Yaron Lifschitz is a graduate of the University of New South Wales, University of Queensland, and National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA), where he was the youngest director ever accepted into its prestigious graduate director’s course. Since graduating, Yaron has directed over 60 productions including large-scale events, opera, theatre, physical theatre, and circus.
His work has been seen in 40 countries and across six continents by over one million people and has won numerous awards including six Helpmann awards and the Australia Council Theatre Award. His productions have been presented at major festivals and venues around the world including Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Barbican, Les Nuits de Fourvière, Chamaleon and all the major Australian festivals. His film work was selected for the Berlin and Melbourne Film Festivals. He was founding Artistic Director of the Australian Museum’s Theatre Unit, Head Tutor in Directing at Australian Theatre for Young People and has been a regular guest tutor in directing at NIDA.
He is currently Artistic Director and CEO of Circa, and was Creative Director of Festival 2018: the arts and cultural program of the 21st Commonwealth Games. In 2020 Yaron will have directed the world’s first acrobatic staging of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, and circus creations in collaboration with the Queensland Opera, Brandenburg Orchestra and Melbourne Symphonic Orchestra.
Discovered on a friend’s trampoline in Melbourne, Jon caught his big break at the age of twelve, working as a stunt double for Warner Brothers ‘Where The Wild Things Are’.
After over a decade in gymnastics, he went on to study at the National Institute of Circus Arts, specialising in Rope. Jon graduated in 2014 and began touring independent projects around Australia before performing internationally with some of the coutry’s best companies – Circa, Casus and Circus Oz.
Jon can be found hiding in a cafe, hanging from his rope or standing on people all around the world.
Rhiannon began training with the Spaghetti Circus, Youth Circus Family in Mullumbimby from the age of 4. At 18 , Rhiannon packed a backpack was accepted into the Higher Education Circus University DOCH in Stockholm Sweden. Here, Rhiannon specialised in hand balancing and hand to hand flying, focusing on a unique movement quality and research approach to my circus disciplines.
After 3 years of training Rhiannon graduated with a BA in Circus and was asked to join Australian company Gravity & Other Myths, with whom she developed and toured the show A Simple Space interantionally for 2 years. During this time Rhiannon also co-created another small award-winning show ‘Cadence’ which planted the seed to eventually co-create the successful circus company Arts House.
Rhiannon joined the Circa ensemble in March 2020.
Jessica Connell completed a Diploma in circus arts at the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) in Melbourne. Formerly a member of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus specializing in hula-hoops and aerials, Jessica spent five years performing around Australia in a variety of productions. She also contributed to A4’s first production, Downpour in 2009.
In 2011 Jessica joined Circa where she was part of an eight-month season of Wunderkammer at the Chamäleon Theatre in Berlin. She then performed a three-month Australian regional tour of the Helpmann Award-winning show CIRCA.
One of her highlights with Circa is creating the world premiering “S” at Brisbane Festival in September 2012, which was her first new creation with the company.
Marty Evans came to circus by a more roundabout route than most. After watching nothing but circus videos during his lunchbreaks at Australia’s only nuclear reactor, Marty left behind his published scientific career, embracing his physical sports background to pursue a career in circus.
His first taste of circus came at the University of Sydney in 2010 as he tried to entertain himself during free periods by learning to throw people into the air and trying to catch them again. Marty trained at the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne. He is a fiercely determined and hard working hand-to-hand base that enjoys exploring new challenges and techniques.
Marty joined the Circa Ensemble full time in 2015, and has been involved in the creation of numerous Circa productions including When One Door Closes and Humans.
Piri began his circus journey at age eight after following his older sister through the doors of Warehouse Circus in Canberra. Here he learnt important life skills such as spinning crockery on a stick and how to balance dining chairs on his face.
With a love for performance and all things circus firmly imbued in him, Piri went on to cofound and perform as a member of Poncho Circus before completing a bachelor of circus arts. Piri has co devised and performed in multiple full length works touring both nationally and overseas, he enjoys creating circus that surprises audiences and challenges conventional perceptions of the art form.
Piri joined the Circa ensemble in July 2018.
Keaton Hentoff-Killian was born straight into a circus family, and circus has always been part of his life. Since the young age of one month old, Keaton has been on stage. Unlike his siblings, circus didn’t come naturally to him. Growing up he was very adamant he wanted to be a librarian or something else equally as relaxing. However as the years went by his other interests just couldn’t keep up with his growing passion for circus.
Keaton graduated highschool a year early so he could attend Ecole Nationale de Cirque, where he specialised in tight wire with complementary disciplines in hoop diving and Chinese pole. He has worked with different companies including Circus Flora, Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Jean Coutu, Circus Harmony, Zoppe Circus and many more.
Keaton joined Circa just after he graduated in June 2016, he has performed in numerous shows and creations including What Will Have Been and Humans.
Bridie Hooper has been training, performing and creating circus for over 15 years. In 2012 she completed her studies at École Nationale de Cirque in Montréal, and went on to work on the acclaimed show “DUMMY” by GOP Varieté Cabaret in Germany, before joining Circa in 2013.
Since joining Circa, Bridie has been involved in collaborations with quartets, operas and orchestras, performed internationally in 28 countries to over 450,000 people and has been integral in the creation of 9 debut works, including Humans, En Masse, The Return and Beyond.
Always eager to encounter new theories and methodologies Bridie was selected to participate in a Gaga Dance Intensive with Batsheva Dance Company in 2018, enriching her knowledge of creating, choreography and movement.
In 2019 Bridie worked alongside Yaron Lifschitz as Choreographer and Associate Circus Director on the Circa and Opera Queensland collaboration of Orpheus & Eurydice, and in April 2021 Bridie produced, created and performed her first solo show, Ingress, which premiered at the Judith Wright Arts Centre in Brisbane.
Nathan Boyle has been a natural performer his whole life. After terrorising his parents at a young age with handstands and cartwheels, his parents saw his passion for performing and acrobatics and enrolled him in gymnastics. His passion for acrobatics took him to sports acrobatics where he represented and won titles for New South Wales at many national championships.
After accepting his position at the National Institute of Circus Arts, Nathan specialised in cloudswing, adagio, bungee trapeze and teeterboard. A memorable moment for Nathan whilst at NICA was performing at an International Circus Festival in Auch, France in 2009.
Nathan joined Circa as a full time ensemble member in 2011 and is now a Resident Director and Senior Artist with the company.
Cecilia Martin grew up as an only child. With Spanish as her first language, she was engaging with her friends physically before she could communicate verbally. She grew up surrounded by sport, music and art and found a passion for circus early on, attending Warehouse Circus in Canberra. Cecilia went on to co-found the company ‘Poncho Circus’ at the age of fifteen, where she created and performed in circus shows as part of an ensemble.
Cecilia is also a talented musician, demonstrating this by composing scores to three different circus productions. Upon graduating high school, Cecilia went on to study circus full time at the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) where she specialized in dance trapeze, Washington trapeze and group acrobatics. She joined the Circa ensemble in late 2016 and is excited to create new works with the company.
Hamish McCourty is an acrobat and musician. He began his circus journey at Cirkidz in Adelaide when he was eight years old and after graduating from the performance program he’s been creating his own work touring nationally and internationally.
Hamish is currently working on fusing together his passion for music and circus on stage. His main specialties are tumbling and basing pair and group acrobatics and he prides himself on making people laugh and being a loon onstage. Hamish is a keen performer and multi-talented acrobat with his sights set on leaving his mark in the world of circus.
Alice Muntz joined The Flying Fruit Fly Circus, when she was eight years old. During her ten years at Fruit Flies she performed in a number of productions and was involved in workshops, teaching and a technical traineeship at the neighbouring theatre company Hot House. Having these experiences took Alice all around the country leaving her hooked.
Alice graduated in 2010 and joined Circa at the age of 18.
Alice has performed in many Circa productions since this time and toured the world with the company from 2011-2015.
Since this time Alice has performed with Company 2, and Gravity and Other Myths as an acrobat/flyer, specialising in Static Trapeze, Duo Trapeze, Diabolo, Hula Hoop, Clowning, Dance (swing, contemporary).
Alice’s passion as a performing artist is to interrogate, explore and share, experiences, stories and ideas using Circus as a medium.
Daniel O’Brien has been physically active throughout his whole life, primarily focusing on his gymnastics training in his hometown and a few small gyms along the Queensland coastline. After high school Daniel made a decision to transition from the sport of gymnastics to a possible career in circus performance.
Daniel decided to move to Melbourne and study at the National Institute of Circus Arts, specialising in hand-balancing and aerial straps, where he gained his first experiences as a performer. He spends his spare time feeding his unhealthy addiction to video games or reading whatever he can get his hands on.
After attending NICA for three years, Daniel has fostered an immense passion for circus, honed his skills to a level, which has allowed him to join Circa as an ensemble member in 2015. He has since performed in the many iconic Circa works including What Will Have Been, Closer and Humans.
Kimberley O’Brien grew up competing in athletics and playing representative AFL. After seeing one of Circa’s shows, Kimberley joined Circa’s youth performance troupe Circa Zoo. After two years of training and performing Kimberley was given the opportunity to be the very first member of fast track, a program designed for young and aspiring performers within Circa.
In 2011 Kimberley left Circa Zoo became a full-time ensemble member. Since then Kimberley has toured numerous shows in various countries and participated in the creation of many new Circa works. One of her highlights was performing Wunderkammer at the Sydney Opera House.
Kathryn O’Keeffe trained in Canberra originally as a gymnast and dancer before going to the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) in 2003 to study dance. She then worked as an independent artist performing as well as creating works that mixed dance, physical theatre and circus for theatre, festivals and events. From 2008 onwards, Kathryn was a performer with Strange Fruit where she toured nationally and internationally for festivals and events in shows such as Swoon!, The Spheres and The Field.
During 2010 Kathryn was part of the seven- month aerial resident company that performed Airbourne – directed by Doug Tremlett and choreographed by Sue Broadway at the World Expo in Shanghai, China.
Kathryn first worked with Circa in 2011 where she performed in the world premiere of Nocturne in South Korea. She has been a full time ensemble member with Circa since 2012 where she has performed in shows including “S”, How Like an Angel, CIRCA, Wunderkammer and Beyond.
Paul O’Keeffe, aka ‘the human whippet, dexterous daredevil, neat freak and mister fixit,’ had his first professional gig in 1996 playing one of the lead roles in Company Skylark’s, Wake Baby. Since then he has toured the world from outback Australia to 42nd Street/Broadway, New York performing in circus, dance, puppetry, musical and physical theatre.
Off stage, Paul co-founded circus company Kronik, co-set up a professional circus training studio in Melbourne, co-managed Warehouse Circus, ran independent circus troupes, and co-coordinated and implemented a number of circus workshops including one for 10,000 scouts over a 10 day period.
Paul has performed with companies including Circus Oz, Circus Monoxide, Kronik, Cantina by Strut & Fret Production House, The Australian Choreographic Centre, Jigsaw Theatre Company, Out Of the Blue Studios, Malcom C Cooke & Associates and Legs On The Wall
Paul used to believe in his own immortality, now he just believes he’s a nut. He joined Circa as a full time ensemble member in 2013.
In an effort to curb some of Lachlan’s seemingly boundless energy his mother enrolled him in Canberra’s Warehouse Circus at the age of 8. After graduating from Warehouse’s Emerging Artist Program, Lachlan cofounded an independent circus troupe named Poncho Circus. Lachlan performed with Poncho for a year before deciding that a career in circus was definitely more appealing than sitting behind a desk. He then attended the National Institute of Circus Arts studying Chinese pole, teeterboard and group acrobatics. After graduating, he performed with Circus Oz for two years performing internationally and all around Australia before joining the Circa ensemble in January 2019.
As a child, Luke was always driven to pursue an acrobatic career, constantly found upside down and swinging on the hills hoist in his backyard. At age 11, he joined Circus 35° South, and trained aerials, tumbling and manipulation for seven years before studying at the National Institute of Circus Arts, graduating in 2017.
During his study, Luke specialised in tissue, foot juggling and group acrobatics. Luke co-created and performed Out of This World Children’s Show, which had performance highlights including seasons at Woodford Folk Festival and Melbourne Fringe Festival, and also performed in One Fell Swoop’s By a Thread in seasons at Mullumbimby Circus Festival, Perth Fringe Festival, Adelaide Fringe Festival and the Circa Festival at Auch, France.
Luke joined the Circa Ensemble in 2018, and co-conceived and performed in the world premiere of Peepshow.
Jarrod is an Australian-raised, Montreal-trained circus artist specializing in hand-balancing and teeterboard with a splash of banquine, solo and group acrobatics.
He trained and performed with Australia’s leading youth circus ‘The Flying Fruit Fly Circus’ which inspired a life-long passion for the art-form. After working with Circa in 2015 on Carnival of the Animals, Jarrod spent 4 years honing his craft at l’École Nationale de Cirque in Montreal, sweating upside down in the ‘handstand corner’ under the benevolent and meticulous supervision of his Russian coach Yury Bozyan. He re-joined Circa in 2019 and has been touring the world with the Circa ensemble, performing in Humans.
Outside of his artistic pursuits Jarrod spends the remainder of his time and energy in search of good coffee and/or avoiding the type of people who stand directly in front of the baggage train at airports.
Billie Wilson-Coffey discovered Spaghetti Circus at the age of 11 before moving to Melbourne to study at the National institute of Circus arts in 2007. In her graduating year Billie made her international debut at the 4th World Circus Festival in Moscow.
Billie joined Circa as a guest artist in 2011 for the world premiere of Nocturne in South Korea. Whilst working as a guest artist for Circa, Billie continued her solo work performing in cabarets and festivals nation wide.
Becoming an ensemble member at Circa in 2014, Billie toured How Like an Angel before an eight month residency at the Chamaleon theatre in Berlin performing Circa’s production of Beyond.
Born and raised in outback Western Australia, Georgia was a fully committed competitive gymnast and dancer for 13 years. This background gave her the discipline and work ethic which now informs her circus practice.
After both parents insisted that their only child joined the military, Georgia decided to forgo those plans to follow her own dream of running away with the circus.
In her spare time Georgia enjoys motorbike riding, surfing and free diving. She also one day hopes to travel the world skydiving.
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