With sensational feats sure to cause the audience to look twice in amazement, the award-winning, animal free Australian circus, Circa is not only fun for the whole family, but has been enchanting audiences all over the world since 2004. With a revamped cast making its third thrilling return to Boston, Celebrity Series of Boston proudly presents Circa ‘S’ for three performances only from Friday, March 2 through Sunday, March 4 with a post- performance artist talk on March 3 at Boch Center Shubert Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts. Click here for more information and for tickets.
Joining the circus was a fire that burned the brightest for young Canadian acrobat, Nathan Knowles. Having been with Circa ‘S’ for 18 months, he learns something new and exciting every day. Nathan talks about discovering the circus, what it takes to become an acrobat, and his future.
Acrobats Photo courtesy of Darcy Grant
Sleepless Critic: What first inspired you to become an acrobat and when did you decide it was your calling?
Nathan Knowles: In my hometown of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, a clown first introduced me to the circus at age six during an extra-curricular program at my primary school. I went home from school that day and told my parents that one day I’ll be running away with the circus. They laughed it off thinking, ‘What kid doesn’t joke about that?’ I actually manifested it.
SC: Was there something you wanted to be first, or was it always an acrobat?
NK: As per a normal childhood, I had a few fleeting ideas of what I would do professionally one day, but the circus was always the fire that burned the brightest.
SC: What kind of skills do you think it takes to become an acrobat?
NK: It takes motivation, hunger, discipline, a healthy dose of insanity, and natural or developed physical talent.
Photo courtesy of Steve Eggelton
SC: How did you get involved with Circa?
NK: My involvement with Circa began at a workshop in Montréal with our Artistic Director, Yaron Lifschitz during my graduating year from National Circus School. A few months later, I had a signed contract and was hopping on a plane to Brisbane to start the adventure!
SC: What is your favorite act to perform?
NK: My acrobatic specialties are hand balancing and contortion, but in terms of the company’s repertoire, I’d have to say ‘Snap’. ‘Snap’ is a scene from our show Il Ritorno where the rest of the ensemble manipulates my body into seemingly impossible shapes and leaves me to sort myself out and bring my body back to normal.
SC: Wow, that is wild. Aside from excluding animals, in what way is Circa a unique experience? I understand that ‘S’ stands for sinuous, seductive, sophisticated, sensual and savage.
Photo courtesy of Steve Eggelton
NK: Circa, a show for all ages, is a stand out company based on our artistic approach to the simply physical and spectacular nature that circus is known for. The company is known for not only demonstrating extreme physical prowess but also our storytelling and capabilities to strike a nerve emotionally and reflectively in the souls of our audiences.
SC: Circa has been established since 2004. How has this production evolved over the years?
NK: Circa has grown immensely and has doubled, if not tripled in size. Our reputation for high quality work and innovation has been acclaimed and recognized in 36 different countries. We live up to our reputation without being elitist. We’re a group of fun loving, curious, and professional people from all walks of life.
SC: What does Circa ‘S’ have in store for Boston? Does the act change a bit with each destination?
NK: Boston is in for an exciting treat! Although ‘S’ has been performed in many venues around the world, it’s an almost completely revamped cast this time around, yet still holds true to the original concept and structure of the show.
SC: What do you think makes Circa different from other circuses around the world?
NK: What makes us different is our hunger and fearless drive to continue chipping away at the future of the circus. Our work is an honest extension of our own humanity, not simply physical prowess coated in fancy costuming, booming budgets, and heavy makeup.
Photo Courtesy of Justin Nicholas
SC: I understand Circa also has a training center for young people from age 3 to 16. Please tell me more about that.
NK: Circa Zoo, our training program, is an after school program for young people who either are looking for a fun way to stay active or develop the tools to one day break out into the professional market. They also do outreach and external projects in regional Australian towns.
SC: What do you hope to accomplish with Circa in the future and in your career as an acrobat?
NK: I prefer to view it as taking it one day at a time. I’ve worked for the company for 18 months now and there hasn’t been a day where I leave the studio or theatre without having learned something new. I’m unable to say at this point whether my career will extend to other companies apart from Circa. I’m happy where I am and have no intention of leaving any time soon. I am also highly interested in making my own work later in life, hopefully in the form of a solo show.
Photo courtesy of Justin Nicholas
SC: What is the best reason people should see Circa as it makes its third return to Boston with Celebrity Series?
NK: We’ll have you on the edge of your seats, full to the brim with wonder and questioning! We aim for you to walk away from the show with a sense of being changed or even a new flame of inspiration to take with you into your life.
Celebrity Series of Boston presents Circa ‘S’ from Friday, March 2 through Sunday, March 4 at Boch Center Shubert Theatre. Click here for tickets and more about Celebrity Series of Boston as well as their upcoming events. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.