A Chat with Nathan Boyle: Circa


CIRCA Image by Atmosphere Photography

Nathan Boyle is one of those kids who grew up and ran away to join the circus.

I asked Poppy, who is six years old and doing circus, gymnastics and sports aerobics training (and who is very excited about seeing the show this week!), to help me ask Nathan a few questions in the lead up to CIRCA‘s opening night at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts on Wednesday.


What is it that makes Circa so special?

Circa is one of the largest full time circus ensembles in Australia. I’ve been lucky enough to be in the company for two years and since joining the circa team the world has been my oyster. I’ve had so many opportunities to do what I love in numerous countries and theatres and each time I step out on stage I still get a thrill when I hear the audiences’ applause.


How do you go about making circus that “moves the heart, mind and soul”?

We put in a lot of time focusing the overall performance of the show and not just in the skills that are in the show. Don’t get me wrong; our shows are jam packed with high-level skills. Our shows don’t follow a linear story, which allows for each audience member to experience the show differently.


How was your Brisbane Festival experience this year?

Brisbane Festival was an amazing time. It was great fun to create and to world premiere our new show, ‘S’. There was such a buzz in Brisbane and the energy of the city was palatable.


Where else have you performed and where do you go next?
I’ve performed in Canada, the US, France, Germany and all around Australia. Next year we head off next to Canada and the US, which I am really looking forward to.


Do you have sleepovers when you travel or do you have a late night trip to get home?

Usually when we perform we are usually away from home, so that means that when we finish a show and cool down we head back to our accommodation. We are sort of like gypsies, gypsies with style.


How much time do you spend rehearsing and working on new tricks?

When we aren’t on the road we are back in the studio training 9 to 5. We are constantly rehearsing and training new tricks. Some skills come quickly but some skills require a lot of time and practice. But practice makes perfect.


How often do you learn new tricks?

Constantly, we train for three hours prior to each show. In that time we warm up, train and try new tricks. Normally the skills/tricks that are in the show are the ones that are polished and safe.


How many new tricks can you learn in a day?

Well that depends on the difficulty of the tricks we are trying. Some tricks you can learn really quickly and others might require a few days, weeks or even months.


What does a typical Circa day look like?

9:00-10:00am – Warm up

10:00-11:30am – Group skills training like big balances and toss the girl tricks

11:30am-1:00pm – Usually rehearsals with Yaron our Artistic Director

1:00-2:00pm – Lunch

2:00-4:30pm – Solo training and act development

4:30-5:00pm – Cool down


Do you stick to a special diet or rely on specific super foods to stay in shape and to keep you going?

Our bodies are kind of like an engine. If we don’t put in good fuel we won’t run. We are conscience of what foods we are eating as what we put in we get out. We all have containers full of trail mix, which we nibble on throughout the day, which helps us make it through the day.


What was your training or previous experience?

Before Circa, I was a student at NICA (National Institute of Circus Arts) down in Melbourne, where I trained for three years full time and came out with a Bachelor in Circus Arts. Prior to that I competed in Sports Acrobatics.


Do you get a say in what you wear? Is it comfy?

We work very closely with our amazing costume designer. She makes sure that the end product suits our needs and the show’s needs. All the costumes are very comfy and it’s never a chore to put them on.


What do you do to warm up before a show and chill out after a show?

We spend an hour normally before each show warming up and stretching.  Normally after a show we have a cool down and then we are normally on the hunt for a restaurant so we can have some dinner.


What should kids be doing if they want to run away to join the circus?

Train hard and never stop doing what they love. Circa has a range of short course programs that young ones can get a taste of circus. Details can be found at http://www.circa.org.au


Do you ever feel like running away to join the real world?

NEVER, I don’t think I would survive in an office. I can’t sit down for longer than five minutes, which makes our long plane rides overseas a challenge.


Nathan Boyle Circa

Nathan Boyle has been a natural performer his whole life. After terrorising his parents at a young age with handstands and cartwheels, his parents saw his passion for performing and acrobatics and enrolled him in gymnastics. His passion for acrobatics took him to Sports Acrobatics where he represented and won titles for NSW at many National Championships.
After accepting his position at The National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) Nathan trained in Cloudswing, Adagio, Bungee trapeze and Teeterboard. A highlight for Nathan whilst at NICA was performing at an International Circus Festival (CIRCA festival) in France, Auch (2009).

After graduating in 2010, Nathan was hired by Circa. Since working for Circa Nathan has performed nationally at the Sydney Festival and internationally in America and Canada. Nathan is currently living in Berlin Germany where he is performing in Wunderkammer by Circa at the renowned Chamäleon Theatre.


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