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Parramatta is Circus City!

The circus is coming to town and you’re invited

Roll up, roll up! Many people don’t know that Australia is an international leader in circus arts. To celebrate Sydney Festival is transforming Parramatta into Circus City this Summer. Riverside Theatres and Prince Alfred Square will play host to a collection of local and international hit shows, a circus big top, a ten-metre high outdoor trapeze and circus workshops for everyone from tiny tots to seniors. There will be a series of talks exploring the circus arts, a film program and a display of costumes and posters from Australia’s traditional circus roots curated by The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.1

The ten day program, January 12 – 22, draws attention to the changing definition of circus and its capacity to build stronger communities as a universal force that goes beyond race, ethnicity and cultural difference. Family friendly and accessible, a range of free and ticketed events will get everyone involved – young and old.

Seen by over one million people since its premiere, Canada’s Cirque Éloize’s iD is a high-energy blend of circus arts and urban dance, featuring an inspiring soundtrack and innovative video projections. Fifteen acrobats, aerialists, hip hop and break dancers come together to create a microcosmic society where two groups celebrate everyone’s distinct identity.

Created especially for Sydney Festival, Circa presents the world premiere, Humans. In their edgy and refreshing take on contemporary circus, the artists of Circa (previously at Riverside with “S”) regularly push the limits of the human body. Humans combines the stripped-back sensibility and aesthetic of contemporary dance and theatre with phenomenal acrobatic prowess.

2Riverside Theatres and Sydney Festival co-present Company 2’s with Kaleidoscope, an extraordinary interpretation of a child’s unique vision of the world. Audiences are invited to view life through Ethan’s eyes in a joyous, poetic circus experience that explores the great beauty found in the smallest things. Ethan Hugh was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at four years of age. Kaleidoscope brings to life the colour, chaos and incredible beauty of Ethan’s every day, now twelve-years-old, as he performs alongside a cast of circus performers in a celebration of young people’s stories and the acceptance of difference.

Plus our very own Riverside | National Theatre of Parramatta is taking over Parramatta’s award-winning restaurant El-Phoenician with the brand new production, Hakawati. Inspired by the Arabic ancient tradition of story-telling and breaking bread, Hakawati takes a contemporary Western Sydney twist. Join us as we celebrate food, music and the telling of tales during a series of balmy summer nights where we recreate the romance of Arabian nights.

For all the details of Sydney Festival events at Riverside click here or visit for details about everything else happening in Parramatta.

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