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27 February 2018

Circus students sell out Fringe Festival shows

A group of Canning Vale College circus students performed to sell-out crowds at not one but two Fringe World Festival shows this month.

Canning Vale College circus troupe

Canning Vale College circus students.

Four hundred people purchased tickets to see the troupe perform ‘There is a place for us’ at the Pleasure Garden in Northbridge, the Perth hub of the world-renowned arts festival.

Circus coordinator Crystle Challinger said performing alongside professional touring shows in a real circus tent was an incredible experience for the students.

“The students not only got a sense of what it’s like to be a successful performer, they also received hands-on experience working with technicians and live audiences at a professional venue,” she says.

“The students were the only public school group selected to perform at the popular festival, which was a huge achievement.”

The ‘Act Belong Commit’ circus troupe is part of Canning Vale College’s Extension Circus Arts Program which has been running for nine years.

More than 80 dedicated young performers take part in the program, working together to write and direct their own 50-minute stage shows that tackle important aspects of children’s mental and physical health.

Crystle says the program isn’t just about circus skills, it’s about supporting student development through the educational, emotional, social and physical aspects of their lives.

"Being part of a circus gives students the chance to express themselves in a safe and fun environment,” she says.

“Failure doesn’t exist and every mistake is viewed as a chance to try again.”

The 2018 Fringe World Festival may have wound-up in Perth over the weekend but the buzz felt among the students isn’t set to end any time soon.

Find out more about the Extension Circus Arts Program.

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