Image Credit: Theresa Harrison Photography
Women’s Circus Inclusive Ensemble is an eclectic team of disabled and non-disabled artists working in circus, dance and theatre.
The ensemble draws on collaborative models of art making exemplified by Weave Movement Theatre, Back to Back, Rawcus, and the UK’s renowned Extraordinary Bodies.
Swann started their creative journey in 1998 in Paris, where they first learnt how to juggle. In 2002 they began studying circus in Brussels for 3 years, focusing on juggling/object manipulation, contemporary dance, physical theatre and clowning. Since then Swann has performed with a number of companies and created their own shows.
Roya the destroya is a strong believer that every day is an adventure. She is a passionate street performing artist who plays with her abilities to shock and disrupt the stranger into a soulful and joyful exchange.
Roya has performed in events and festivals around the world from busking in the Middle East and performing at the White House. Roya is driven by an ambition to create works that amplify representation and experiences for artists with and without a disability.
Vivienne is a longtime member of the Women’s Circus where she has journeyed through many circus disciplines aerials and stilts.
Vivienne has developed her interest in physical performance and scene creation in traditional and non-traditional performance settings, collaborating on multidisciplinary performances with visual artists, musicians and theatre makers. Vivienne is currently studying a Masters of Art in Public Space at RMIT.
Emma is best known her work in theatre: imbuing her performances with heart, audaciousness, and strength. She is equally at home being a globe-trotting, stilt walking circus performer, to singing for supper in “Love Never Dies” (musical), or showing off her acting credentials in the classics of “The Maids” & “King Lear”.
Melinda has over 30 years experience in disability and education. In 2008, she began promoting the health and wellbeing outcomes of dance for people with disabilities.
Melinda has been a regular artist in residence at Women’s Circus since 2016, using specialist aerial equipment as part of her developing practice. In 2018, Melinda created her first solo work, Spasmotive. In 2019 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Deakin University.
Tiara has produced, performed, written, and created work that explores liminality, community, and identity - from the internationally touring stage magic & social justice show Queer Lady Magician, to producing experimental work for queer disability arts collective Quippings: Disability Unleashed, as well as bylines in Autostraddle, SBS Life, Matador, Vice Motherboard, and much more.
Tarn uses dance, performance art and theatre, to explore the power, sensitivity and presence of the body. Tarn has facilitated inclusive Circus and Aerial dance workshops, for the Women’s Circus, Circus Oz and Dance Blast (UK), and co-run school programs for specialist schools throughout Melbourne.
In 2017 she was involved in a creative development and collaboration between Extraordinary Bodies (UK) and Circus Oz, and was British Arts Council funded for an international Physical Theatre Chinese pole development with Laura Moy (UK) supported by Circus Oz.
Jo is a choreographer, director and facilitator, with 20 years experience in the professional arts industry. Jo’s facilitator strength is enabling the learning space to be one where we learn from ourselves and each other.
She has co-founded Australia’s first dance company for deaf and hearing performers, The Delta Project, performed with renowned arts companies Strange Fruit and Restless Dance theatre, taught dance and physical theatre workshops to companies both regionally and nationally.
Born profoundly deaf and bi-lingual in both English and Auslan she is passionate about all things diverse, experimental and inclusive.
Franca has worked in Melbourne circus and theatre for over 20 years in a variety of roles including rigger, rigging designer, technician, prop maker, circus trainer, circus performer and director-devisor. Franca has been a vital part of the Women’s Circus since 1994 and brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and passion to the organisation.
Since 2016 Franca has worked closely with Dr Melinda Smith to support her exploration of aerial harness, tissue and slings in her dance and movement practice.