“Winter Camp: Circus Training” was a one
week program for 14 young men aged between 13 and 18, all Australian Citizens,
who had come to Australia seeking asylum as refugees. Their backgrounds were Iranian,
Iraqi, Afghani, Sierra Leonean, Congolese and Jamaican. The project was run in
cooperation with our local partner STARTTS, South Western Sydney Health Services and the
expertise of Kate Reid and her Candy Stripe Circus.
Each morning commenced with a jog through the surrounding bushland, 30 push ups, sit ups and various other strength exercises. After a quick warm up we covered skills of acrobatics, partner acrobatics and object manipulation including juggling, unicycling and hula hooping. During the training we all enjoyed music from Turkey, the Middle East and hip hop playing over the sound system.
In groups of four, students created short performance pieces for their show day. The show commenced with a traditional Arabic dance continued with some daring circus stunts followed by Africa hip hop dance and closed with a large group acrobatic number.
All involved in the project enjoyed themselves and are looking forward to the next one.