Closure of Circus Oz a ‘Management Decision’
24 December 2012
I must admit I was surprised and disappointed by the news that Circus Oz was to close. I assumed that the lack of support for the Arts during COVID was the main factor. Circus Oz is one of the great icons of Australian culture- world quality circus gymnastics with a unique Australian irreverence. It will be a great loss. They also gave rise to the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, which was kids doing the same sort of thing, or as they called it, ‘Ordinary Kids doing extraordinary things’.
It was world quality like the Sydney, Melbourne or Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, but like the Australian Ballet and Bangara Dance, it had a more distinctly Australian flavour.
So it was a shock to read that he artists did not want it shut down, and Management did it without asking them. Can we assume that the Australia Council and Creative Victoria demanded the management changes that were not delivered, or was Circus Oz management merely obdurate in their relations with the staff? The latter seems more likely.
Hopefully Circus Oz can survive, but it is not looking likely. The only other question is whether their ideological stance offended the government. Nothing was usually said, but the irreverence had an anti-Establishment flavour that some of us liked, and perhaps some did not?