Review 4: From Little Things… at Brisbane Circus Centre 2023, NEHIB

Review 4: From Little Things… at Brisbane Circus Centre 2023, NEHIB

13 March, 2023

Darcie Rae, Nothing Ever Happens in Brisbane, March 11.

From Little Things | Casus Creations and Flipside Circus

From Little Things is the first circus show to be presented in the new, beautifully bright orange circus centre, and is a collaboration between award-winning Brisbane circus company, Casus Creations, and Flipside Circus, Queensland’s largest youth arts organisation. The show is a busy and beautiful hour displaying the intergenerational skill sharing of circus arts. If you have seen Casus shows in the past, you’ll find familiar aspects with the choice of music, costuming, and movement style, with a novel addition of the energy of youth with the 18 strong cast of wonderful young performers.

All images: Creative Futures Photography

The show is divided into two parts, the training and the performance. We start in training mode, with students “warming up” with synchronised movements, and training skills together. This was beautifully executed and really got across the fun, communal feeling of a circus space, where everyone works together, but not everyone is working on the same thing, a space where people get to shine in their individualism. It is like peering into a circus class, watching the adults teaching the kids skills, and watching the students spot and teach each other.  As someone who has spent a lot of time in circus school spaces, as a student in my teenage years and as an instructor as an adult, I personally adored this section of the piece. A circus school is not just a place for young people to learn circus skills, but a place for young people to be, to learn teamwork, how to support each other, and how to take responsibility for others and for the space they are in.

The show then transitions into the performance mode of the piece, with aerial acts, chair balancing, harness work, and a lot of group acrobatics. Casus creative directors Jesse and Lachlan still feature in this section of the performance, which continued the narrative of passing down skills to new generations of circus artists, with performing being a skill in itself. There is a lot going on in this section of the show, with many performers on stage at once. From Little Things has lots of lovely group acrobatic moments featuring many performers, as well as moments for the older/more experienced members of the troupe to shine with some seriously breathtaking skills.

There were some moments where people were performing different but similar skills at the same time (a similar sequence on the double trapezes for example, where one pair was doing the more difficult version of a skill) that I don’t think worked as effectively as they could have, where performers almost had beautiful symmetry, but didn’t quite get there. What I thought worked really effectively were sections where the young performers displayed some great skills, and then Jesse and Lachlan contributed something a little extra, a taste of where these kids could go. The chair balancing act featuring several of the performers was a great example of this, with some really beautiful and creative shapes featuring the Flipside troupe, finishing with the Casus team performing an unbelievable duo chair stacking trick (I have seen them perform this skill in a couple of shows and am always happy to see it again – wow).

All images: Creative Futures Photography

The professionalism of performers so young was really impressive. There were some wobbles, but there was no hesitation from the circus artists to keep the skills and the show moving.

I went to this show expecting a fun show that has that fuzzy feeling of community, but I got a lot more than that. It’s a beautiful creation, with artistry and skill that sometimes made me forget how young many of these performers were. Their opening season has been a sell-out, and I hope they bring this show back, so more people can see this delightful piece of art and circus culture.