Returning this October, the second iteration of Circus Oz's Sidesault at The Melba festival will feature six local, national and international circus companies who will present experimental works that challenge and push the notions of contemporary circus.

Generously supported by the City of Yarra, Sidesault at The Melba will feature heartbreaking stories, compromised sight, smashing stereotypes, love addiction and Dadaism presented through a range of styles and approaches that span breathtaking physical stunts, high tech juggling, unpredictable clowning, dance, theatre and comedy.

Integral to the ongoing development of the circus sector, The Sidesault at The Melba festival not only presents the shifting concepts and evolution of contemporary circus - it also complements Circus Oz's ongoing Sidesault program that enables independent artists to interrogate new circus approaches and styles onsite at the Circus Oz headquarters.

Co-curated by Antonella Casella (Circus Oz Senior Artistic Associate) and Brian Robertson (The Melba Spiegeltent Producer), Sidesault at the Melba allows circus artists the license to take creative risks.

"This years artists bringing bold new voices into the circus arena. They are driven to combine and push their incredible circus skills to create some really edgy, emotive and exciting works. Our Sidesault at The Melba festival offers a platform to develop, mentor, present and profile these artists and their inventive creative aspirations," explained Casella.

Circus Oz Artistic Director, Rob Tannion, explains that so much is happening at Circus Oz throughout 2018, "As we continue to celebrate 40 fabulous years of defying gravity, it's thrilling to see our Collingwood home base has evolved into a welcoming and bustling creative circus hub that offers rehearsal spaces and other support to numerous small to medium sized companies and individual artists to dream and take creative risks. And now, for the second year running, our Sidesault at The Melba festival will showcase the very best of new and innovative circus. Here's to the next 40 years!"

The success of the inaugural Sidesault at The Melba last year saw companies take their works to Perth Fringe World (Party Ghost - Poached Eggs & Asparagus), Edinburgh Fringe (Casting Off - A GOOD CATCH), a European tour (Nonstop - Time in Space) and ongoing international seasons (Unsuitable - Tumble Circus).

Circus Oz - Sidesault at The Melba 11 - 21 Oct 2018
11 - 14 Oct 6.30pm My Sight - Their Sight - Blindful 8pm Laser Kiwi - Colossal Productions 9.30pm BOSS Squad - Madhouse Circus & Point and Flex Circus
18 - 21 Oct 6.30pm Jugg Life - Jugg Life Productions 8pm Hell is other people - Love is the Drug 9.30pm Feed the Horse - Radish by Night

Venue The Melba Spiegeltent Location 35 Johnston Street, Collingwood. Tickets $27 single show, $60 three show pass and $100 season pass (plus booking fees) Booking

My Sight - Their Sight - Blindful (Australia - VIC)Ensemble: Abbie Madden, Ryan E Darwin and Romain HassaninTrailer - see hereMy Sight - Their Sight shows how people react and respond when their sight is compromised. Through dance and circus, the ensemble explores trust and power shifts as they are challenged to navigate the changing spaces while wearing blindfolds. Blindful is led by artistic director, Abbie Madden, who was born with a vision impairment (congenital glaucoma and other complications).

Laser Kiwi - Colossal Productions (New Zealand)Ensemble: Imogen Stone, Zane Jarvie and Degge JarvieTrailer - see here. Wonderfully bizarre and undoubtedly hilarious, Laser Kiwi combines high-calibre circus with unforgettable physical comedy. Laser Kiwi is unpredictable - it features lighting matches with toes, zebras and Japanese game show inspired acts (as well as other crazy innovative ideas).

BOSS Squad - Madhouse Circus & Point and Flex Circus (Australia - NSW, QLD and SA)Ensemble: Felicia Lannan, Amy Stuart, Lisa Goldsworthy, Marina Gellman and Marcela ScheunerMove over, there's a new BOSS in town! Five fearless females are smashing stereotypes while smashing out awesome acrobatic skills: jumps, flips and flying. Highlighting that the united force of women is unstoppable, BOSS Squad calls out the cat callers, while embracing all things weird and acrobatically wonderful.

Jugg Life - Jugg Life Productions (Australia - VIC)Ensemble: Byron Hutton and Richard Sullivan An explosive fusion of dynamic live percussion and relentless energy, Jugg Life features the breathtaking skills of two of Australia's best jugglers: Byron Hutton and Richard Sullivan. While keeping a ludicrous number of props in the air, Jugg Life is an intense, non- stop escalation of juggling that merges competition, danger and a Rubik's Cube.

Hell is other people - Love is the Drug (Australia - VIC)Ensemble: Jess Love With no taboos with sex, lust, desire, love or gender, Jess Love is a serial monogamist who recently found polyamory. An autobiography told through circus, Hell is other people delves into Love's feelings of betrayal, abandonment, emotional abuse, addiction, obsession, euphoria and almost every aspect of love and heartache.

Feed the Horse - Radish by Night (Australia - VIC)Ensemble: Easa Min-Swe, Fara Mir, Jessie Carson, Will Anton and Hannah RichardsTrailer - click hereFeed the Horse will shock the senses - it combines the surreal and visceral nature of circus with other artforms. Drawing on ritualistic dance, butoh and the absurdist, the ensemble will push how far the human form can be distorted to create an immersive, deliberately confronting and provoking experience.

Credited with revitalising a traditional artform in a uniquely Australian way, Circus Oz is a rock 'n' roll, all-human circus that has influenced the development of circus arts around the world since its foundation in 1978. Circus Oz undertook its first and critically praised international tour in 1980 and has continued touring to over 100 cities and regions in 28 countries - playing to over 4 million people.

Web circusoz.comFacebook @circusoz Instagram @circusoz

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