Josie Wardrope’s Precarious act in Circus Oz show
A SENSE of awe, excitement and possibility are the qualities circus artist Josie Wardrope loves to feel when she attends a show.
She is delighted to offer the same with her performances in Melbourne-based company Circus Oz’s 70-minute non-stop production Precarious, suitable for all ages at His Majesty’s Theatre this month.
“We have so many awesome acts in it and we’re played with the idea of things that are unstable,” Wardrope said.
“There’s flying trapeze, a swinging version of the Chinese pole which is very dynamic and even roaming polar bears.”
Precarious is inspired by the icy Antarctica plains and colours of the Aurora Australis, with the ensemble pushing themselves to the limits of acrobatics, aerial straps, trapeze, hula hoop and comedy, set to original music performed by the Circus Oz live band.
Growing up in Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges, Wardrope said she was an active kid who did soccer, athletics and attended a few circus classes after school and during the school holidays.
“After high school I discovered there was the opportunity to study at a place called the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne where they offer a three-year Bachelor of Circus Arts degree,” she said.
“It’s full-time training and you’re able to specialise while you’re there, focusing on particular apparatus and circus acts. I’ve been performing and teaching ever since.”
Flying trapeze was Wardrope’s favourite apparatus for a while until she began to specialise in swinging trapeze.
“Flying trapeze is the one most people are familiar with when they think about trapeze,” she said.
“It’s the one where you take off a platform on to a bar, you do a trick and are then caught by another person as you release from the bar.
“Swinging trapeze is a solo act and it’s a weighted bar that you stand on and push the swing to get higher and higher. All the tricks you do are back to the same bar.”
Wardrope joined Circus Oz nearly a year ago, attracted by the company’s large-scale shows and touring opportunities.
“The first show I did with Circus Oz was a collaboration with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra,” she said.
“The opportunity to do something like that on such a huge scale was just amazing.”
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What: Circus Oz – Precarious
Where: His Majesty’s Theatre
When: July 25 to 28