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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | October 22, 2019

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Glitz, glam and crazy moves: meet Circa acrobat Nathan Boyle

Glitz, glam and crazy moves: meet Circa acrobat Nathan Boyle

| On 18, Apr 2016

Acrobat Nathan Boyle talks about what life looks like from the perspective of a circus performer, travelling the world and what to expect upon seeing When One Door Closes.

La Boite have partnered with contemporary circus company Circa to present spectacular theatre piece When One Door Closes. Circa are a Brisbane-based operation comprising a full time acrobatic ensemble, creative and administrative team who are constantly on the move to present their shows internationally.

For the Circa acrobats, ‘home’ is a constantly evolving concept. Nathan grew up in Sydney, where he fostered a love for gymnastics and theatre from a young age. “I always knew I wanted to do something where I was on stage. I always did dance and all of that, and I did drama but I had the fear of remembering lines and talking in front of audiences. In senior school I sparked an interest in performances with physical movements — I always wanted to be in Cirque Du Soleil or something big and fabulous and so I found out about NICA (National Institute of Circus Arts) and honed my studies towards that. And then I got into Circa.”

CIRCA Acrobats: When One Door Closes

Nathan is one of the lucky (read: motivated and hardworking) breed of people who can confidently say there’s nothing else he’d rather be doing. He’s been performing with Circa for almost 5 years now, and has no regrets about life as a circus performer — except for those days waking up to exceptionally sore muscles. “There are some days when you wake up and you’re like, ‘I don’t want to be an acrobat today’, but I’ve always seen myself doing something in theatre or circus, so if there’s ever a time I can’t be doing it physically, I will find another way in somewhere.”

For these performers, ‘home’ is somewhat of an elusive concept. “My idea of a holiday is going home and being fed instead of eating out…we’re constantly travelling! My first real gig with Circa was an eight month contract in Berlin, which was pretty amazing. I have a big passion for that sort of city because that’s where I got to live, breath and explore whilst performing. My next favourite spot is New York, because it’s just ridiculous, and then London. I’m a big city person.”

Nathan saw a Circa production as an audience member before performing with them for the first time. He remembers well the “shivers and goosebumps” replicating that production later on gave him as he knew what the emotional experience was like from the crowd vantage point. He also talked about his favourite venue to date: “It was in an old Roman amphitheatre that was about 2000 years old and had been half destroyed. Audience members all sit on cushions, and at the end of the performance if they really like it they throw their cushions on stage. So you finish the show and just get 2000 little cushions thrown at you, kinda cool.”

Circa Acrobats: When One Door Closes

What blew my mind most talking to Nathan was his casual mention of how a certain amount of their shows is improvised on stage each night. When you’re talking about acrobats who can stand on each other 3 people high (or, you know, balance on each other’s heads), this sounds insane — but not for these seasoned performers. “We have rules. You’ve got the right of way going backwards, it’s other people’s jobs to make sure they aren’t hit. We have languages, and a whole bunch of tools.” It’s a like sign language: the ensemble communicate with one another using subtle gestures while on stage.

When One Door Closes is “a bit more glitzy and glamorous and kitschy than we’re used to. We’ve never had such bright costumes before! Come with an open mind, sit back and enjoy — laugh when you want to laugh, cry when you want to cry, clap when you want to clap. Considering it’s based on three heavy plays, there’s actually a lot of humour in it. Expect the unexpected.”

When One Door Closes is in season at La Boite until April 23. Click here to read Madeleine Dale’s review.

What: When One Door Closes
Where: The Roundhouse Theatre, La Boite
When: 6th — 23rd April, 2016
How Much: $30 — $54
For tickets, head to La Boite’s website here.

Images: La Boite Theatre Co. Instagram (@laboitetheatreco).