Yaron Lifschitz is an Australian director most notable for his involvement in the circus arts. He has directed over 60 productions including mainstage theatre, physical theatre, large scale events and opera. His work has been seen in thirty two countries, across six continents by over 500,000 people. He was born in South Africa into a family of Eastern European origin.
In 1991 he graduated from the Directing course at National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney, Australia where he was the youngest director ever accepted into its prestigious graduate director’s course. He is also a graduate of the University of New South Wales.
He was founding Artistic Director of the Australian Museum’s Theatre Unit, Head Tutor in Directing at Australian Theatre for Young People and has been a regular guest tutor in directing at NIDA since 1995. He is currently the Artistic Director of Circa (formerly the Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus Ensemble) in Brisbane. In 2002 he was instrumental in founding the Circa Brisbane Training Centre.
With Circa, Yaron has created works such as by the light of stars that are no longer…, CIRCA, Wunderkammer, How Like an Angel, "S", Beyond, Opus and Carnival of the Animals. His recent works have been reviewed as being "stunning", "exquisite" and "the standard to which all other circuses can aspire".
Yaron lives in Brisbane with his son, Oscar. His passion is creating works of philosophical and poetic depth from the traditional languages of circus.
From Brisbane, Australia comes a bold new vision of contemporary circus. A blending of bodies, light, sound and skills. A place where acrobatics and movement meld into a seamless whole. A celebration of the expressive possibilities of the human body at its extremes. Since 2006 Circa has toured to 32 countries across six continents. Circa’s work has been rapturously received by audiences, presenters and critics around the world. Critics have raved about Circa calling the work "stunning...exquisite... heart‐stopping" and "electrically charged".
Circa’s current touring shows span diverse contexts from works for families in traditional arts centres to European contemporary arts festivals. Its works are highly innovative genre‐bending pieces that stretch the practice and perceptions of circus. Circa features a full-time ensemble, a concentrated administrative team and a dedicated circus studio. In 2014 Circa performed over 366 performances to over 130,000 audience members locally, nationally and internationally.
Circa also runs a Training Centre with an impressive workshop program in Brisbane at our professional studio, in schools and with partners throughout Queensland and beyond. On top of our term based and one‐off training activities, Circa has an impressive track record of producing quality workshops for children, young people and adults in a range of community contexts. In 2014 Circa’s Training Centre programs reached an audience of over 11,000 people.
Circa Company history
In 2015 Circa created 4 new works; What Will Have Been, French Baroque, Close Up and Il Ritorno.
In 2014 Circa performed 375 shows to audiences within Australia and overseas. Circa made five new creations, toured to 16 countries, five of them for the first time, and their shows were seen by over 152,000 audience members. 10,540 workshop places were filled and Circa went on another national tour for 6 months.
Circa's ensemble expanded to 22 artists (2 guest artists). Opus world premiered in Lyon at the Les Nuits de Fourviere and was also performed as a part of Brisbane Festival in September. Circa’s first film ‘Immunity’ was made for world premiering at the Melbourne International Film Festival. A long season of Beyond performed in Berlin.
In 2012 6 new works were created (How Like an Angel, Azure, Love Song Circus, Wings of Desire, S by Circa, Wunderacts). It was the first time ever that Circa’s full-time ensemble (17 performers) were based and trained together in Brisbane. Circa toured to 8 countries in 2012 : Australia, Germany, USA, Canada, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Korea. Circa shows reached an audience of over 145,000 people and Circa’s training centre saw over 26,000 people go through the door. Circa also executed a successful national tour of CIRCA earlier in 2012, seen by over 15,000 people throughout Australia. World premiere of S in Circa’s home town of Brisbane in September for Brisbane Festival.
The ensemble grew from 7 to 14 full-time members. Touring included USA, Canada, Netherlands, UK, Spain, Italy, Singapore, Brisbane & Regional Queensland. An 8-month season of Wunderkammer commenced on 1 July at the renowned Chamaleon Theatre, Berlin while another 7 ensemble members opened the Montreal Completement Cirque as part of the Tohu Festival on 7 July before heading to the Barbican to commence a season from 19 July – 24 July. Confirmed touring dates for these 7 ensemble members are scheduled until 3 December.
On Air delivered sophisticated thrills as it charmed young and old at the QPAC Out of the Box Festival. In repertoire works (Circa, 46 Circus Acts, by the light of stars that are no longer…) were continuously refreshed, retrained and re-invigorated and Circa Zoo presented their first major festival piece. Performances throughout the year were held in London and New York, in Quilpie and Oakey, in Sydney and Brisbane; The Barbican, Sydney Opera House, Gaeity and New Victory Theatres. We took great pride in opening the Ulster Bank Dublin International Theatre Festival and in changing French circus forever in Auch. The world premiere of Wunderkammer occurred at Brisbane Festival, the most ambitious work in Circa’s history. Total audiences of 80,060 people saw 137 performances throughout the year.
Circa started the year with a 48-show season of 31 Acts Circus Acts in 30 Minutes at the State Library Queensland. January saw the Circa ensemble tour Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. This was a major tour over 3 weeks to 15 venues with a new show called CIRCA (a remix of the 3 current mainstage works, by the light of stars that are no longer…, The Space Between and FURIOSO). Circa produced a second season of ‘New Circus Now’ in March featuring new and developing circus artists and works. March - April saw Circa tour to Canada with a sold out season in Winnipeg followed by shows in TOHU and ending with a show in Fredericton. From April – June Circa undertook a national tour of 61 Circus Acts in 60 Minutes performing in Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. This tour involved presenting 51 performances, with 26 presenters and travelling 16,761 km. The Space Between featured at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival in the Spiegeltent in Norwich. July saw Circa head over to Belgium again to present two performances of by the light of stars that are no longer… at the Humorologie Festival. In August the UK premiere of FURIOSO was presented at the Galway Festival. CIRCA was presented at Riverside Hammersmith, London followed by a 3 ½ week Edinburgh Fringe Festival season performing CIRCA at the Assembly venue. Total attendances of 71,355 saw 232 of Circa’s performances throughout the year.
A tour of The Space Between to Belgium, Canada, the USA and Columbia commenced our 2008 season. A showcase of new and developing works entitled New Circus Now was presented in Brisbane in March. By the light of the stars that are no longer … was created and performed at the Galway Arts Festival and Copenhagen in July/August. In September Circa hosted ‘The Training Intensive’ – a month of collaborative training and rehearsing for 12 selected circus practitioners concluding in the creation of new work, Chroma. Furioso also premiered in this year. The ensemble expanded with 3 new members joining the company.
Circa began 2007 performing The Space Between in Sydney in January. Teaming up with Staging Connections several corporate performances occurred in New Zealand, Thailand and Melbourne. The Space Between was remounted for La Boite Theatre Company in Brisbane in April, then toured to Galway Festival (Ireland) in July and the Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro de Bogotá (Columbia) in September. The Art End presented A Sense of Movement in July and December, while Circa Zoo performed The Science of Falling at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, Brisbane, in December.
International touring increased in 2006 with performances of The Space Between and the newly created 31 Circus Act in 30 Minutes showing in England and Hungary, while still featuring in Sydney and Brisbane.
- A man engages in marital and extra-marital sex. The effects of this are explored in music, dance and speech.
A Man In A Room Juggling – Produced by Rock 'n' Roll Circus; Created by Yaron Lifschitz and David Sampford; Directed by Yaron Lifschitz; Performed by David Sampford; Premiered at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre on 14 July 2004.
- David Sampford juggled, balanced, manipulated and performed magic on a huge grid of juggling balls to the music of a grand piano while photographic images and video of his performance was projected behind him.
- Four performers improvised with circus skills to two jazz pieces: A Love Supreme by John Coltrane and The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady by Charles Mingus.
- A collection of circus acts.
Anyway I’m Not Alone – Produced by Rock 'n' Roll Circus; Created by Yaron Lifschitz and Circa; Directed by Yaron Lifschitz; Premiered at Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, Brisbane on 25 June 2003.
- A collection of circus acts.
- A collection of circus acts.
- A collection of circus acts.
Figaro Variations – Produced by Rock 'n' Roll Circus; created by Rock 'n' Roll Circus, Directed by Yaron Lifschitz. Premiered at Powerhouse Theatre, Brisbane on 25 November 2002.
Tango – Produced by Rock 'n' Roll Circus; created by Rock 'n' Roll Circus, Directed by Yaron Lifschitz. Premiered at Powerhouse Theatre, Brisbane on 1 September 2001.
- Circus skills displayed to the sounds of the tango.
Sonata for Ten Hands – Produced by Rock 'n' Roll Circus; created by Rock 'n' Roll Circus, Directed by Yaron Lifschitz. Premiered at Powerhouse Theatre, Brisbane on 6 June 2000.
- Outline: Four performers describe the experiences of a one-legged child with three friends and then reunite them thirty years later. The piece features the music of Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms.
Opening of Brisbane Powerhouse Theatre – Produced by Zane Trow; Directed by Yaron Lifschitz. Performed at Powerhouse Theatre, Brisbane on 5 May 2000 and 6 May 2000.
- One of six one-act plays in Shorts, September 1992 for the Griffin Theatre Company, Sydney.