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Facts and figures, outcomes and indicators, are important in designing projects with impact, but here at CircusWA we also believe that stories and experiences are what will really stick in people’s minds and warm their hearts. We hope this information helps build the connection between our ideas and action, and the change Crossing Wires will make and why it matters. And we’d love to talk to you in person if you’re interested in knowing more and supporting this project.
Crossing Wires is in part inspired by the story of 1920’s Aboriginal tightrope artist Con Colleano. Con moved to America, became the world’s best wire artist and always hid his Aboriginal identity. His story will be used to reflect on identity while inspiring participants to engage with this unique circus skill.
Local Aboriginal communities are still grappling to emerge from a history that rendered them voiceless, stripped of a sense of belonging and denied full access to the dominant culture without assimilating. The implications are still unfolding. Projects such as Crossing Wires are imperative in creating pathways to healing.
In partnership with WA’s first nations theatre company Yirra Yaakin, over a year and a half, circus trainers will spend time in six urban communities delivering workshops for kids, youth and adults in funambulism. Each community will build a tightwire and balance bars, learn to walk the wire, and exchange stories with Elders and Leaders in their community. Lead artists will work with these communities in a way that promotes health and well-being and social connection.
Six outer-metro communities have been chosen, and the timeframes for workshops has been developed, around the Noongar Six Seasons.
This 18-month workshop program focusses on the research and creative development to deliver an outside spectacle performance of scale for Perth Festival 2025.
Funambulism as a circus art is accessible and enjoyable.
Walking on a wire conveys a sense of ease and simplicity, yet it requires courage, focus, and self-belief. Crossing a tightwire is symbolic of overcoming challenges, taking control and helps participants discover their inner-strength and resilience.
Funambulism is also a powerful wellbeing tool that promotes mental and physical health, requiring both body and brain to be fully engaged, provokes a sense of wellbeing which can be proven by neuroscience.
Circus is a powerful agent for social change by promoting resilience, self-confidence, self-efficacy, and the ability to work well in a team. The Training Program creates pathways for Aboriginal Youth of all abilities to participate in the arts in a way that is inclusive and enhances participants’ sense of well-being.
CircusWA acknowledges the Whadjuk people of the Noongar Nation are the spiritual and cultural birdiyangara (custodians) of the land upon which we train, create and perform.
Fremantle is Walyalup, sited on the banks of the Derbal Yerrigan. We recognise this land was never ceded and acknowledge our first people’s continuing connection to boodja (land), kayep (waters) and Noongar culture.
We pay respect to our Elders past and present.