Glitz, glam and crazy moves: meet Circa acrobat Nathan Boyle
Ashleigh Hopping | On 18, Apr 2016
Acrobat Nathan Boyle talksÂ 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 pieceÂ When One Door Closes. Circa are a Brisbane-based operation comprisingÂ a full time acrobatic ensemble, creative and administrative team who are constantly on the move to present their shows internationally.
For the Circa acrobats, â€˜homeâ€™ is a constantly evolving concept. Nathan grew up in Sydney, where he fostered a love for gymnastics and theatre from a young age. â€œI 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 movementsâ€Šâ€”â€ŠI 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.â€
Nathan is one of the lucky (read: motivated and hardworking) breed of people who can confidently say thereâ€™s nothing else heâ€™d rather be doing. Heâ€™s been performing with Circa for almost 5 years now, and has no regrets about life as a circus performerâ€Šâ€”â€Šexcept for those days waking up to exceptionally sore muscles. â€œThere are some days when you wake up and youâ€™re like, â€˜I donâ€™t want to be an acrobat todayâ€™, but Iâ€™ve always seen myself doing something in theatre or circus, so if thereâ€™s ever a time I canâ€™t be doing it physically, I will find another way in somewhere.â€
For these performers, â€˜homeâ€™ is somewhat of an elusive concept. â€œMy idea of a holiday is going home and being fed instead of eating outâ€¦weâ€™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 thatâ€™s where I got to live, breath and explore whilst performing. My next favourite spot is New York, because itâ€™s just ridiculous, and then London. Iâ€™m a big city person.â€
Nathan saw a Circa production as an audience member before performing with them for the first time. He remembers well the â€œshivers and goosebumpsâ€ 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: â€œIt 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.â€
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 youâ€™re talking about acrobats who can stand on each other 3 people high (or, you know, balance on each otherâ€™s heads), this sounds insaneâ€Šâ€”â€Šbut not for these seasoned performers. â€œWe have rules. Youâ€™ve got the right of way going backwards, itâ€™s other peopleâ€™s jobs to make sure they arenâ€™t hit. We have languages, and a whole bunch of tools.â€ Itâ€™s a like sign language: the ensemble communicate with one another using subtle gestures while on stage.
When One Door Closes is â€œa bit more glitzy and glamorous and kitschy than weâ€™re used to. Weâ€™ve never had such bright costumes before! Come with an open mind, sit back and enjoyâ€Šâ€”â€Šlaugh when you want to laugh, cry when you want to cry, clap when you want to clap. Considering itâ€™s based on three heavy plays, thereâ€™s actually a lot of humour in it. Expect the unexpected.â€
When One Door Closes is in season at La Boite until April 23. Click here to read Madeleine Daleâ€™s review.
What: When One Door Closes
Where: The Roundhouse Theatre, La Boite
When: 6thâ€Šâ€”â€Š23rd April, 2016
How Much: $30â€Šâ€”â€Š$54
For tickets, head to La Boiteâ€™s website here.
Images: La Boite Theatre Co. Instagram (@laboitetheatreco).