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Circus Events in New Zealand!

Upcoming events

    • 23 Oct 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
    • zoom

    Symposium of Circus Thinking - Keynote Speaker

    Morgan Barbour

    Speaks on:

    Frailty and Infertility; How Victorian-era Gender Myths Still Permeate Modern Day Circus

    In the 1800s, sport was a determiner of supposed superior status; and available mostly to those who were white, wealthy, male. Women on the whole were considered too weak to participate in any form of physical education. It wasn’t just societal barriers at play; medicine at the time backed up these myths, medically barring women from physical expression for their own reproductive protection. It is easy to feel divorced from the Victorian-era in the 21st century, but so much of the mygonigy that was touted as science at the time has continued to permeate contemporary sports culture and circus (for example, the ludicrous myth that catching in flying trapeze will render female catchers infertile). Morgan Barbour will discuss how frailty myths, the cult of invalidism, and infertility myths continue to impact contemporary circus and female-identifying performers, and how to combat and dispel these myths.

    Morgan Barbour is an American writer, circus artist, and movement director with a split homebase between London and Los Angeles. She specialises in flying trapeze and doubles hoop. She has spent her career analysing and challenging myths based in misogynistic pseudoscience in both sport and circus.

    • 23 Oct 2021
    • 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
    • zoom

    Symposium of Circus Thinking - Keynote Speaker

    Ginger Snaps

    speaks on:

    Plus-Size Inclusion in Circus Performance and Instruction

    In aerial arts we love to say that "circus is for everybody," but that is rarely reflected in performances and classrooms. This talk will focus on the need and benefits of plus-size circus inclusion in the classroom as well as onstage!

    Ginger Snaps is an award-winning burlesque performer, aerialist, and producer from Austin, TX. Voted Austin’s “Best Burlesque Performer” she is renowned for her unique approach to burlesque and aerial performance infusions. Ginger has been seen on stages and screens across the globe including on America's Got Talent, Das Supertalent in Germany, performing at the illustrious Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender in Las Vegas. She is the Performance Manager for Sky Candy aerial arts, the founder of Legislate THIS - a series of burlesque fundraiser shows for Planned Parenthood, as well as the founder and lead producer of the Buxom Blaze Festival - the world’s first plus size burlesque, drag, and variety fest. Ginger is also very passionate about spreading the gospel of plus size inclusion in circus arts and dance. As such she teaches a series of professional development workshops to studios and instructors across the globe. 

    • 23 Oct 2021
    • 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
    • zoom

    Symposium of Circus Thinking - Keynote Speaker

    Franziska Trapp

    Speaks on:

    Thinking Circus? Creative Discourse and Analysis

    One might be tempted to understand circus mainly as a “body-based performance” (Tait and Lavers 2016: 1) in which physicality, skillfulness and agility are at the center of interest. This might be true of traditional circus, but such an understanding is too simple to understand contemporary circus. What unites contemporary circus performances is the predominance of metadiscursive and intertextual strategies: (1) Even though contemporary circus is now “firmly established as one of the most popular forms of live performances, with shows featured as a major part of many arts festivals” (Lavers et al. 2019:2), it is still subjected to a number of ideologies and presumptions, which are reinforced by media, literature, advertisement and popular culture. Contemporary circus performances often react to this dominant romantic image by creating metadiscourses (i.a. discourses on circus arts). (2) Furthermore, contemporary circus is an increasingly hybrid artform. Because literary texts, dance performances, movies and political discussions are used in their creation, contemporary circus performances are engaged in a continuous dialogue with their contexts. These characteristics of contemporary circus create challenges for researchers, artists and dramaturges: In every performance, the bodily, phenomenological dimension must be taken into account, as well as the cultural context, as both are fundamentally intertwined. Which methods are useful to analyze contemporary circus performances and how can these methods in turn enrich the creation process of a performance? Can analysis provide references for creating an empowering, stimulating, and creative work environment during training and creation? And how can academic and artistic discourses and practices enrich each other?

    Dr. Franziska Trapp is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Berlin, Germany, and the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. She is the founder of Zirkus | Wissenschaft, an international meeting place for circus researchers, the intiator of the Young Researchers Network in Circus Studies and organizer of international conferences including Semiotics of the Circus (2015), UpSideDown – Circus and Space (2017), and Semaine du Cirque (2020), and Ecrire l’histoire du Cirque (2021). She was awarded third place as Germany’s Best Junior Research Talent of 2019 (Academics/Die Zeit) and received the DGS Young Researchers Price 2020 (German Association of Semiotics) for her PhD entitled Lektüren des Zeitgenössischen Zirkus (De Gruyter 2020).

    • 24 Oct 2021
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    • zoom

    Symposium of Circus Thinking - Panel Discussion


    hosted by ANIA UPSTILL

    Riveting discussion around queerness and circus will be had by our amazing group of panelists are: Charles Batson, Ess Hödlmoser, Eric McGill, and Jennifer Miller. 

    Meet the panelists: 

    Charles Batson

    Charles R. Batson, Professor at Union College, Schenectady, NY, and immediate Past President of the American Council for Québec Studies, has taught and published widely on French and Francophone cultural production and performance, including circus, dance, and theatre. His teaching, research, and personal interests related to intersections of circus studies, queer studies, and Québec studies have led him to publications such as his co-edited volume Cirque Global: Quebec’s Expanding Circus Boundaries (McGill-Queens, 2016) as well as to co-directing the Circus and its Others research initiative. He also has recently launched with CircusTalk the series “Journeys Through Queer Circus.”

    Ess Hödlmoser

    Ess (they/them) is an award-winning trans nonbinary circus artist and writer from T:karonto (Toronto), Canada. Their work uses contortion and aerial straps vocabulary to examine the body in transitory states, and the fine line between what we deem beautiful and what we deem grotesque. Ess’s artistic rigour and creative drive has brought their work international recognition on the world stages like Cirque de Demain, France’s Got Talent, the 6th International China Festival & the Moulin Rouge. Ess maintains a small but mighty catalogue of ongoing writing projects: their DIY zine, Writing the Circus, unpacks contemporary circus arts through a lens of Disability studies, critical race theory, and queer theory; their hardcover coffeetable book Slow Circus: VACUUM looks at the relationship between that piece of circus art, gender performativity, normalcy, transness, and more; and they have recently been awarded a grant by the Toronto Arts Council to continue developing a written project centring around their experiences performing with Troy James at the 40th Cirque de Demain festival.

    Eric McGill

    Eric McGill is a Canadian trapeze artist based in the United Kingdom. Eric started his acrobatic career at the age of seven as a competitive trampolinist. In 2010 Eric graduated from the National Circus School in Montreal. With his swinging trapeze and aerial straps acts he has worked in cabarets, big tented shows and large outdoor festivals around the world including Germany, Mexico, Australia, Canada, and the UK to name a few. From his home base in Wales, Eric has also created numerous solo works exploring the experience of doing trapeze using POV camera work, projections and virtual reality.

    Jennifer Miller

    Jennifer Miller is the director and founder of Circus Amok – a one ring, no animal, queer as fuck, free circus extravaganza that has been touring the parks of New York annually since 1994. She is the writer and director of Cracked Ice and The Golden Racket.  Besides touring solo shows internationally she works with a myriad of  choreographers and performance artists including Jennifer Monson and Vaginal Crème Davis. She is the recipient of an OBIE, a “Bessie”, and an Ethyl Eichelberger Award, along with numerous grants from the NEA, NYSCA, DCA, MAP, NYFA and others.  She had a 10 year stint at Coney Island Sideshow by the Seashore.  She is a Professor of Performance at Pratt Institute.

    • 24 Oct 2021
    • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
    • zoom

    Symposium of Circus Thinking - Keynote Speaker

    Shannon McKenna

    Speaks on:



    Shannon McKenna, aerialist and entrepreneur, was never a dancer, never a gymnast, but one hell of a tree climber. She earned her B.F.A. from NYU with a concentration in physical theatre and decided the summer after college, without much idea of what it meant, to become a circus artist. She packed up her life in a suitcase and traveled the globe in search of the best coaches to teach her, teaching aerial arts to whoever wanted to learn, and put her work on any stage she could. Career highlights being a magician’s assistant in Portugal, flying high over snowboarder Shaun White at the LAAX open in Switzerland, a post-food poisoning silks act in a German cabaret, and trapezing 50 feet in the air underneath a motorcycle on a tight wire. In 2018, Shannon launched The Artist Athlete, an online resource that produces educational material for aerialists. Through online workshops, e-books, and other virtual events, The Artist Athlete bridges the gap between the professional and recreational worlds of circus arts. It is home to the critically acclaimed The Artist Athlete Podcast, a weekly podcast with over 250,000 downloads worldwide and is currently expanding to platform professionals from all over the globe. 

    • 25 Nov 2021
    • 29 Nov 2021
    • Dunedin

    Circulation Festival 2021 is returning to the magnificent manuka valley of Whare Flat, Dunedin! The Waiora Scout Camp provides one of the most beautiful festival spots in the country with plenty of space to camp, explore, play or get cosy. Dates for the festival are from Thursday the 25th of November till Monday morning the 29th.

    Circulation is a 4 day workshop based event that provides world class teachers in a variety of circus, creative arts and musical fields. The festival includes several comedy, kids and circus shows, workshops everyday, a great couple of social nights with live bands and djs and finishes with a traditional hangi and a renegade show on Sunday evening.

    Go to https://www.circulation.co.nz/ for more information.

    • 21 Jan 2022
    • 23 Jan 2022
    • Paparoa A&P Showground

    Come one, come all, come join the circus!

    Circus Kumarani returns to the beautiful community of Paparoa at the Memorial Hall and A&P Showgrounds!

    From the 21st-23rd January we have a jampacked lineup of workshops, music and circus shows for all ages and abilities! From beginners to advanced, active participants to show spectators, there is something for everyone!


    If you would like to volunteer, be a stall holder or contribute in other ways, fill out the form here before purchasing a ticket. https://forms.gle/sHCBzN8cdM93ceaP8

    ❤ Fun for the whole family
    ❤ Amazing circus, fire and glow shows
    ❤ Workshops for all ages and abilities
    ❤ Magical Marketplace
    ❤ Inclusive environment

    Run away with the circus to start your new year!

    This is a workshop based festival, not a party! Come and learn new skills and connect with community over a wonderful weekend.

Past events

4 Sep 2021 East Coast Aerial Dance Competition
29 Aug 2021 ANZCA AGM


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