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About Us

Womens Circus is a not for profit feminist arts organisation based in the Drill Hall in West Footscray, offering a year round program of community, circus and performance training.

We work with individuals and communities and foster collaborations between community participants and professional artists.

Our programs celebrate the physical and imaginative potential of the human body and nurtures selfawareness and selfesteem. 

We are dedicated to the individual well-being of women, trans and non-binary people and connectedness within and across their communities.

Womens Circus has developed a model of inclusive and accessible practice that celebrates the creative and physical potential of all that come through our training, community and artistic programs. We value:

Empathy and Imagination

As a feminist organisation, we position empathy as one of the most powerful forces for social change. Imagination allows us to offer a vision of what this change might be. 

Risk

Taking risks – both physical and creative – in a safe and supportive space can expand an individual’s and a community’s belief in what is possible.

Inclusion

We strive to create inclusive projects so that those who face barriers – of gender, age, experience, access, cultural background, mental health, sexual identity – have the opportunity to participate in training, development and creative opportunities.

History & Achievements

A group of people, dressed in a black and white striped outfits while holding canes.

Since 1991, Women’s Circus has made over 35 shows, performed to over 50,000 people, partnered on over 300 community projects, delivered 1000’s of circus workshops, employed 100’s of artists and trained 1000’s in circus and performance using our model of feminism and community cultural development practice.

 

Women’s Circus is an influential feminist arts organisation and is considered a pioneer of social circus both nationally and internationally. We have made a significant contribution to the development of both the national and state circus sector and to the articulation of an Australian cultural identity.

Two people standing in a room with vacuums.

Awards

  • 2020 nominated for Green Room Award Contemporary & Experimental Performance – Circus. 
  • Outstanding Fringe Production – Nominated five times by the Melbourne Fringe Festival
  • 2013 Arts Victoria ‘Great Partnership’ Award for The Perfect Moment, Extended Schools Residency project
  • 2010 Innovation Award, Melbourne Fringe Festival
  • 2005 Melbourne Award for Community Development
  • 2001 Green Room Award for Outstanding Contribution for Melbourne Fringe
  • 2003 Most Innovative Theatre Work nomination in the Green Room Awards
A group of people wearing white, hooped skirts.

International Work

 

  • Toured to Beijing, China as part of the UN’s Conference on Women, 1995
  • Learning the Ropes – a creative exchange with Circus Kathmandu, 2017-2018
  • Out of the Box – a tour of work and workshops throughout regional France, 2012
A group of smiling people who's arms are reached out.

Publications & Docos

 

  • Women’s Circus: Leaping off the Edge, published by Spinifex,1997
  • Leaping Off the Edge, Documentary films, Ronin Films, 2002
  • Out of the Box – a tour of work and workshops throughout regional France, 2012
A group of people performing circus tricks outdoors.

Festivals & Conferences

Women’s Circus has featured in numerous festivals including Melbourne Fringe, Due West Arts, Midsumma, Moomba, Melbourne Comedy Festival and Adelaide Fringe.

Women’s Circus has spoken about our work at various forums, conferences and events such as Feminist Futures Conference, Reconnexion’s Annual National Anxiety and Depression Conference, Kensington Women’s Group International Women’s Day Celebration, Preventing Violence Against Women community conference, UNESCO conference, International Women’s Day.

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