?MEDIA RELEASE October, 2011ARE YOU READY TO LET OFF SOME STEAM? CIRCUS OZ 2012 is STEAMPOWEREDCircus Oz steamrolls into Sydney this coming January with their special brand of madness, fooling around in the unconventional and fantastical world of Steampunk. Steampowered is their latest show, under the Big Top at Tumbalong Park, from 4-29 January, 2012.In true Circus Oz style, Steampowered presents the beautiful and the absurd, the downright kooky and the breathtakingly brilliant. Sydneysiders will be wowed with dangerous trapeze, stunt-jumping acrobatics, explosive tumbling, ridiculous juggling, precision hoop diving, unbelievable human pyramids, unlikely in-line skating and even a touch of accidental magic.Steampowered is about reclaimed technology, re-wired and re-imagined within our modern world. For the uninitiated, the movement known as ‘Steampunk’ represents a fantastical neo-Victorian time, place and ethos where romance meets ‘new’ industrialised technology.“Steampunk is an alternate reality where coal-fired, traditional ‘Victoriana’ (as in the stern matriarch in black called ‘Victoria’, not the Garden State!) is overlaid by current ideas and inventions. If a Steampunk computer is a fully functioning laptop crafted out of rosewood, brass and faux clockwork, then a Steampunk circus is a fully functioning contemporary circus, dressed in brass and leather, that’s borrowed ideas from wherever necessary…this kind of subversion makes a lot of sense at Circus Oz,” says Mike Finch, Artistic Director of Circus Oz.However, in the hands of Circus Oz, this is also a time with a progressive sensibility where women and men can share the stage equally – men dance, women flex and the status quo is turned upsid-edown. Working at the coalface of circus arts, Circus Oz recognises Steampunk as the kind of make-believe that complements their eclectic style.“We’re on a Steampunk trip mainly because, although it looks unified, Steampunk lets us be influenced by pretty much whatever we like, which is how we’ve always been. The show has been crafted in our collaborative rehearsals and honed on the road, with ideas coming from all sorts of unexpected places,” adds Finch.At Circus Oz, perfecting the art of knockabout physical comedy is a highly desired skill, and one that requires practice to be imperfect. What audiences will notice is the level of characterisation that has been woven into the Steampowered show. Each performer appears as their own alte-ergo, the likes of Dr Spokes, Count Blowhard, Eak!, Sonic Boom and Aviatrix. Newest member of the Circus Oz ensemble, Stevee Mills is Minimus Prime who has the power to turn into a stick when being thrown into the air.All together each character and their human counterpart form part of the intricate machinery that makes up this grimy Steampowered world.Circus Oz invites you into Steampowered, where romance meets technology and everything is hand-made and steam-powered – especially the masterful skill and commanding strength of the performers. In pure Circus Oz style you’ll be on the edge of your seat, steamed up and howling for more.When: 4 January – 29 January, 2012Where: Under the air-conditioned Big Top, Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour, Sydney.Ticket PricesAdults: $48-$109Concession: $37-$71Kids: $27-$56Family: $123-$234Groups over 8 (adults): $35-$47Bookings: Book at ticketmaster.com.au or 136 100 For further information go to www.circusoz.comMEDIA ENQUIRIES CONTACT:Ella Ryan: [email protected] M: 0412 209 190; Kylie Edwards: [email protected] M: 0422 233 996 W: www.cardinalspin.com.au?????Editors Notes – About Circus OzCircus Oz is contemporary circus, Australian style. Internationally acclaimed for its originality, humour and joyful mayhem, Circus Oz epitomises the cultural spirit of this country.Since its beginnings in 1978, playing in hand-sewn tents and a cabaret restaurant in Melbourne, Circus Oz has played sell out seasons on 42nd Street in New York and one-off gigs at refugee camps on the West Bank. They’ve performed at the Royal Festival Hall in London, a glass opera house in the Brazilian rainforest, the Tivoli in Copenhagen, a tent erected in a Barcelona bullring and another in a walled compound in Bogota.A Circus Oz show invites its audience, be they in Bunbury or Berlin, to imagine anything is possible. Over the last 33 years Circus Oz has performed to over two million people in twenty-six countries across five continents. The highly visual, physical nature of the performance transcends cultural and language barriers (and the company are happy to translate the jokes into Hindi or Danish).Circus Oz’s values — tolerance, diversity, human kindness and a good time for all — play out inside and beyond the Big Top. The company prides itself on its community engagement programs, gender equality (“strong women, graceful men”), indigenous partnerships and the creation of a show that is collaborative, culturally distinctive and sustainable.Circus Oz currently performs approximately one third of its work internationally, one third in Australian capital cities, and the remainder in regional towns and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.