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February 6, 2013

Australia's national circus - Circus Oz - swings into Purdue this March

Circus Oz

Circus Oz
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - For the past 34 years, Circus Oz has performed to millions of people in more than 26 countries across five continents, has broken box office records at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and is considered the gold standard for contemporary circus all over the world. These awe-inspiring Aussies will bring their death defying "Circus Oz: From the Ground Up Tour," to Purdue University's Elliott Hall of Music at 4 p.m. March 3.

This performance is presented by Purdue Convocations and also includes a pre-show discussion free for ticket-holders. A member of the artistic team will discuss the performance in Lawson Computer Science Building, Room 1142, at 3 p.m.

While many of the acts are new, the spectacle is vintage Circus Oz, an ode to Vaudeville and a spin on the classic animal-free variety show circus. Featuring live rock music and larrikin irreverence, musicians double as acrobats, acrobats double as jugglers and jugglers double as trapeze artists - all in a world where everyone is a comic. Two performers from the company's Blakrobatics Indigenous Master Class program are the newest talents to join the 14-member Circus Oz ensemble, one of whom is a state air guitar champion!

The famous Charles C. Ebbets 1932 photograph, "New York Construction Workers Lunching on a Crossbeam," was the inspiration behind the imagery, set and costumes for this new show. A huge construction beam is a focal piece of the circus set and facilitates the daring aerial performances and stunt mastery that will fly across the Elliott Hall of Music's stage.

The acrobatic, ceiling scraping, rope swinging show of death-defying feats is driven by the theme of construction - the construction of a new custom-built Circus Precinct for the company in its home town of Melbourne and the building of a society where everyone is welcome.

"The theme of the show takes us back to our own identity," said Mike Finch, artistic director of Circus Oz. "What does it mean to be Australian? We are all really into the idea that we're building it from the ground up into a diverse community of people."

"Circus Oz: From the Ground Up" debuted in the United States on Nov. 30, 2012 with a month of stunt jumping hilarity at The New Victory Theater in New York City. The New York Times coined the spectacle premiere "…a good one: a little naughty, a little nice, a little death defying."

All of the music is created and performed by the rocking Circus Oz band. The show is recommended for children over the age of five and adults.

Tickets are $22-$52 for adults and $22-$39 for children 18 years and younger, Purdue students and Ivy Tech Lafayette students. Tickets are available at the Elliott Hall and Stewart Center box offices at 765-494-3933 or 800-914-SHOW. Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster outlets. Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more can be ordered at 765-496-1977.

Initiated in 1902, Purdue Convocations was one of the first professional performing arts presenters in the United States. Each year, Convocations offers the region 20-30 performances of widely varying genres: Broadway-style shows, theater, dance, children's theater, world music, jazz, and chamber music, along with rock, pop, country and comedy attractions. With a vision for connecting artists and audiences in artistic dialogue and for drawing in academic discourse, Purdue Convocations aims to promote frequent exposure to and familiarity with human cultural expression in a multitude of forms and media.

Contact: Abby Eddy, Purdue Convocations director of marketing, 765-494-9712, aeeddy@purdue.edu

Note to Journalists: Publication-quality photos are available at http://www.convocations.org/press