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It was founded by Tony Hannan and Michael Lester in 1985 as a workshop project to provide alternative opportunities for recreation for disadvantaged young people in Adelaide’s industrial inner-western suburbs. An initial 6-month project was so successful it was continued, to the point where in 2015, Cirkidz celebrates its 30th birthday.
Cirkidz has been an integral part of the arts fabric ever since, and is regarded as South Australia's premier circus centre. Numerous Cirkidz alumni have gone on to careers in the circus arts at Circus Oz, NICA or by forming their own company (Rambutan Circus Collective, Gravity and Other Myths).
Cirkidz teaches circus and performance skills to children, young people, and adults through three core programs: Circus School, Performance Troupe and Community Workshops.
Circus School classes are available to anyone from 21/2 through to 18 years of age. Adults can also attend an adults only class. In these classes, age appropriate skills are run in a wide range of circus arts. Juggling, Unicycling, Stilts, Trapeze, Hula, Trampoline, Pyramids, Tissu, Barrel walking, Acrobatics, Skipping, Hula, Mini-Tramp, Flowersticks, Poi, Acrobatics, Cloud swing, Teeterboard, Clowning, Cord, Slapstick, Table sliding, Plate spinning, Cigar boxes, Globe, Manipulation, Slack Wire, Flower stick, Mini Tramp, Staff Twirling, Contact Juggling, Tumbling, Hoop diving and Fast Track; as well as movement, acting and related performance skills.
The Performance Troupe are Cirkidz participants who create high quality artistic work in the form of in theatre & roving performances. They are regularly booked to perform at a range of iconic South Australian events, including the Adelaide Fringe Parade, the Credit Union Christmas Pageant, the Tour Down Under as well as a range of other events. The Performance Troupe also produce annual productions for the general viewing public. In 2009, they performed 'Freaky', a sold out co-production with Circus Monoxide as part of 2009 Come Out Youth Arts Festival. With an extensive production history, Cirkidz' most recent production was 'Nest' in 2013, in association with several local emerging visual and audio artists. The Performance Troupe's creative output is under the direction and guidance of Cirkidz' Artistic Director. Since 2012, Cirkidz' Artistic Director has been Joshua Hoare.
The Community Workshop Program takes the circus arts into schools, workplaces, health organisations, child care centres, or partners with events such as Tunarama in Pt Lincoln as part of Cirkidz brief to provide circus experiences for a range of disadvantaged, or isolated young people.
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