Rouge et Blanc | NICAPhotos – Aaron Walker

After years of learning, practicing and refining their craft, the National Institute of Circus Arts’ (NICA) final year circus students are able to exhibit their dynamic and captivating acts in front of the public in a special showcase held at the custom built NICA in Prahran.

This year’s show, featuring 20 final year students, is titled ROUGE et BLANC, and it’s actually two very distinct performances... one being ROUGE, and the second BLANC, running from July 2nd to the 5th, and each show performed three times throughout the six show season.

Hosted by MC Aurora Kurth, donning a top hat, rhinestones, corset, fishnet stockings, ruby slippers, matching sparkling lipstick and speaking with a French accent, Kurth was the “glue” between performances, and a perfect fit for the cabaret-style show, where she delivered her humour laden lines with cheeky zing, and a singing voice to be reckoned with.

NICA is Australia’s only Bachelor of Circus Arts. During their training, the young artists learn an eclectic mix of circus skills from aerial cube to the unicycle. On the night I had the pleasure to experience the ROUGE show, a riveting myriad of professional circus feats unfolded before the audience, mesmerizing all in attendance to the point that I’m certain the majority of the attendees forgot they were at a “student show.” It was simply flawless!

Some of the standouts were, the Hula Hoops sketch, which was different from the norm; it was performed by the whole troupe, with one artist – Felicia Lannan – weaving in and out of the group, and taking on the multiple hoop tricks.

The Aerial Cube, was executed elegantly by Ella Horner, and the German Wheel, had a certain sexy cheekiness to it, the way that Ashleigh Tomasini interpreted it.

And then there was Yonnas Gebremedhin, the Unicicle wonder. Yonnas does with one wheel what most of us couldn’t do on a bicycle with training wheels. It was truly amazing.

The costumes reminisce an era circa 1930s, the music and the decor had an air of burlesque, and the performances oozed sexual appeal. If there were any ‘hiccups’ then they were only noticeable to the instructors and the performers themselves, because to the layperson in the audience, it all ran like a Swiss watch. I definitely plan on going again.

The National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) presents
Circus Showcase 2014

Director Megan Jones

Venue: NICA National Circus Centre | 39 - 59 Green Street, Prahran
Dates: 1 – 5 July 2014
Session dates and times:
Show Rouge: Wednesday 2 July @ 7.30pm; Thursday 3 July @ 7.30pm; Friday 4 July @ 1.30pm & Saturday 5 July @ 7.30pm
Show Blanc: Tuesday 1 July @ 7.30pm; Thursday 3 July @ 1.30pm; Friday 4 July @ 7.30pm & Saturday 5 July @ 1.30pm
Cabaret Seating  $110 – $86
General Admission $33 – $22
Family (2 adults & 2 children) $88
Family (2 adults & 3 children) $105

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