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2014
2014 graduate Rowan Thomas.
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VISION MISSION GOALS
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FROM THE CHAIR
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FROM THE PROGRAM MANAGER
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HIGHLIGHTS
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ACADEMIC PROGRAMS
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NICA GRADUATES
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PERFORMANCE PROGRAM 2014
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NANJING PROJECT
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NICA TEAM
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NICA IN THE COMMUNITY
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MEDIA & MARKETING
34
CIRCANICA
37
NICA SUPPORTERS AND PARTNERSHIPS
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FINANCIAL REPORT
DESIGN BY // BLICK CREATIVE
All images by Aaron Walker Photography unless otherwise credited.
FRONT COVER // 2014 graduates Lucas Simonds, Luke Hubbard
and second year student Maggie Fayne.
BACK COVER // 2014 graduate Angelique Ross.
Second year students Stephanie Mouat and Adam O’Connor-McMahon.
2014 graduate William Meager.
[email protected]
3
NICA ANNUAL REPORT 2014
2014
NICA VISION
NICA will be an internationally renowned Australian
Centre of Excellence in education, training, performance
and research in contemporary circus.
NICA MISSION
EXCELLENCE
NICA will foster passion, creativity and a high level of
skill in its graduates who will be recognised as inspiring
circus artists.
INNOVATION
NICA will deliver innovative training programs to
talented students, whose work will re-imagine circus
and provide stimulating, evocative and sometimes
challenging performances.
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LEADERSHIP
NICA graduates and staff will take a leadership role
in shaping the Australian circus arts industry.
Secon
d year
ACCESS
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NICA will provide opportunities for a wide range
of participants in its courses, workshops and
performance program.
GOALS
■■ Drive excellence and support world class endeavour
and achievement in the education and training of
circus artists.
■■ Establish a strong regional, national and
international presence.
■■ Build a robust and sustainable organisation.
■■ Build strong relationships with industry and the
wider community.
■■ Develop strong academic foundations that support
a research culture and ensure quality in education
and training.
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NICA.COM.AU
Second year students Martin Evans and Maggie Fayne.
Second year student Madeline Robbins.
Second year student Corie Hurry.
THE
I am delighted to present the 2014 Annual Report for the National Institute
of Circus Arts. 2014 was a year of consolidation and stability with a number
of significant achievements.
2014
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As part of the Melbourne Festival, NICA, The Flying
Fruit Fly Circus (FFFC) and five professional acrobats
from the Nanjing Province in China collaborated to
present a program that commemorated the original
Nanjing Project 30 years ago in Wodonga. NICA’s
Head of Circus Studies Mr Lu Guang Rong, was
involved in the original project (and also a number of
training staff), which signified the first major influence
of Chinese traditions into Australian circus training.
The 2014 Nanjing Project opened in Wodonga
as part of the “Borderville Festival” 35 years’ celebration
for the FFFC before coming to Melbourne in the Fairfax
Theatre. The Chinese acrobats conducted workshops
in Wodonga and at NICA, with a view to passing on
new acts that can be incorporated at both institutes.
This was a very exciting project with Certificate III
and Movement Studies Coordinator Meredith Kitchen
directing the show, with artistic oversight by Mr Lu
Guang Rong. It was a wonderful event, well received,
and cemented a commitment with the FFFC that
future collaborative events will be part of our plans.
The respect and friendships between all three parties
was wonderful to see. The project assisted NICA to
continue to build upon its reputation and expand its
presence within the international circus community.
NICA welcomed internationally renowned Artistic Director
Firenza Guidi (from NoFit State Circus, Wales) to NICA
early in 2014 to work with our final year students in a
series of workshops. NICA then commissioned Firenza
to create a new circus work supported by the generosity
of The Richard Pratt Creative Fellowship.
Dreams from the Second Floor received positive reviews
and provided the students with a rich opportunity to
create original work in a supportive environment.
Original and refreshing, Dreams from the Second Floor
was a performance in which the students shared their
dreams demonstrating a variety of skills and talent. The
theatre was designed as a site-specific venue, no backstage
or curtains. The audience was able to participate in the
experience of seeing riggers at work in what was
a creative and rewarding show.
Several Board members vacated NICA Board positions
in 2014. I would like to acknowledge their support and
dedication to the Board for the terms of their service.
NICA thanks Ross Mollison, Sheila Fitzgerald and
Mary Stuart for their support for NICA and wishes
them very well for the future.
Thank you also to the Australian Government and the
many supporters of NICA for their continued alliance
and connection to the organisation. Without such
support, our work would be so much more difficult.
We are also grateful to the City of Stonnington for
their support of the Youth Circus Finale in which NICA’s
community circus participants were able to showcase
their skills in December.
I wish to extend, on behalf of the Board, our condolences
to the NICA community on the sudden passing of NICA
trainer Kostya Ibraguimov. He will be sadly missed.
To all the teachers, trainers and auxiliary staff of NICA,
thank you for the hard work, dedication and delivery of
world class training to Australia’s emerging circus artists.
Professor Jennelle Kyd
Chair
Cast of Dreams from the Second Floor.
[email protected]
7
NICA ANNUAL REPORT 2014
Cast of Dreams from the Second Floor.
The final graduation ceremony was a special event with
eleven students graduating for the first time as part of the
wider Swinburne Ceremony. NICA held a Presentation
Day which was again well supported by industry prizes
in recognition of outstanding achievement.
FROM
THE
On a sadder note, NICA held a special commemorative
ceremony for the passing of trainer Kostya Ibraguimov.
His family were able to attend and a number of staff,
students and graduates paid tribute to Kostya through
performance, poems, memory boards and tributes. It
was an extremely moving occasion which celebrated this
talented circus artist’s life. He is sadly missed at NICA.
I would like to thank the NICA community for their contribution to a successful
and eventful 2014. Much was achieved in terms of moving NICA forward
towards the achievement of its 2014 – 2017 Strategic Plan, and NICA finished
the year financially sound with a number of initiatives in place. This augurs well
for the next planning cycle.
The newly accredited Bachelor of Circus Arts saw its
first intake of students. A mid-year review of the course
provided the opportunity to make some minor adjustments
and these were approved by the Academic Senate.
The course continues as a Swinburne University degree
in the Faculty of Health, Arts and Design. NICA worked
closely with the Faculty in 2014 and commenced the
development of a research culture at NICA with the
successful application of a small research project.
NICA travelled more widely and made a number of visits
to circus schools in four states and the ACT to renew
contacts with community circus activities and youth circus
schools. NICA significantly increased its interstate
audition numbers which was an encouraging response
to the contact visits made.
NICA was pleased to reconvene our enthusiastic and
supportive industry advisory panel again. A steering
committee was formed to lead the development of the
reaccreditation of the Certificates III and IV in Circus Arts
and this valuable feedback was incorporated into the
new courses. Several meetings were held, documentation
prepared and both courses were reaccredited by the
Academic Senate. The new courses are ready for
delivery in 2015.
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NICA.COM.AU
A group of industry practitioners (including some
international representatives) provided valuable
feedback to our final year students as they prepared
for their showcase presentation. The close relationship
between our circus industry artists, directors and
NICA, assists us to build programs that are relevant and
produce excellent employability skills for our graduates.
I would like to thank all the staff at NICA for their
dedication throughout the year. It is not only the teaching
and training staff who shape the futures of our students.
It is also the production, administrative and financial
teams, and other auxiliary staff who worked so hard
in 2014 to bring the year to successful fruition.
The Annual Report is presented not only as a record of
the financial governance and status of NICA, but also
as a picture of the many highlights, success stories and
achievements that were 2014. I look forward to the
pursuit of excellence, sound governance and quality
management that herald 2015.
2014
grad
ua
te M
Rose Stephens
Program Manager // NICA
Among NICA’s many valued industry connections,
I would like to mention and thank the following for
their continued support of NICA: the Australian Circus
and Physical Theatre Association (ACAPTA) and The
Flying Fruit Fly Circus, for their continued dialogue and
interaction in the development of youth circus training;
Circus Oz and Circa for their contribution, support and
enthusiasm in the provision of industry support, both as
a presence at NICA and as employers of our graduates.
Once again, NICA’s show seasons received superlative
reviews confirming that our students are able to present
great work to the general public. The second year 7
performance, was designed as three small vignettes
that showed a range of approaches to performance
as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival; the third
year Showcase was in two parts, Rouge et Blanc;
and the graduation final ensemble piece Dreams
from the Second Floor was an overwhelming success.
First year student Annalise Moore.
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son.
NICA ANNUAL REPORT 2014
HIGHLIGHTS
JUNE
APRIL
MARCH
Over 25 NICA students and graduates
performed in the Adelaide Fringe Festival.
NICA Program Manager Rose Stephens attended
the National Youth Circus Symposium in Adelaide.
JANUARY
NICA Circus Trainer and First Year
Coordinator Tegan Carmichael performed
as a guest of the Hong Kong Tourism
Board, in the Cathay Pacific Chinese
New Year Night Parade, Hong Kong.
NICASparks performed as part of Melbourne
International Comedy Festival, receiving a rave
review from the Herald Sun.
NICA second year student Jillibalu
Riley performed at the Glasgow 2014
Cultural Program Corroboree Project
as part of the 2014 Commonwealth
Games in Scotland.
Artist in Conversation was held with New Zealand
born and London based performer/clown Trygve
Wackenshaw who performed in the 2014
Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
NICA welcomed Artist in Residence, Firenza
Guidi, from NoFit State Circus in the UK. Firenza
conducted workshops for second and third year
students, alongside an Artist in Conversation for
staff and students and a masterclass for staff.
Adelaide circus company, Gravity and Other
Myths took part in an Artist in Conversation.
CircaNICA supplied trampoline and
walking globe performers for the T20
Cricket Australia matches in Hobart,
Melbourne and Sydney throughout
January and February 2014.
MAY
NICA and Flying Fruit Fly Circus publicly announced
a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to see both
organisations working together to promote excellence
in contemporary circus arts training and performance
in Australia.
Circa performers conducted a workshop with NICA
third year students.
FEBRUARY
NICA third year students presented their Showcase
acts to an Industry Panel at NICA.
NICA graduates Trash Test Dummies and Feet2Feat
were awarded first and second place in the
Gasworks Circus Showdown, Melbourne.
NICA congratulated Circus Trainer Kathryn Niesche
who is a founding member of Clowns Without Borders
Australia which was the subject of a story on ABC News.
2012 NICA graduate and CircaNICA artist Simon
Wright played the character of ‘Zap’ in ABC TV kids
program Hoopla Doopla!
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NICA.COM.AU
NICASparks performer. Photo by Julian Meehan Photography.
Nanjing Project. Photo by Greg Barrett.
NICA ANNUAL REPORT 2014
SEPTEMBER
Rehearsals began for the Nanjing Project
as part of the 2014 Melbourne Festival.
NICA’s Head of Circus Studies Mr Lu Guang Rong,
NICA’s Certificate III Coordinator and Movement
Studies Coordinator, Meredith Kitchen and
four NICA students headed to Albury for
rehearsals with acrobats from Jiangsu Acrobatics
Association and the Flying Fruit Fly Circus.
JULY
Circus Showcase 2014 Rouge et Blanc opened.
This performance showcased the circus
specialties of NICA’s third year students.
Artist in conversation was held with
Zebastian Hunter, director and former
Cirque du Soleil performer.
NOVEMBER
2012 NICA graduate and CircaNICA artist Simon Wright performed
as part of the ‘Giggle & Hoot and Friends’ national live tour.
Artist in conversation with 2009 NICA graduate and Cirque du Soleil
performer Julian Aldag.
Dreams from the Second Floor, NICA’s third year ensemble performance directed
by internationally renowned Firenza Guidi opened and received rave reviews.
NICA celebrated the 11th Anniversary of its first Bachelor Degree Graduates.
Certificate
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NICA’s second year performance 7 opened.
NICA’s Program Manager visited Circa, Circus
Artists Australia, Super Performance Centre,
Flipside and Spaghetti Circus in NSW and QLD.
As part of the 2014 Victorian State Schools
Spectacular NICA’s Certificates III and IV students
performed at Hisense Arena on
Saturday 13 September.
A group of NICA second year students
along with two NICA trainers and NICA’s
Program Manager took part in an
international study tour to Montréal
and Las Vegas.
DECEMBER
Third Year students graduate from
NICA’s Bachelor of Circus Arts.
NICA’s Youth Circus Finale took
place with over 140 short course
participants performing for friends
and family.
Pre-audition and intensive training
workshops took place at NICA
for prospective students.
OCTOBER
NICA auditions were held around Australia.
Melbourne Fringe Festival Awards 2014:
■■ NICA second year student, Jillibalu Riley won Best
Emerging Indigenous Artist.
AUGUST
NICA celebrated Open Day with a group of students wired
for motion capture. The students worked with Swinburne
Faculty of Health, Arts and Design (FHAD) and the Sports
Science Department.
Road Trip filmed a section of their show at NICA for the City
of Stonnington’s Glow Winter Arts Festival. Presenters Damian
Callinan and Gavin Baskerville took part in a clowning
workshop with NICA Trainers Earl Shatford and Ludwig Schukin.
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NICA.COM.AU
Channel Nine’s Today Show filmed six live weather
crosses at NICA. Students performed a range of
circus skills from Adagio to Tightwire to promote the
performance 7, and NICA’s auditions for the 2015 intake.
■■ Original New Circus, supported by Circus Oz, was
My Life in Boxes by Gravity Dolls – 2013 NICA
graduate Tim Rutty and former NICA staff member
Tarah Carey.
Swinburne University of Technology, under the Learning
Futures Scholarship Program, awarded NICA a small
grant for a research project entitled: Media technology
implemented as a pedagogy tool for physical assessment.
■■ The People’s Choice Award was Left by 2010 NICA
graduate Tom Davis and company Long Answers
to Simple Questions which included current NICA
students and graduates.
The NICASparks performed roving entertainment at
Chapel Off Chapel as part of the Roola Boola Children’s
Arts Festival presented by the City of Stonnington.
NICA’s first year degree and diploma students
presented their “Showing”.
NICASparks presented a series of solo, duo and trio
roving vaudeville acts at the opening night celebrations
of the Exxopolis Luminarium, part of the City of
Stonnington’s ‘Glow Winter Arts Festival’.
Montréal circus company Cirque Éloize took
part in an Artist in Conversation session at NICA.
Nanjing Project opened at the Arts Centre
as part of the 2014 Melbourne Festival.
NICA’s Head Physiotherapist
Dr David Munro PhD, published a
peer reviewed research paper titled,
Injury Patterns and Rates Amongst
Students at the National Institute of
Circus Arts: An Observational Study
in the journal, Medical Problems of
Performing Artists. It was the world’s
first study examining injuries in
students attending a circus school.
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BACHELOR OF
CIRCUS ARTS
NICA’s core program is a three year full-time Bachelor
of Circus Arts degree course. The Bachelor of Circus
Arts is the highest level of accredited circus training
available in Australia. The degree aims to produce
graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to
become innovative, confident and autonomous circus
arts practitioners working in professional global contexts.
This elite course attracts applicants from across Australia
and around the world.
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During 2014 NICA’s Bachelor of Circus Arts final
year students were able to participate in a range of
rewarding industry based experiences. These included
workshops with established circus performers from Circa,
specialised feedback from an industry panel on solo
act presentations, and direction from internationally
renowned director, Firenza Guidi from NoFit State
Circus in Wales for their final ensemble show Dreams
from the Second Floor. NICA is very proud of the
many graduates from 2014 who secured contracts and
employment amongst companies such as Circa, NoFit
State Circus, Franco Dragone Entertainment Group and
those who are forming their own companies.
SECOND YEAR
During 2014 students worked on their chosen circus
specialties and performed in 7, a triple bill performed
as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2014.
The triple bill included: Apartment 7 – Directed by
Meredith Kitchen and Aaron Walker; On the 7th Day
– Directed by Martine Howard and Tarn Scully; and
#ashtag7 – Directed by Dan Power.
NICA second year students, two NICA trainers and
NICA’s Program Manager Rose Stephens also took
part in an international study tour to Montreal and Las
Vegas. The students had many fantastic experiences
including attending the Montréal Complètement Cirque
(Montreal Circus Festival) training in the École National
de Cirque (National Circus School of Montreal),
backstage tours and a number of professional shows
including O, Mystere, La Reve, Kurios and Ka and
meeting the Cirque Du Soleil Casting Director.
FIRST YEAR
First year students of the Bachelor of Circus Arts
worked hard in selecting their chosen circus specialities
and group acts. They also presented their “Showing”
in October. This was directed by Tegan Carmichael,
Aurora Kurth and Andrea Ousley and was very well
received by friends, family and the NICA crowd.
[email protected]
15
NICA ANNUAL REPORT 2014
DIPLOMA OF
CIRCUS ARTS
In 2014 NICA offered a one-year full time vocational
qualification in foundation level in circus skills and
knowledge. The Diploma of Circus Arts students
presented a “Showing” alongside the first year students
from the Bachelor of Circus Arts.
CERTIFICATE IV
IN CIRCUS ARTS
The Certificate IV in Circus Arts is a one year full-time
preparatory vocational qualification. The course aims
to prepare participants for a variety of roles within the
contemporary circus arts and community circus sector.
As part of the 2014 Victorian State Schools Spectacular,
over 35 Certificates III and IV students performed
at Hisense Arena on Saturday 13 September. The
performance included roller skaters, puppets, singers,
dancers, hula hoops and trampoline basketball.
CERTIFICATE III
IN CIRCUS ARTS
The Certificate III in Circus Arts is a part-time, preparatory
vocational qualification designed to offer young
people the opportunity to gain a nationally recognised
qualification in Circus Arts. Many Certificate III students
also took part in the course in collaboration with their
Year 11 and 12 VCE studies at the Victorian College
of the Arts Secondary School (VCASS).
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ACADEMIC PROGRAMS
ARTISTS IN
CONVERSATION
Held monthly, the Artist in Conversation seminars
connect the NICA community with practicing artists
and provide an opportunity for students and staff to
engage with artists about the creation of their work.
During 2014, a number of renowned artists contributed
to these sessions including:
■■ NoFit State Circus – Director Firenza Guidi
alise M
■■ Squid Boy, 2014 Melbourne International Comedy
Festival – performer/clown Trygve Wackenshaw
■■ National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) –
Masters student and performer, Zeb Hunter
■■ Cirque Éloize – selected cast members
■■ 2009 NICA graduate – Julian Aldag
AUDITIONS
A total of 106 young people auditioned for NICA’s
accredited courses. Of these, 62 were successful
in gaining entry into the first year of the Bachelor
of Circus Arts, the Certificate III in Circus Arts or
Certificate IV in Circus Arts. Applicants came from
Colombia, USA, Canada, UK, New Zealand and
across all Australian states.
STUDENT NUMBERS
Student numbers (including returning students):
■■ Bachelor of Circus Arts (2 year) // 18
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Second Year Academic Excellence Award
Martin Evans
In 2014 the Graduation ceremony took place
via a Swinburne official ceremony on Monday
15 December. Eleven NICA students attended
the ceremony which was a very proud moment
for NICA staff, trainers, friends and family.
SIR RUPERT HAMER AWARD
■■ Bachelor of Circus Arts (1st year) // 23
■■ Diploma of Circus Arts // 9
■■ Certificate IV in Circus Arts // 22
■■ Certificate III in Circus Arts // 17
This award is presented to a student who shows
dedication and outstanding achievement. The award
supports a student to participate in NICA’s international
engagement program in 2015.
Ryan Darwin
PRESENTATION
DAY AT NICA
■■ Gravity and Other Myths – whole cast
■■ Bachelor of Circus Arts (3rd year) // 23
ts Ann
GRADUATION CEREMONY
On Monday 8 December NICA hosted a Presentation
Day to celebrate the year, farewell the third year
graduates and recognise the highest achievers within
the school.
The MC for the occasion was NICA’s Program
Manager Rose Stephens, with Professor Don Iverson,
Executive Dean, Faculty of Health, Arts and Design
at Swinburne University of Technology, delivering
the keynote address.
To give the event a performance atmosphere, 2007
NICA graduate Luke Ha performed a moving aerial
straps routine for the audience.
NICA’s third year graduates were presented via show
reels which they had compiled and graduating student
Ella Horner delivered the Valedictorian speech.
STUDENT AWARDS 2014
ABSOLUTE PHYSIOTHERAPY AWARD
This award is presented to the first year student with the
highest academic marks in Anatomy and Physiology.
Charlie Rust
NICA ACADEMIC AWARDS
These awards are presented to the students with the
highest academic marks in their year.
Certificate III Academic Excellence Award
Maya Tregonning
NICA OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
This award is presented to a student in third year who has
achieved outstanding results during their time at NICA.
Ella Horner
SUN FOUNDATION AWARDS
These awards are presented to two second year students
who show artistic potential, passion, and a drive for success
and have contributed widely to the NICA community.
Simone Salle, Stephanie Mouat
CIRCUS OZ AWARDS
The Circus Oz ‘Excellence and Innovation’ award
is presented to a third year student who displays
excellence and innovation in their artistic work.
Angelique Ross
The Circus Oz ‘Spirit of Collaboration’ award is
presented to a third year student who shows great
generosity in teamwork.
Will Meager
NICA DUX AWARD
This award is presented to the student in third year with
the highest academic marks.
Angelique Ross
ACAPTA PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AWARD
This award provides a 12 month membership to ACAPTA
and a professional development opportunities package.
It is presented to a third year student who demonstrates
an ability to work well with other performers, and who
engages and actively contributes to the development
of the circus community.
Felicia Lannan
Certificate IV Academic Excellence Award
Elise Jaworowski
ARTISTIC EXCELLENCE AWARD
Diploma Academic Excellence Award
Jonathan Morgan
This award is presented to the student in second year
who strives for excellence in pursuit of becoming an
outstanding Australian artist.
First Year Academic Excellence Award
Sarah Gray
Callan Beacroft
[email protected]
17
NICA ANNUAL REPORT 2014
2013 graduate Danny Golding performing his showcase act.
SPOTLIGHT ON
CAREERS IN 2014
Circus Oz
NICA graduates Kyle Raftery, Nathan Kell and Derek
Llewellin joined the new Circus Oz cast in 2014,
touring But Wait…There’s More in Australia and USA.
Kyle performed duo unicycle, juggling and flying
trapeze; Derek performed roue cyr, adagio and
Chinese pole, and Nathan performed hoop diving,
Chinese pole and acrobatics.
Cirque Du Soleil
NICA had three graduates in Cirque du Soleil in 2014.
Renee Koehler and Laura Kmetko were touring Europe
performing in Amaluna and Kooza, while Emma
Henshall was based in Las Vegas, performing in O.
P&O Cruises
Fifteen NICA graduates were employed on 6 month
contracts with P&O Cruises in 2014, including five
2013 graduates (Tessa Wilson, Daniel Price, Nick
Rothlisberger, Kate Nelson and Tom McKinnon).
The performers were employed by Colombian
entertainment company Circolombia. The cruises
travel to the Pacific Islands, including Fiji, Vanuatu,
New Caledonia and Tonga.
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NICA.COM.AU
Dragone
2013 NICA graduate Tamika Ball joined the Franco
Dragone Entertainment Group in collaboration with
Wanda Arts and Entertainment Co. Ltd under a three
year contract. She is performing in The Han Show in
Wuhan China. The performance, based on the essence
of Han culture, opened in December and features an
impressive mix of dance, acrobatics and stuntwork.
The show features a cast of 95 artists, of which Tamika
is the only Australian.
Cirque Productions
2013 NICA graduate Danny Golding joined Cirque
Dreams in the USA. He performed in Cirque Dreams
Dinner, and Jungle Fantasy on the Norwegian
Breakaway tour and on the US tour for Holidaze.
Cavalia
NICA graduate Chiara Boardman secured a contract
as an aerialist with internationally-acclaimed company
Cavalia, joining the company in their first tour to Asia.
Cavalia is a multi-disciplinary theatrical production
with spectacular equestrian, acrobatic, aerial, dance,
musical and multi-media elements. Based in Canada,
the company was created by Normand Latourelle,
one of the co-founders of Cirque du Soleil.
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NICA ANNUAL REPORT 2014
NICA GRADUATES DESTINATIONS 2014
NICA GRADUATE
DESTINATIONS 2014
ASIA
■■ Club Med Bali, Indonesia
■■ Franco Dragone Entertainment
Group, China
■■ Kinoshita Circus, Japan
■■ Universal Studios Japan
■■ Disneyland, Hong Kong
■■ Le Noir Circus,
touring internationally
MIDDLE EAST
■■ Cavalia, touring Asia
■■ Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi
■■ U Coral Beach Club, Israel
■■ Pacha Ibiza, Dubai,
United Arab Emirates
AUSTRALIA
USA
UK
■■ Cirque du Soleil – Viva ELVIS, Las Vegas
■■ Cirque du Soleil – O, Las Vegas
■■ Cirque Productions, USA
■■ Sydney After Dark, Las Vegas
■■ Long Lake Camp for the Arts, USA
■■ National Circus Project, USA (teaching)
■■ Micha Bergese Productions, London
■■ NoFit State Circus, Wales
(touring internationally)
EUROPE
■■ Cirque Theatre Oncore, Ales, France
■■ Cirq’ulation Locale, Brugge, Belgium
■■ Cirque du Soleil - Amaluna
■■ Cirque du Soleil - Kooza
■■ Celebrity Cruises (touring to Europe & USA)
■■ Silvers Circus, touring Australia
■■ Circus Joseph Ashton, touring Australia
■■ Giggle & Hoot and Friends
(Live Nation), touring Australia
■■ Circus Quirkus, touring Australia
& New Zealand
■■ Briefs, touring internationally
■■ La Soirée, touring internationally
■■ Strange Fruit, touring internationally
■■ Casus, touring internationally
■■ Katie Noonan’s Love-Song-Circus,
touring internationally
BRISBANE / QLD
■■ Circa, touring Australia
& internationally
■■ Flipside Circus, Brisbane (teaching)
■■ Jupiter’s Casino, Gold Coast
■■ Super Performance
MELBOURNE
■■ Circus Oz, touring Australia
& internationally
■■ King Kong
(completed end of January 2014)
■■ Australian Shakespeare Company
■■ NICA (teaching, rigging & admin)
■■ Showtech Australia (admin)
■■ The Circus Spot, Melbourne
PACIFIC
ISLANDS &
NEW ZEALAND
(admin & teaching)
■■ Catch Children’s Entertainment,
Melbourne (admin)
■■ May Downs School of Dance,
Melbourne (teaching)
SYDNEY / NSW
■■ Carnival Australia/
P&O Cruises
■■ Circus Quirkus,
touring Australia
& New Zealand
■■ Aerialize, Sydney (teaching)
■■ Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Albury
(teaching and rigging)
Gymnastics Centre (teaching)
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NICA.COM.AU
[email protected]
21
NICA ANNUAL REPORT 2014
PERFORMANCE PROGRAM 2014
Second year students Simone Salle and Stephanie Mouat.
PERFORMANCE
2014
26 November – 6 December 2014
NICA National Circus Centre
201
4 gr
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ates
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CIRCUS SHOWCASE 2014
1 – 5 July 2014
NICA National Circus Centre
Circus Showcase 2014 was directed by Megan
Jones, hosted by the talented Mistress of Ceremonies
Aurora Kurth and featured distinct solo, duo and group
performances from NICA’s graduating class of 2014.
The show, entitled Rouge et Blanc featured two distinct
cabaret-style performances, each showcasing half of
NICA’s talented final-year students. In a departure
from NICA’s traditional Showcase format, audiences
had the option of enjoying this incredible display of
contemporary circus from Gold or Silver cabaret table
seating in addition to General Admission seats.
These final year artists tested the limits of physical
strength with an eclectic mix of circus skills including:
aerial cube, aerial straps, Chinese pole, contortion, duo
and single rope, German wheel, hand balancing, head
balancing, head trapeze, hula hoops, juggling, roué cyr,
single point trapeze, tightwire, tissu, tumbling and unicycle.
Audience numbers
1,437 spectators
“The costumes reminisce an era circa 1930s, the music
and the decor had an air of burlesque… If there were
any ‘hiccups’ then they were only noticeable to the
instructors and the performers themselves, because to
the layperson in the audience, it all ran like a Swiss
watch. I definitely plan on going again.”
–Gordana Andjelic-Davila, Australian Stage
4 July 2014
24 September – 4 October 2014
NICA National Circus Centre
NICA presented 7, a gripping triple bill performed by
its second year students as part of the Melbourne Fringe
Festival in 2014. The triple bill included: Apartment
7 - Directed by Meredith Kitchen and Aaron Walker;
On the 7th Day – Directed by Martine Howard and
Tarn Scully and #ashtag7 – Directed by Dan Power.
Each performance explored a distinct aspect of today’s
society – inviting the audience to become lost and
found in a wasteland; feel more connected but ever
disconnected in the age of the internet; and question
that life is never simple, unless you live alone…
Audience numbers
827 spectators
“So much is on offer here: chair balancing, hand
balancing, head balancing, hula hoops, juggling, trapeze,
tight rope walking, tumbling duo and trio aerial, dance
trapeze, slack wire, hire wire, tightwire, … the list goes on…
The tricks are impressive… and the skill level is high... Did
I mention these are second year students!! WOW!”
–Matthew Grant, Melbourne.Arts.Fashion
26 September 2014
Internationally renowned Director Firenza Guidi, from
NoFit State Circus in Wales, crafted a dynamic live
circus experience featuring NICA’s graduating artists.
This site-specific performance explored different types
of dreams – from those which come to us at night,
sometimes so vivid that we can smell and taste and
touch, to those which we carry with us through our
waking reality. The audience witnessed performers
weave their way through their own dreams – where
things are uncharted and the world is upside down.
Audience numbers
2,056 spectators
“Dreams from the Second Floor is probably the
greatest show I’ve ever seen. And I’ve already booked
tickets to see it again.”
“Directed by internationally renowned director Firenza
Guidi, Dreams From The Second Floor feels, quite literally,
like a dream—and that’s just how Guidi intended. The show
has no real narrative, rather it aims to explore, demonstrate
and celebrate the topsy-turvy world of dreams. “Every show
that I do is a book of dreams”, she says. “Most things in life
are random. Like the sequence of pictures in a dream”.
–Anoosha Delpechitra, Onya Magazine
1 December 2014
2
raduate
014 g
Olivia
Watts.
NICA ANNUAL REPORT 2014
In 1983, the world-famous Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe undertook the first of
two training projects with the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Circus Oz and other
physical theatre artists. The initiative and its two celebrated shows, The Great
Leap Forward and The Circus of Tomorrow, revolutionised the way Australia
thought about and practised circus arts.
Continuing the 30 year legacy of the original Nanjing
Project, Melbourne Festival was proud to welcome a
new generation of some of China’s best acrobats to
Australia. In partnership with the Flying Fruit Fly Circus
and the National Institute of Circus Arts, five Chinese
circus artists trained with students in Albury – Wodonga
and in Melbourne at NICA’s Prahran headquarters,
imparting the innovations of current Chinese practice.
Four talented NICA students performed alongside
incredible Nanjing circus artists and students from the
Flying Fruit Fly Circus. The performance was directed
by NICA’s Certificate III and Movement Studies
Coordinator, Meredith Kitchen with artistic consultancy
by NICA’s Head of Circus Studies, Mr Lu Guang Rong.
Presented by Melbourne Festival in association
with Playking Foundation.
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NICA TEAM
Secon
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ents S
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am.
NICA BOARD
OF DIRECTORS
EDUCATION
TEAM
CHAIR
Professor Jennelle Kyd
ACADEMIC LEADER
Dr Katrina Rank
DIRECTORS
Mrs Sheila Fitzgerald // until 20 Jun 2014
HEAD OF CIRCUS STUDIES
Lu Guang Rong
Ms Kirsten Jeffrey
Mr Ross Mollison // until 14 Mar 2014
Mr Bryan Rossi
Mr Luke Sheehy
Mr Jeffrey Smart
HEAD OF PERFORMANCE STUDIES
Megan Jones
SENIOR EDUCATOR
Candice Williams
Mr David Stevens
Secon
d yea
r stud
Ms Mary Stuart // until 13 Sep 2014
ent A
lex Je
an
.
COMPANY SECRETARY
Mr Tom Rowan
EXECUTIVE & ADMIN
PROGRAM MANAGER
Ms Rose Stephens
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
Clare Toms
BUSINESS MANAGER
Andrew Simpson
OPERATIONS MANAGER (Human Resources)
Emily O’Connor
THIRD YEAR COORDINATOR
Aaron Walker
SECOND YEAR COORDINATOR
Vasily Ivanov
FIRST YEAR COORDINATOR
Tegan Carmichael
DIPLOMA COORDINATOR
Mathew Daniels
CERTIFICATE IV COORDINATORS
Ludwig Schukin
Diana Zhang
CERTIFICATE III COORDINATOR AND
MOVEMENT STUDIES COORDINATOR
Meredith Kitchen
MARKETING MANAGER
Georgia Mill
FINANCE OFFICER
Shashwat Patel
ADMINISTRATION ASSISTANTS
Jon Allingham
Hannah Gott
Matt Noone
2014 graduate Lucas Simonds.
2014 graduate Rowan Thomas.
[email protected]
27
NICA TEAM
PRODUCTION & FACILITIES
OPERATIONS MANAGER (Facilities and Resources)
Carmel Duffy
PRODUCTION MANAGER
Eduard Ingles
RIGGERS
Andrew Bright
Margot Storm
.
organ
than M
ona
dent J
ma stu
Diplo
SOCIAL CIRCUS COORDINATOR
Andrea Ousley
TEACHING STAFF
Stephen Burton
Kathryn Niesche
Charlie (Gang) Cheng
Andrea Ousley
Liudmila Druzhina
Daniel Power
Arturo Gomez
Tarn Scully
Martine Howard
Earl Shatford
Konstantin Ibraguimov
Julian Wisdom
Lu Rong
Jing Jing Xue
SESSIONAL TEACHING STAFF
Annie Alderson
Derek Ives
Dr Kim Baston
Cui Qi Jin
James Brown
Aurora Kurth
Helene Embling
Jacqui Louder
John Paul Fischbach
Amy McPherson
Grant Fletcher
Dr David Munro
Rain Francis
Katherine Shone
Tom Gorham
Jess Smith
Firenza Guidi
Donna Stevens
Luke Ha
Melenie Stevenson
Andrew Iser
COMMERCIAL &
COMMUNITY PROGRAMS
CircaNICA Agent
Liz Louden
SHORT COURSE COORDINATOR
Paula McKaskill
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
Stephanie Tate
HEALTH & INJURY
PREVENTION
PHYSIOTHERAPISTS
Dr David Munro
Free Coulston
Penny Dayan
Joanna Rashleigh
SPORTS MEDICAL PRACTITIONER
Dr Kathy Yu
SPORTS PSYCHOLOGIST
Jacqui Louder
STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACH
Annie Alderson
CONFERENCES,
PRESENTATIONS, FORUMS
VALE KONSTANTIN
(KOSTYA) IBRAGUIMOV
Staff and students participated in a number of
conferences, presentations and forums in 2014.
It was with great sadness that NICA mourned the loss
of trainer, Konstantin (Kostya) Ibraguimov, who passed
away suddenly in December. Kostya brought a wealth
of expertise and enthusiasm to NICA through the
traditions of the Great Moscow Circus, and his incredible
achievements in aerial skiing and sports acrobatics in
Russia. Staff and students, past and present, will always
remember his smiling face, his encouraging attitude
and incredible skill. On 16 December the NICA
community and Kostya’s family were able to pay tribute
to him at a Memorial Service held in the NICA NCC.
This was a beautiful celebration of his life and included
performances, poems, memory boards and tributes.
Kostya’s students paid personal tributes acknowledging
his strength and inspiration. Our thoughts are with Kostya’s
family and he will be forever missed by all at NICA.
NATIONAL
Adelaide
National Youth Circus Symposium
Fringe Festival
Cirkidz staff professional development
Bathurst
Catapult Festival
Brisbane
The World Alliance for Arts Education Global Summit 2014
Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM)
Melbourne
Australian Circus and Physical Theatre Association
(ACAPTA) Annual General Meeting
ACAPTA Circus Futures Forum
ArtsHub Conference
Fresh Arts Coalition Conference
Melbourne Juggling Convention
Newcastle
Newcastle Juggling Convention
Sydney
Sydney Passing Convention
Western Australia
Canningvale College, Circus Intensive
INTERNATIONAL
Taiwan
International Drama Forum
Europe
European Juggling Convention
Auckland Auckland Circus Convention and the
New Zealand Circus Futures Forum
Auch, France
European Federation of Professional Circus Schools
(FEDEC) Circa Festival and FEDEC AGM
London
The National Centre for Circus Arts
Singapore
Adventure Based Experiential Learning, Social Circus Certificate (ABEL)
South East Asia
Cirque du Monde / Cirque du Soleil mapping
Social Circus Projects
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uimov
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NICA ANNUAL REPORT 2014
COMMUNITY
CIRCUS PROGRAM
PROGRAMS
NICASp
arks. Pho
to by Julia
Percentage of current programs offered:
The Short Course Community Program attracted over
3,100 participants and included classes for children,
teenagers and adults. More than thirty classes were
opened to the public each term, offering opportunities
to learn and develop skills such as contortion,
handstands, trampoline, hula hoops, tissu, tumbling
and trapeze at all levels.
The program employed over 30 trainers including
second and third year NICA students, NICA
graduates and industry professionals.
2014 saw the introduction of new classes such as
Dance Acrobatics and ‘Superdets’ for 10 – 12 year
olds. Due to demand, NICA increased the number
of classes for 7 – 12 year olds. This age group made
up almost 33% of overall participants.
45%
Children’s
classes
9%
Adult
Advanced
NICASpa
rks. Photo
by Julian
M
n Meeha
18%
28%
Teen classes
Adult classes
eehan Ph
otograph
y.
NICA sh
ort cours
e particip
ant. Photo
by Paula
M
cKaskill.
NICA YOUTH CIRCUS
FINALE 2014
CARNIVAL OF DREAMS
SCHOOL HOLIDAY
PROGRAM AND
WORKSHOPS
Two shows were presented in the NICA National
Circus Centre on Saturday 13 December 2014. Each
show included six community circus classes and ran for
approximately 50 minutes. Directed by respected clown
and theatre maker Liz Skitch, the theme of Carnival of
Dreams allowed trainers and participants to present their
growing circus talents to their favourite circus theme. This
event was once again supported by the City of Stonnington
through its Arts and Cultural Development Grant and
was attended by more than 450 family and friends.
The popularity of the school holiday program continued
to grow as we introduced specialty shows and activities,
as well as delivering fun and active circus workshops.
‘Come and Try’ classes were offered four times throughout
the year for those after a taste of circus. NICA hosted
53 workshops throughout 2014 welcoming schools,
corporate and private groups into the space.
PRIVATE TUITION
With an increasing demand for suitable training
spaces for circus professionals, NICA was pleased
to launch the Open Training Program (OTP) in 2013.
NICA’s OTP continued to provide a safe training space
for NICA students, staff, graduates and other circus
professionals throughout 2014. Individuals and groups
applied to train in the NICA space outside of NICA’s
scheduled class hours, including international circus
artists visiting Melbourne.
As an added service to the public and circus industry
professionals, NICA continued to offer private tuition.
Private tuition is ideal for those looking to train in a
discipline that isn’t covered by a short course or wanting
focused training to boost their skills to the next level. In
2014, 87 participants took up the opportunity to learn
from NICA’s experienced trainers in personalised sessions.
n Photog
raphy.
OPEN TRAINING
[email protected]
31
NICA ANNUAL REPORT 2014
IN THE MEDIA
NICA attracted many different media organisations and
individuals to its performances and events throughout 2014
and continued to build upon its national and international
reach with a diverse range of coverage secured. NICA
worked again with Mollison Communications throughout
the year to secure editorials, reviews and listings across
a range of national and international media.
During 2014, NICA’s national television coverage
increased with five feature stories and mentions being
broadcast around the country. NICA also continued
to expand upon its social media reach with this proving
to be a great way of engaging new friends and
sharing news. NICA’s total Facebook likes grew 24%
from 2013 to reach 4,124 by 31 December 2014.
MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS 2014
The NICASparks Youth Performance Troupe performed
as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival
and received a four star review from the Herald Sun
(11 April) for their performance of iClown. The review
gave high praise to the young performers who were
described as “… joyous and fearless” and “cheeky,
charming, personable youngsters…”
NICA was also the subject of an ArtsHub Latest News
Story (17 May) by Richard Watts – ‘NICA and Flying
Fruit Flies join forces to strengthen circus sector.’ This
article outlined the Memorandum of Understanding
signed by both schools designed to strengthen career
pathways for circus students and included interviews with
NICA’s Program Manager, Rose Stephens and Richard
Hull, Executive Director of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus.
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NICA.COM.AU
Circus Showcase Rouge et Blanc Media Call. Photo by Georgia Mill.
NICA’s national auditions campaign was promoted
extensively online, in print and on radio. Interviews
also took place on both ABC Adelaide ‘Afternoons’
program (18 August), and ABC Perth ‘Afternoons’
program (20 August).
Channel Nine’s TODAY Show broadcast live weather
reports from NICA on August 27. Second year students
performed a variety of routines which were broadcast
live around the country.
Another highlight was a feature story on NICA student,
Jillibalu Riley broadcast as part of the National
Indigenous Television (NITV) News on September 23.
The Nanjing Project saw NICA receive strong coverage
for the 2014 Melbourne Festival. NICA student Ella
Horner was photographed on the front page of The
Sunday Age’s M Magazine (5 October). ABC Local
Radio (24 September) and ABC Arts and Books Daily
(14 October) both broadcast stories about the Nanjing
Project including interviews with NICA’s Head of Circus
Studies, Mr Lu Guang Rong.
HOW WE CONNECT
47,175
MEDIA STATISTICS 2014
65%
Online
NICA website received 47,175 unique visits during 2014
9,000
E-newsletter – over 9,000 people have subscribed
4,124
NICA’s Facebook grew to over 4,124 likes in 2014.
1,400
NICA’s Twitter account also attracted many new followers.
1%
Television
9%
Radio
25%
Print
Channel Nine’s TODAY show live weather reports.
Photo of Martin Evans and Maggie Fayne by Maria Rizzo.
NICA ANNUAL REPORT 2014
2014 graduate Dylan Rodriguez performed
at the 2014 Victorian Training Awards.
Photo by Les O’Rourke.
CircaNICA continues to lead the way as Australia’s
premier supplier of contemporary circus entertainment.
In 2014, CircaNICA secured 145 contracts providing
artists and creative services. The agency employed
a total of 140 performers, including both NICA
graduates and circus industry professionals.
LONG TERM CONTRACTS
Since 2003, the agency has provided talent for short and
long term contracts, produced commissioned performances
and secured on-going bookings with corporate and
private clients, event management agencies, community
organisations and venues across Australia.
■■ F1RST Tax & Duty Free, Melbourne Airport
CLIENT SECTOR REPORT
■■ Celebrity Cruises
■■ Draculas Cabaret Restaurant
■■ Giggle and Hoot & Friends Live Tour
■■ King Kong Live on Stage
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KEY CONTRACTS 2014
CELEBRITY CRUISES
37%
17%
Event
management
agencies
Corporate
clients
CircaNICA secured a 6 month contract with Celebrity
Cruises for 2013 NICA graduates Anna Murray
and Jon Campos. They set sail in early August 2014,
performing aerial ring, hand-balancing, freestanding
pole, zorb ball and roving entertainment on-board the
Celebrity Silhouette.
‘GIGGLE AND HOOT & FRIENDS’
LIVE TOUR
3%
TV &
film
3%
10%
Not-forprofit &
charities
34
■■ Australian Shakespeare Company
Education
7%
7%
8%
8%
Government
Sport
Production
companies
Private
clients
NICA.COM.AU
NICA graduate and CircaNICA artist Simon Wright
toured nationally with Giggle and Hoot & Friends
during the December 2014 school holidays. Simon
performed alongside cast from the multi award-winning
ABC4Kids preschool program Giggle & Hoot, as
well as the Bananas in Pyjamas. Simon played
a unicycling postman character ‘Zap’ from the
very popular ABC4Kids show Hoopla Doopla!,
in their first ever live show.
2013 graduate Emily Collins.
Photo supplied by Solution Entertainment.
NICA graduates and CircaNICA artists Tom Gorham
and Callan Harris. Photo supplied by Solution Entertainment.
NICA SUPPORTERS AND PARTNERSHIPS
2013 graduate and CircaNICA artist Simon Wright (Left) performs in Hoopla Doopla!
NICA SUPPORTERS AND PARTNERSHIPS
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NICA would also like to thank the following for their support // The Sun Foundation, the Iverson Family and Yo-get-it.
–Miles Reay, Swinburne University of Technology
(Vice-Chancellor’s Awards, 1 December 2014)
“Everything from their costumes to their performance
and professionalism was fantastic. It’s always a
pleasure being able to work with NICA and the client
was beyond happy with everything.”
–Kate Palm, Solution Entertainment (Chadstone
Shopping Centre Activation, 22-25 May 2014)
“I was extremely impressed with the trampoline acrobats
that were performing at the T20 match between Australia
and England on the 29th of January. Thanks and
congratulations for putting on an enjoyable and unique
show for the cricket.”
–Paul Cook (T20 Cricket, January 2014)
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fo r
ht
ht
ug
The evening opened with a circus piece directed by
NICA’s Head of Performance Studies, Megan Jones,
followed by dance and musical theatre acts by students
from Patrick Studios. The circus element featured aerial
ring, dance trapeze, hula hoop, tumbling and handbalancing. Later in the evening, CircaNICA presented
an aerial straps and dance trapeze performance as
part of a student fashion showcase.
“Rowan’s performance was excellent and it was an
absolute pleasure working with the both of you. I received
numerous comments about Rowan’s performance over
the night. People just loved it! The level of skill and
professionalism coming out of NICA is just incredible!”
o
fo o d ji m ja m th
CircaNICA was commissioned by the Department of
Education and Early Childhood Development to create
a unique opening act for the Victorian Training Awards.
Presented at Crown Palladium on 26 September 2014,
the performance was a collaboration between NICA
and Patrick Studios Australia.
–Rosannah Snelson, Cancer Council Australia
(World Cancer Congress, 5 December 2014)
fo r
VICTORIAN TRAINING AWARDS
“The performance on Friday was fantastic! We are
so grateful to CircaNICA for being a part of it! It was
a big hit, especially among our international guests.
Thanks again for your support at the World Cancer
Congress. It was great working with you.”
ht
CircaNICA artists presented a performance at Ferrari’s
Formula 1 Fire and Ice Party inside large transparent
zorb balls. Dressed as a beautiful red and gold fire
bird and an elegant ice fairy, our artists performed
acrobatics, contortion and dance inside the balls.
TESTIMONIALS
ug
FERRARI FORMULA 1 PARTY
The National Institute of Circus Arts is supported by the Australian Government
o
fo o d ji m ja m th
CircaNICA supplied trampoline and walking globe
performers for the T20 Cricket Australia matches in
Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney in January and February
2014. Dressed in sparkly coloured bodysuits to represent
Australia or England, our elite-level trampolinists reacted
to events in the game with spectacular tricks. The walking
globe performers roamed around the boundary of the
pitch on giant white globes styled as cricket balls. The
performers received television coverage during the match.
CircaNICA presented a group acrobatic act at the
2014 World Cancer Congress. Organised by the
Union for International Cancer Control and hosted by
Cancer Council Australia, the congress hosted cancer
control professionals from all around the world. The
performance took place on 5 December 2014 at the
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
fo r
T20 CRICKET
2014 WORLD CANCER CONGRESS
ht
KEY EVENTS 2014
First year and diploma students “Showing”.
ABN 80 084 913 235
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CIRCUS ARTS LIMITED
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4 gr
adua
te A
ngel
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Ross
.
Second
2014 graduate Phoebe Carlson.
Second year student Simone Sallé.
year stu
dent Jill
ibalu R
iley.
[email protected]
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Street Address // 39 – 59 Green Street
Prahran VIC 3181 Australia
Mailing Address // PO Box 1277
Windsor VIC 3181 Australia
T // +613 9214 6975
F // +613 9214 6574
E // [email protected]
ABN 80 084 913 235
WWW.NICA.COM.AU