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Circus WOW, Women of Wollongong’s community circus: the politics of the site-specific

Auteurs : Hayes, Janys (Auteur)

Éditeur : University of Wollongong

Date de publication : 2009

Langue : Anglais

Description : 13 p.

Notes : Bibliogr.: p. 11-13.

Sujets :
Women of Wollongong’s Community Circus
Circus WOW [organisme de cirque]
Artistes de cirque - Australie
Histoire des arts du cirque - Australie
Femmes artistes de cirque

Résumé :
Circus WOW’s advertising motif is the phrase, ‘Ordinary women doing extraordinary things’. Created by Penny Lowther in 2001, Circus WOW appeared nearly a decade after Australia’s more renowned women’s circuses, such as the Women’s Circus and the Performing Older Women’s Circus in Melbourne and Vulcana in Brisbane. The late formation of Circus WOW in Wollongong coincided with the re-evaluation of the city’s industrial role in Australia’s economy. This paper argues that the success of Circus WOW reflects a reappraisal of place by audiences in a rapidly developing city. The site-specific and festival work of Circus WOW provides the principal means through which the company is recognised by the general public of Wollongong. The presence of site-specific performance events can be used to effect ‘place-making’. Circus WOW’s female performers through interactive relationships with Wollongong environments have realigned perspectives of culturally dormant sites. This paper explores three site-specific Circus WOW productions, to investigate the interaction of this women’s circus troupe with concepts of urban development in Wollongong spaces. Now in its seventh year, Circus WOW’s new director, Cheryle Moore, also director of Frumpus, a Sydney based all-women contemporary theatre company, seeks to strengthen the empowering role of Circus WOW in the cultural identity formation in the city of Wollongong. The enactment of differing possibilities for urban female subjects in a small city opens new spaces of contestation of identity for a wider public. This paper looks at the links between the visibility of outdoor and site-specific physical performance, regional politics and the concept of a ‘missing voice’ in the landscape. This perspective on the performative impact of an all female circus company complements the gender specific cultural niches occupied by women's circus companies established by previous research. [editor summary]

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