Interview with Robbie Curtis, Director of Arc Circus

"At Arc we are passionate about our work reaching a wide audience, and Edinburgh Fringe is an incredibly well regarded festival showcasing some of the world's best work."

Interview with Robbie Curtis, Director of Arc Circus

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

My name is Robbie Curtis and I’m the Director of Arc Circus based on the Gold Coast in Australia. I’ve been performing internationally for over 15 years with Cirque Du Soleil, Circa, Circus Oz, Australian Ballet and more. Arc Circus has been running for the last 3 years, and it came out of a passionate pursuit to tell important stories through Circus, Dance and Theatre.

How would you describe your show?

A Bee Story is a uniquely Australian physical theatre show for children and families incorporating a kaleidoscope of circus, acrobatics, dance and live music. It tells the story of Queen Bee and Worker Bee who must work together to rebuild their hive after being destroyed by a bushfire. But things never quite go to plan

Join the bees on their buzzy adventures and be enchanted by their pollen-collecting skills, honey-making abilities, and super-bee strength. A Bee Story has themes of environmentalism, sustainability, and community spirit, and was directed by performer Robbie Curtis (Circa, Cirque du Soleil, Circus Oz, Australian Ballet), and co-created with musician and performer Lizzie McRae.

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

At Arc we are passionate about our work reaching a wide audience, and Edinburgh Fringe is an incredibly well regarded festival showcasing some of the world's best work. We have made a very physical and fun show with important environmental themes and want to share it with the awesomeness of Edinburgh Fringe and the world.

What differentiates it from other festivals?

Edinburgh Fringe brings great exposure for shows internationally. Edinburgh is such an inspiring festival, for many reasons but mainly because of the sheer quantity of work being performed at the festival. The city is incredibly buzzy, and we want to add to the buzz with A Bee Story.

What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?

My Dad first taught me to juggle when I was 8, and from there I fell in love with acrobatics and dance. My biggest inspiration entering the industry was James Thierree. When I was first exposed to his work I was amazed at the power of physical storytelling, communicating complex human philosophical ideas through acrobatics, comedy and magic.

How has your background, upbringing and education had an impact on your artistic career?
I began my artistic journey with juggling, dancing and gymnastics. The biggest impact on my work has been my dance training. It has enabled me to explore mixing physical forms, dance, acrobatics, juggling and more. 

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

Seeing Circus Oz in the small country town where I grew up under their big top. A show called The Blue Show, which was full of incredible circus. The flaming tightrope act sticks out in my memory in particular.

If you didn’t have your current job, what would you probably be doing?
BeeKeeper

Did Covid-19 change the way you create work? Do you approach shows with a different mentality now?

We used the pandemic lockdown time to make a lot of new work with our company. We wanted to use the time as productively as possible, and we did that by making 5 shows in 2 years.

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

Busy Bees

When and where can people see your show?

UnderBelly at the Edinburgh Fringe, from the 3rd - 29th of August

And where can people find, follow and like you online?


See A Bee Story at Underbelly during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 3-28 August. For more information and tickets visit www.edfringe.com or www.underbellyedinburgh.com

Header Image Credit: Provided

Author

Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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