Don’t miss this week’s State of the Art with PBS’ Arts expert, Annika Priest, talking to Zebastian Hunter about Le Sacré, the first collaboration between the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) and The Australian Ballet School (the ABS).

Le Sacré, an electrifying innovative work combining ballet and circus. Featuring 18 second year circus performers from NICA and 26 level seven ballet students from The Australian Ballet School, Le Sacré is an account of dynamism, risk, supreme athleticism and sublime technical physicality. This is a tale of superstition and sacrifice, inspired by the narrative of Nijinsky and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (1913).

The performance integrates contemporary choreographic explorations using balletic and diverse dance language with a myriad of circus acts including Skipping Ropes, Chinese Pole, Roué Cyr, Tissue, Hula Hoops, Group Acrobatics and Tightwire. Bringing together these two art forms are NICA’s Movement and Performance Coordinators, Zebastian Hunter and Meredith Kitchen with The Australian Ballet School's Artistic Teacher and Resident Choreographer, Simon Dow.

“Le Sacré draws inspiration from an old dramatic tale reimagined in contemporary glory with references from modern life drawn from electronic dance culture, fashion parades, beauty pageants and talent shows,” said Hunter.

Hunter, a performance teacher and show director at NICA, was a featured soloist with Cirque Du Soleil from 2009 – 2015, with a Master's in Directing from NIDA he has worked as an independent director creating site-specific shows, commercial works and new contemporary devised performances in circus.

NICA is Australia’s Centre of Excellence for training in contemporary circus arts, offering Australia’s only Bachelor of Circus Arts. Graduates of NICA have gone on to pursue exciting careers locally and internationally, including work with Cirque du Soleil, Circa, Circus Oz and more.

The Australian Ballet School is Australia’s national centre for elite vocational classical dance and the school of The Australian Ballet. The School’s eight level program aims to produce graduates of the highest calibre who are capable of integrating effortlessly into The Australian Ballet and top professional dance companies in Australia and around the world. The Australian Ballet School aims to develop well-balanced human beings, with a strong ethical sense, who are well fed in body, mind and spirit.

Le Sacré runs from June 14 to 23 at the NICA National Circus Centre in Prahran. Head to the NICA website for more information and to make a booking. Sacre_stateoftheart.jpg