Let me know if another time is more suitable for you." Regards, Alan Clay
================================================== Forum on the role of Clown within an Aussie Circus Degree ==================================================
Saturday 23rd August, 4pm, Cecil Street Studio, Fitzroy, Melbourne
Put this date in your diary, and come along and support this review process. Look for confirmation of this date and time in next month's newsletter, and also let us know if you will not be able to attend, but would like to make a submission, either in writing or in some electronic medium, and we will endevour to find a way to present it. email firstname.lastname@example.org
"Hi Alan, Thanks for a great newsletter, that I always look forward to. Would it be possible to include in your next newsletter, my dance group is looking for expressions of interest from male performers seeking performance opportunities with dance and dramatic content. Could you ask them to email email@example.com ? I would be very grateful." Thanks, Nicola Baartse
"Hi Alan, thanks for a much welcomed and appreciated newsletter. A bunch of us up here on the Central Coast, NSW, Australia (1 hr nth of Sydney) are starting up a Circus Club next year. We want to source local people who can teach any thing to do with circus. We know there are lots of very talented Sydney performers & teachers but it costs too much to have them come up on a regular basis. We know there must be some talented locals who are hiding out, so please contact us if you want to find out more. If you live in Sydney or Newcastle and might be willing to come here either on a regular basis or to hold workshops please talk to us! We need all the help we can get to get this thing off the ground." Thanking you, Jo Love firstname.lastname@example.org
"Hi Alan, I met you about 3 years ago in Sydney. Right now I am working In China. .....been doing all sortls of acro and clown courses ever since I met you. I need a really big favour from you, can you let me in on any links or sities i can get some acro balance moves from....diagrams, or booklets to subsribe to??? This would be fantastic...thanks so much. You do terrific work with your newsleter, which I always read." Thanks, Mark Thirlwall email@example.com
"The clown conspiracy presents; Cereal Clowns, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2003, Diverse Attractions, Riddles Court, Royal Mile, Monday 11 - Saturday 16 August 2003, 11.45am. Breakfast time is the ultimate clown adventure. And for three curious clowns, Red, Parsley and Guitar Man, breakfast is the time they've been waiting to get up for! The World Premiere of Cereal Clowns is an exciting physical clown performance. The show takes on a reality that everyone understands - the morning routine - and the company The Clown Conspiracy creates a different reality, in which the normal becomes enticing and the mundane becomes spellbinding. Taking influences from clowns such as Slava, Charlie Chaplin, Cirque de Soleil, and traditional Russian clowns, Cereal Clowns consists of physical theatre, circus skills, poignant reflection, hilarious antics, alongside a live musical score. Cereal Clowns is for children, but the child in everyone will come out to play. The Clown Conspiracy is a Scottish and Australian collaboration and the Edinburgh Fringe is their first professional performance together. Comprising of Fiona Colliss (from Perth, Scotland), Julian Bell and musician Dave Gliddon (both from Sydney, Australia), the trio are reunited in Edinburgh to perform as Red, Parsley and Guitar Man. Fiona and Julian trained together in 2002 in Sydney at Playspace Clown Studios, Sydney Aerial Theatre Association and with Legs on the Wall Physical Theatre Company." Fiona Colliss. Find a link to the Clown Conspiracy web site under Clowns at
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