Australia’s craziest acrobats will make your stomach drop

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October 31, 2017
Nick Jarvis
Video
Young Australian circus company Gravity & Other Myths (GOM) are leading the way when it comes to raw, stripped back acrobatics.

With no props, no glitz and no safety nets, the now 14-strong crew use their pure strength, balance and agility to flip, toss and catch each other in staggering displays that make your stomach lurch and jaw drop.

The troupe came out of Australia’s youth circus scene in the late ‘00s with a grounding in group work and physical tricks, but never intended to pursue circus full time. Their first show Freefall in 2009 led eventually to their second, A Simple Space in 2013, and then to a slot at the National Circus Festival in Tasmania and a tour around Australia.

“That was gonna be the last hurrah – we were gonna go do our normal lives, study engineering or graphic design,” founding member Lachlan Binns told Carnival Cinema.

But a random connection on that tour led to a slot at the Edinburgh Fringe; four years later, they haven’t stopped touring the world, performing over 500 times in 24 countries and collecting awards from the Adelaide Fringe, Australian Dance Awards and Green Room Awards.

Their brand new show Backbone was nominated for three Helpmann Awards, premiering at the Adelaide Festival in March 2017, and coming to Riverside Theatres as part of Sydney Festival in January 2018.

Hamish McCormick of circus press Carnival Cinema has been following Gravity & Other Myths since their earliest days, and he’s put that footage and knowledge into six-part documentary Sticks & Stones. The series delves into the development of GOM and goes behind the scenes of Backbone, as the troupe rehearse, develop and premiere the new work. 

Ever seen someone do a backflip and land neatly with their feet on the shoulders of an acrobat who’s already standing on someone else’s shoulders? You have now. Scroll down for a fascinating insight into making it as an acrobat and circus performer internationally, plus stacks of knuckle-biting stunts, and stay tuned for the final three episodes still to come.

Episode 1: The Early Days

Gravity & Other Myths - Sticks & Stones: Episode #1 from Carnival Cinema on Vimeo.

Episode 2: Development of Backbone

Episode 3: The Playfulness and Pain of Acrobat Training


 
Backbone premieres in Sydney at Riverside Theatre on 16 January – tickets are limited, so jump on them here

Hamish McCormick is an ex-circus performer turned filmmaker and photographer, who has been documenting Australia's contemporary circus community for the past 15 years as independent online Circus Culture & Arts magazine Carnival Cinema

Nick Jarvis is a journalist, copywriter and Publications Editor at Sydney Festival and Sydney Film Festival. He's written for Vice, Time Out, inthemix, Junkee and various other online media and street press over the years.

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