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Friday, March 28, 2014

Circus Oz unveils new $15 million ­Collingwood home in old tech school building


Melbourne circus performers at open training at the new Circus Oz home in Collingwood. 
Picture: Josie Hayden Source: News Limited
From: MELBOURNE LEADER 
By NIC PRICE
MARCH 28, 2014 
THE circus has run away to join Collingwood.

Circus Oz this morning unveiled its $15 million ­purpose-built Perry St home, which will host regular performances in a Spiegeltent in the carpark and public classes.

Visitors are urged to take a peek inside at a free open day this Saturday from 11am-4pm.

The State Government-funded project reshaped the former Collingwood Technical School (parts of which have stood empty for 20 years) into a complex including large rooms for rehearsals and classes, a band room, props workshop, costume department, offices, storage and more.

Building technical co-­ordinator Anni Davey said the 15m-high rehearsal space would for the first time allow trapeze artists and other aerial performers to replicate the conditions of the big top.

It would also allow classes to take place at the same time as rehearsals, where previously they were cancelled for up to 20 weeks a year in the lead-up to a show.

“Our old premises were so cramped, we all feel like we’ve breathed out,” Ms Davey said.

“Everyone is so excited to be in such a great space.

“Collingwood has such a diverse culture and it feels like a great fit for us.”

A Spiegeltent will be set up in the carpark with performances six months a year by visiting artists and community groups.

But the Circus Oz main show will continue to be held in a big top at Birrarung Marr.

Arts Minister Heidi Victoria hailed the centre, ­designed by Lovell Chen.

“This exciting project will ensure that Victoria’s reputation as a world leader in circus arts will be maintained, and Circus Oz can continue to contribute to Victoria’s cultural and community life,” she said.

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