Circa Contemporary Circus
Wed 15 Jun and Thu 16 Jun
Wed 15 Jun '22
Thu 16 Jun '22

Nowadays, Le Sacre Printemps is usually performed as an independent piece in the concert hall, but Stravinsky originally wrote it as a ballet piece for Les Ballets Russes. In Sacre, Australia's celebrated Circa brings this famous work as a contemporary circus.

The mighty Circa

The Guardian

Circa Contemporary Circus is one of the world’s leading circus companies. Based in Brisbane, Australia, Circa has been touring the world since 2004, performing in forty countries for over 1.5 million people. The shows draw standing ovations, superlative reviews and sold-out venues on all six continents. 

Circa is at the cutting edge of a new wave of contemporary Australian circus. It is a pioneer in exploring how extreme physicality can create powerful and poignant performances. It continues to expand the limits of this art form by blurring the distinctions between dance, movement, theatre and circus. Driven by the question, ‘What can circus do?’, Circa leads the way with its varied offer of exciting creations that push the boundaries of what circus can be.

Led by the circus visionary Yaron Lifschitz, Circa is an ensemble of exceptional and versatile circus performers who feature regularly at prominent festivals and venues in New York, London, Berlin and Montreal, and at the major Australian festivals. 

Circa is dedicated to training the next generation of circus artists, offering circus lessons from its base in Brisbane. Circa also organises circus programmes for communities in 

Queensland and throughout Australia. At the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Circa proved itself to be a creative leader in the field of live performance. 



Yaron Lifschitz – Director

A graduate of the University of New South Wales, the University of Queensland and the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA), Yaron was the youngest director ever admitted to the prestigious graduate director’s course. Since graduation, Yaron has directed more than 60 productions including large-scale events, opera, theatre, physical theatre and circus. 

His productions have been seen by more than 1.5 million people spread across 40 countries and six continents. He has won numerous awards, including six Helpmann Awards and the Australia Council Theatre Award. His work has featured at major festivals and venues around the world, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Barbican, Chamäleon and all major Australian festivals. His film work has been selected for the Berlin and Melbourne film festivals. He was the founder and artistic director of Australian Museum’s Theatre 

Unit, senior lecturer of directing at the Australian Theatre for Young People, and he has regularly acted as a guest lecturer in direction at the NIDA. 

Yaron is currently the artistic director and CEO at Circa and was the creative director of 

Festival 2018: the art and culture programme of the 21st Commonwealth Games. 


Philippe Bachman - Composer 

Bachman is a musician, artistic director and producer based in Paris. Following his studies at the Paris Conservatory (CNSMDP) and at the Sciences Po Paris, he was awarded the Villa Medicis Hors-les- Murs (France) and won a Fulbright Scholarship (US), and spent some time in New York City. As part of a trio he toured dozens of countries, and as a composer he has produced work for various international theatre productions, for example for the Canadian director Robert Lepage. 

In 2015 Bachman was the chair of the National Committee for New Music Commissions. He has also worked for UNESCO, Paris “Cité de la Musique,” and Ircam. He served as CEO of the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra (1997-2001) and the chamber choir Accentus (2002-2003). 

Since January 2019, Bachman offers a seminar on Being an Artist in today’s World: facts 

and fantasies at Sciences Po Paris. He has been the CEO & Artistic Director of the national performing arts venue, La Comète, since 2004 (three auditoriums, 120 performances, including an international dance season), which has been designated as one of the eight European Artistic Hubs by the French Ministry of Culture since 2018. He is the founder and a member of Tour de Dance, an informal network that links up dance venues with programmers from France, Belgium, Luxemburg and Germany to share international dance projects and tours. In 2008 he established the 360° Network, connecting 18 circular venues for the performing arts in eleven countries. He has served as the CEO and Artistic Director 

of the War on Screen International Film Festival since 2013.


Veronique Benett - Lighting 

Veronique is a light, decor and costume designer. As a light designer, her track record includes: Banging Denmark (Sydney Theatre Company); Wolves (Belvoir); John (Outhouse Theatre Co.), which won her a nomination for a Sydney Theatre Award; The Life of Us (Hayes 

Theatre); Nosferatu (Old 505); Stupid Fucking Bird (New Theatre) and A Girl is a Half-Formed 

Thing (KXT). Veronique worked as an assistant light designer in Cursed!, designed by Chloe Oglvie (Belvoir); No Pay? No Way! Designed by Paul Jackson (Sydney Theatre Company) and Cry-Baby, directed and designed by Alexander Berlage (Hayes Theatre Co). 


Libby McDonnell - Costume Design 

Libby is a designer and choreographer and currently Head of Design at Circa. Libby works in various genres and styles. People and movement are central to her work.
Libby obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) in Visual Art at the Queensland College of Art -Griffith University and an Associate Degree in Dance at the Queensland University of Technology.




From 7:45 till 8:00 Maaike van Langen (ex-director Circusstad Rotterdam) will interview the artistic director of Circa Yaron Lifschitz in the Danstheater in English.


 About Sacre

Poetical tenderness. Raw emotion. Physical force.
Eleven acrobats of the Circa ensemble bring Stravinsky’s ground-breaking The Rite of Spring to the circus stage. Throbbing with energy and suffused with dark humour, this extraordinary production by artistic director Yaron Lifschitz explores the mutual connections between people, our inherent sexual desires, and our relationship to the divine. With a piercing light design by Veronique Benett and a rousing new composition by Philippe Bachman for the first part, Sacre penetrates all the senses and stirs the soul. 

Director Yaron Lifschitz
Music Philippe Bachman & Igor Stravinsky
Light design Veronique Benett
Costume design Libby McDonnell
Technical manager Jason Organ
Producer Danielle Kellie
Created by Yaron Lifschitz and Circa Ensemble
Commissioned by Merrigong Theatre Company
Co-produced by La Comete

Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring is used with the permission of Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd, exclusive agent for Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers of London.
International representation
Allen Moon / David Lieberman Artists’ Representatives
USA, Canada, Central & South America
Circa acknowledges the assistance of the Australian Government through the Australia
Council, its arts funding and advisory body and the Queensland Government through
Arts Queensland. 

© David Kelly