NICA to present ‘Please Hold’

Posted on: 25/10/2017 8:10AM

Amanda Lee for the National Institute of Circus ArtsAustralia’s next generation of circus talents will be on show when the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) presents Please Hold from November 29 to December 9. Please Hold examines the social mediums that bind and isolate – from the invasive qualities of social media, to the rigid expectations of social etiquette – looking deeper into how community rules are created and challenged; and what happens when we don’t measure up to expectations.


Please Hold will showcase NICA’s final-year circus artists with high-level circus skills: from competitive hand balancing and intricately coordinated tumbling, to extreme flexibility and highly tuned acrobatics. Performers will traverse a maze of ropes, straps and poles testing their stamina and agility to the limit. Through humour and insightful observations, Please Hold will dig into the impulse that drives these young adults to shun a “normal” life and push their discipline and focus to its limit in pursuit of something out of the ordinary, something rare and exceptional.


Elite NICA performers include Nelson Smyles, who recently accepted a contract to perform hoop diving in Cirque du Soleil’s production Luzia next year; Isaac Lawry, an adagio and hand balancing expert who’s trained at renowned Shaolin Kung Fu in China; multi-talented Jessie McKibbin, winner of the Victorian Apprentice of the Year for her career in abseil painting, now specialising in roue Cyr, dance trapeze and fire manipulation; and Katie Martin, who fell in love with Chinese pole acrobatics at the age of eight (after seeing Cirque Du Soleil’s show Saltimbanco) and is currently completing her PADI Dive Master Ticket, aspiring to become a scuba diver in water-based circus shows.


Please Hold is devised and directed by the incomparable Kate Champion, who’s worked as a director, choreographer, teacher and performer for over 30 years – with art organisations including Belvoir, Sydney Theatre Company, NIDA, The English National Opera, Australian Theatre for Young People, Dance North, Vitalstatistix, Australian Dance Theatre, DV8 Physical Theatre (London) and many more. In 2011, Champion directed Not In A Million Years, which won a 2012 Helpmann Award for Best Visual or Physical Theatre Production. In 2004, she choreographed the world premiere production of Dirty Dancing, which is currently being performed in London’s West End, Europe and North America.  


Performances of Please Hold will take place at NICA National Circus Centre, Prahran. Book tickets now at


Photo: Performer Amanda Lee. Photo by Aaron Walker Photography.



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