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Artmedia - Physical Theatre News - August 2003 ========================================
Features: Australian Circus and Physical Theatre Assn seeks Executive North American 'Clown Readings' from 'Believers in Love'
Playspace: Clown Masterclasses, Australia and Canada
Networking: Clownfest is coming too! USA Newtown Festival seeks participation, Sydney, Australia Seeking shows for Tiny Top, Big West Festival, Melbourne Current Festival announcements from KultNet, Germany Amador(a) in Scene, Festival of Theater, Amadora, Portugal Masters in Performance/Live Art, Nottingham Trent Uni, UK
Campaign: More views on the Role of Clown in an Aussie Circus Degree
Noticeboard: Clowns in Cuba? Seeking Mime, Dance and Acro Acts, for Cabaret, Sydney 'Pacific Warrior's Eye', Music and Dance, Easter Is, Chile
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Welcome to the August edition of the Artmedia physical theatre newsletter, a publication with an Australasian focus and a global
With this issue we welcome another four thousand new readers, particularly clowns in southern Europe, and circus people and jugglers throughout Europe, England, South America, and USA, and also many more of the Australian and New Zealand theatre community, and we take this opportunity to remind any on the list who may wish to unsubscribe, to simply hit reply and type unsubscribe in the subject line.
If you are getting a number of copies, it is because of multiple email addresses in our database, and to unsubscribe a number of addresses, simply list the ones you want removed at the top, in the body of the email.
This month in the Features we have a job opportunity for the Executive Officer of the Australian National Circus and Physical Theatre Association. This is the first time such a position has been created, and it is a bit of a breakthrough for the industry. Be quick on this one because applications close at the end of next week. Remember, to become a member of this valuable organisation, go to www.nationalcircus.asn.au/main/join.html
I also feature details of my coming tour of Canadian Writing Festivals and US Storytelling Festivals, on the basis that some on the list may be interested in checking out my writing, and also because I will be doing clown performances at both the Winnipeg and the Ottawa Writers Festivals, and a clown workshop at the Putnam Storytelling Festival in New York. ( Remember it is just Aus$50 to feature in this newsletter ).
I also have the details on next week's Melbourne masterclass and my Sydney clown masterclass, the week after next, and enrolments have also started coming in on the Vancouver workshop in October, so get in touch if you are interested in confirming a place on any of these workshops.
In the networking, we have a bit of a festival theme this month, with two festivals in Australia seeking participation, the Newtown Festival in Sydney, and the Big West Festival in Melbourne.
Internationally, Clownfest in the USA wants us to know that it is happening, we have some current Festival announcements from KultNet in Germany, and information on a Festival of Theater in Amadora, Portugal. We also have information on a new Masters in Performance / Live Art, at Nottingham Trent University in England.
For those new to the list, the National Institute of Circus Arts is a BA degree in Circus Arts recently set up in Melbourne, Australia, and I have been provoking debate over the past few months on what I see as a lack of clown in the curriculum, and promoting a form to discuss this.
We have good news, and bad news, this month on the Clown Forum front, unfortunately the NICA people are not available on August 23rd, so the forum will not take place on that date, however Circus Oz has stepped in with an offer to host the forum, and NICA seem to have taken this on board and are proposing to take a more organisational role.
In the noticeboard section this month, Dutch clown, Harmien, seeks clown contacts in Cuba, Kenny Feather seeks mime, dance and acro acts for a cabaret in Sydney, and 'Pacific Warrior's Eye', a music and dance group from Easter Is, Chile, seeks touring opportunities.
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.
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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, Sydney Aerial Theatre have information on their new performance, Sleepless City, at the Newtown Theatre, 28th to 31st August.
================================================== Feature - Australian National Circus and Physical Theatre Association ==================================================
The National Circus and Physical Theatre Association is looking for an Executive Officer. It is envisaged that the Executive Officer would facilitate the association's action plan by providing administrative services to the committee and, through the membership and the website, continue to provide a forum for discussion and debate within the industry.
The Executive Officer reports to the Committee of Management elected from the membership. The position is part time (0.4) and currently funded for one year. Applications are invited from people with experience in the Circus and/or Physical Theatre industry.
For further information regarding the position and a job description go to the Circus and Physical Theatre Association website at www.nationalcircus.asn.au/main/jobsandauditions.html#cirque Applicants can also phone Anni Davey on 0409 883 063.
Applications should be forwarded before 22 August 2003 to: The Secretary, Australian National Circus and Physical Theatre Association, PO Box 189, Belconnen , ACT 2616, Australia.
=================================================== Feature: Stories from 'Believers in Love' in America and Canada ===================================================
"Profound observations of life, art and love... Believers in Love is a powerfully creative work, with prose that sings like poetry. Beautifully told and evocatively rendered, this novel comes very highly recommended." wordweaving.com
Alan Clay's third novel, 'Believers in Love', is now available on order through bookshops and on-line stores worldwide. Order the paperback, or download the eBook. Upcoming North American Tour Appearances:
Winnipeg Writers Festival, Canada, September 25 to 28 with a new clown piece, 'The Book Reading' on Sunday 28
Ottawa Writers Festival, Canada, October 1 to 10 with a new clown piece, 'The Book Reading' on Saturday 4
Putnam Storytelling Festival, New York, USA, October 11 with a 'Clown Skills for Storytelling' workshop in the morning.
'Whole Note' Poetry Readings, Berkeley, California, October 28 'It's About Time' Readings, Seatle, Oregon, USA, November 13
================================================== Playspace - Clown Masterclasses, Australia and Canada ==================================================
The clown masterclass series has proved so successful that three more workshops have been scheduled, two Winter Workshops in Melbourne and Sydney in the coming weeks, and an Autumn workshop in Vancouver, in October.
Melbourne Clown Masterclass, Australia - August 18 to 20 (3 days) Cecil Street Studio, Fitzroy, Melbourne. 10am to 4pm. Cost: Aus$400. Telephone: Australia (03) 9443 0640. Enrolments and info
Sydney Clown Masterclass, Australia - August 26 to 28 (3 days) 10am to 4pm, Silver Tree Dance Studio, 585B King St, Newtown. Cost: Aus$400. Enrolments and information email@example.com
Vancouver Clown Masterclass, Canada - October 20 to 22 (3 days) 10am to 4pm, Can$370 ( earlybird, before September 20 ) or Can$450 (full). Scotia Dance Centre, 677 Davie Street - a lovely top 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
"hi Alan, my name is Mark, i just got an email from Toby Whittington, it was a news letter. so i had a look at your site, looks cool, im doing a similar thing here in Cairns Queensland, for the locals mainly, called mixedlollies.com. im a performer myself and there's no site here so i've set one up, just started , looks ok just getting more content, its a small town but there's heaps happening. i'd like to link up maybe, have a look at the site and see what you think." Mark Edwards. Find this link under Resources at
"Dear Artists and Performing groups, Are you looking for a high profile festival to showcase your arts or cultural project? The Newtown Festival is keen to involve groups or individuals who have an exciting performance, arts exhibition or cultural product to showcase at the festival on 9th November 2003. Now in its twenty fourth year the Newtown Festival is the most significant community based festival of the Inner West. It has a unique blend of community involvement with top-line arts and entertainment for all ages. Crowds of up to 80,000 attend, creating a vibrant mixture of ages and cultures. It is a day where people from diverse socio- economic backgrounds, countries and religions come together to meet, mix and perform. The 2003 Festival will have two stages featuring contemporary music, Indigenous and World Music. There will also be a Kid's Zone with amazing performances by and for children. Wandering through the park will be wild and colourful street and circus performers and buskers. As well as the music, dance and street theatre program there will be several other areas within the festival dedicated to poets, writers and speakers discussing topics from politics to the environment and comedy. The day is free to enabling all sections of the community to enjoy the festival. The Festival provides a memorable day for all concerned while at the same time raising much needed funds for the operation of the Newtown Neighborhood Centre. We are very interested in hearing from diverse groups and individuals, no matter what your art form is." Many thanks, Sue Andersen, Festival Co-ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
"Dear Colleague, We are writing to invite you to participate in the presentation of a performance in the Tiny Top as a part of the Big West Festival. Big West is a ten-day biennial arts and cultural festival designed to promote access and participation in cultural activities in the Western Region of Melbourne. The Tiny Top will be presented for free to the general public. The Tiny Top is an installation performance project that reflects the histories of circus, physical theatre and the traditional "sideshow" entertainment. The Tiny Top is, as its name suggests a small six meter by six meter canvas tent accommodating an audience of approx 40 people. The performances will be held from 11am to 5pm in the Footscray Mall, from Tuesday 25th to Thursday 27th November, and from 2pm to 8pm on Friday 28th, while on Saturday 29th the tent will be at the Maribyrnong River from 2pm to 8pm. The format for The Tiny Top is a series of fifteen minute shows Shows will run all afternoon starting every 30 minutes. It is important to remember that the Tiny Top is first and foremost a contemporary sideshow performance venue and any acts that are presented there should by and large have a sideshow feel to them. That is, it is preferable that any act be unusual, quirky, entertaining, bizarre or has a sideshow edge. Spruiking is also an important part of the Tiny Top. A fee will be negotiated upon contacting us, discussing your availability, your show and number of performances. Looking forward to hearing from you." Jason Cross, Co-Artistic Director, Big West Festival, Australia. email@example.com Warm Regards, Tony Rooke, Jason Cross. Find a link to the Tiny Top site under Resources at
"Clownfest 2003" is in it's 22nd year. Can you tell the folks about it? We are also producing the FIRST "Magic-Quest" event this year as well. It's America's Grandest Clown Celebration, and runs September 17, 18, 19, 20 2003, at the Cherry Hill Hilton, Cherry Hill New Jersey. Experience over 50 Lectures, Coaching program, Makeup competition, Public performances, Big Magic Gala. It's an edu-vention. Receive your "Clownfest Certificate of Completion". Certification, coaching and competition designed for personal growth and is open to participants with a full registration only. It's your chance to celebrate and explore the wonders of clowning." Thank you, Vince Pagliano. Find a link to ClownFest under Festivals at
"Dear Alan, we inform you about current listings in the KultNet: Variety and Circus Festival, Dresden, from 5.-7 September 2003 large artist competition in a circus arena in the Sarasani city Dresden. Trottoir - La Strada - International Street Circus Festival, 21 - 24 August 2003. Each summer the streets and places of Bremen become the arena for funny and poetic street theatre from the whole world. The Festival extends over four days and three different places in that of Bremen city center. It begins on Thursday evening with a large Theaterspektakel ends on Sunday with the large La Strada gala. Bremen summer Street Circus Festival is one the largest and most diverse of its kind. Lenzburger Comedy Festival, 14 until 17 August 2003. This is an incomparable gathering of many street artists from the whole world. Here renowned and experienced artists meet, but it exists to collect also the chance for less well-known groups of street experience. There is detailed information on travel expenses, chances of winning as well as forms for registration in Festival office." Find the email contacts for these festivals on the Kultnet website, and find a link to KultNet under Resources at
"Amador(a) in Scene, the Festival of theater of Amadores, Portugal, will be held between 11 and to 28 September. With the assured support of the City Council, and the National Association of Theater of Amadora, this Festival will include three big weekend events, including the Saturday Spectacular (21h30), which will be tuned for a more general public, while the Sunday events (16h00) will be dedicated to the spectators of the new." Jose Alfonso. For more information email Jose, and find this email address by following the link to Amador(a) in Scene, which you can find under Festivals at www.artmedia.com.au/links.htm
"Announcing a new and unique Masters Programme in Performance/ Live Art in the School of Art & Design at The Nottingham Trent University, U.K. Commencing January 2004, a taught Masters Course. International in direction, content and recruitment, this one year fulltime course offers a rare opportunity to participate first hand in the rich traditions of innovative performance and live art - work at the cutting edge of late Twentieth and Twenty-First Century performance ideas - and to develop ideas around your own practice. With access to unique UK and USA performance art archives, live events and visiting experts and practitioners. Further details regarding course content, qualifications, career opportunities, fees and living costs, the City of Nottingham and its arts festivals etc are available from: Andrea Beniston, Postgraduate Coordinator NTSAD, The Nottingham Trent University, School of Art & Design." email: firstname.lastname@example.org
================================================== Forum on the role of Clown within an Aussie Circus Degree ==================================================
We have good news and bad news on the Clown Forum front, unfortunately the NICA people are not available on August 23rd, when we were intending to hold the forum, so it will not take place on that date, however Circus Oz has stepped in with an offer to host the forum, and NICA seem to have taken this on board and are proposing to take a more organisational role, so things are moving... Watch this space for developments.
Until we see a date, we're keeping the pressure up by promoting the discussion, and this month we have a couple of the big guns in Australian physical theatre community entering the debate. Send us your views for future issues.
================================================== Campaign: The Role of Clown within an Aussie Circus Degree ==================================================
This month Sue Broadway weighs into
the debate with the establishment view, and who better to do so.
In response to Sue's piece, I would point out that in the days of the traditional circus, it made sense that the physical stuff was done by the young performers, and older members, with more life skills, took on the clown work. However in the days of BA's in Circus Arts, we need to resource the young clowns who want to go faster, harder, higher and stronger, as well as the acrobats, and to be supportive of the young artists entering the industry, because this assists the development of the art form.
"Dear Colleagues, I have been following this debate with interest and feel finally compelled to put pen to paper - or cursor to screen. I have been performing for thirty years. During that time there were twenty years when my main performance skills were aerial, acrobatic and group juggling numbers. Although comic physicality and clown were always an interest and many of the numbers that I performed contained comedy elements, if asked to define myself I would have said - I'm an aerialist and I juggle a bit. When I was in my twenties Circus Oz was just inventing itself, and access to high level skills training was virtually non-existent. By the time Fruit Flies and the Nanjing projects etc. came along I was already past my physical prime. This didn't stop me having a long and reasonably successful career performing a range of acts including web, solo and double trapeze, knockabout ladder and human pyramids. Although the skill level achieved was lower than what I see today, the entertainment value was, I believe, just as convincing. Throughout my physical career I was accumulating small skills with juggling and objects and ideas about clowning. Over the past ten years I have been drawing all my performing experience and skills together and feel finally that I have a repertoire that entitles me to call myself a clown. The older I get the funnier I get. I hope to be still clowning for decades to come. Clowning at its best is about knowing who you are - and being prepared to share that with an audience. It's about vulnerability and sensitivity. These capacities continue to develop and expand with age. While I choose not to harbor regrets, if given the opportunity to change anything in my career path I would have to say - "Give me back the years between 18 and 25 so I can do some serious training". The fitness, flexibility, stamina, coordination and high level skills that one develops in the early years are much harder to achieve and maintain in later years. Clowning, however, just keeps getting easier. In traditional circus this shift from high skill to clowning in later years is a common pathway. By all means use clowning training as a teaching method for developing audience awareness, performance presence, timing and character. But there is nothing wrong with young acrobats wanting to go faster harder, higher and stronger. They should do this while they can - they can always come to clowning later in life. Preferably after I've retired." Fond regards, Sue Broadway, Sydney. Find more information on Sue's work at www.artmedia.com.au/broadway.htm
"hi Alan, it's great to receive your e-newspaper! thank you so much. my name is harmien batjah slier and i'm a dutch clown. i spent the summer in Melbourne and performed at the gaygames in sydney. at the newtown theatre, so maybe that's how i got to get your newsletter. this november i'm going to Cuba and i would like to meet clowns there, do a workshop, perform, whatever. If anyone knows any addresses, names of people or places there i could contact? much obliged. keep up the good work and have fun," toedeloe, harmien Harmienbatjah@cs.com
"hello Alan, i am needing some acts for an up & coming cabaret style show to be held at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay, Sydney, on Friday 19th Sept 2003. The show will be directed and choreographed by me. I am looking for: One Mime Artist - needs to have their own show already. Two Tap Dancers - 2 routines - collaborative works. Three Female Dancers - classical/ contemporary /martial art, needing some Spanish, Indian and/or Asian influence. Duet Acro-Balance Act - 1 routine - Level 6 to Level 10 required. Rehearsal Dates TBC - 16, 18 & 19 Sept 2003. Please send Show Reel, C.V., Headshot, Act Shot or whatever you have, as soon as possible, to: 8 - 114 Myrtle St, Chippendale NSW 2008. Deadline: Friday 15 August." Kenny Feather, email@example.com
"Dear Musical friends, MATATO'A (The Pacific warrior's eye) is a music and dance group from Rapa Nui (Easter island-Chile). I write you because we need help to organise concerts or to know how participate to festivals. They would like also organise a meeting with an Aboriginal cultural center to share and show our culture. This group is really excellent and has already recorded 4CD and recorded 3 video clips, which illustrate their music very dancing and has a big success in the Pacific islands. It's the reason we would like to export our music and spectacles in others countries in the world. They represent often their island and traditions through concerts (Nouméa, Tahiti, Chile, Belgium, Holland, etc.) and Festivals. They propose two types of show : 1) World music concert : original musical style mix Rapa Nui, polynesian, latino styles (spanish speakers and guitars), rock, reggae. 60-90 min and 11 persons (with traditional dancers) 2) Traditional : sacred songs and dances from ancestral age of the "Moa"i time (body painting, fiber and feathers costumes,...). 30 min and 11 persons (with traditional dancers) You can listen and see all the details about us on the brand new website." Best regards, D. Greindl, Manager. Find a link to Matato'a under Dance at
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