Article: On the Flipside by The Courier Mail

“Life’s possibilities are endless if you challenge yourself and a circus can provide that fun environment” Michelle Collins – Courier Mail

Don’t run away to the circus, sign up to a class or workshop at Flipside Circus instead. Flipside Circus is the state’s largest youth circus and juggles a busy schedule of after school and school classes for different ages levels starting at 18 months and holiday programs, from its headquarters in Mina Parade, Alderley.

The aim of the organisation is to encourage “safe risk taking, hard work, showing off, laughter, building trust and valuing dreams and aspirations”.

It’s also a training ground for aspiring big top performers – each year around two of its proteges go on to other circus schools and training programs after they graduate Year 12. And the next professional circus performers might be in the cast of Flipside’s latest production, Pretty, Pretty Please? On today and tomorrow at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

The show, which looks at the secrets and tactics kids use to get what they want, was developed and choreographed by the young performers aged eight to 17 years in collaboration with director Alyssa Venning and lead trainer Aliya Abisheva.

Work began with a week-long development course earlier in the year and since then the jugglers, acrobats and clowns have been training three times a week.

Flipside Chief Executive Officer William Pike says the show’s professionalism attracts and audience that reaches well beyond the young starts’ family members. “The key to the success of our shows is general, and this show in particular, is that the kids work with director Alyssa and lead trainer Aliya and they create it themselves,” he says.

“It is a totally collaborative experience for them and it produces work that is authentic and powerful.”

“We firmly believe that children, and work created by children, needs to be seen on the main stage.” Flipside started in [1998] when two circus trainers and their families would meet on the banks of the Brisbane River in Davis Park, West End. In 2003, it moved to the Brisbane Powerhouse and six years ago moved again to its current home.

It’s growth shows that circus is not a passing trend and Flipside also offers classes for adults, including its own version of the boot camp – The hoot camp.

“The popularity of circus is that anyone can do it, “William says. “It is a perfect blend between physical ability and aesthetic engagement.”

On the physical side it improves strength and flexibility but also challenges dexterity, co-ordination and timing.

“For example, juggling is considered the best activity to improve the neuroplasticity of the brain. “William says. “But it is not just about being physical it is also about working with others to make and create.

“You put that in the mix and people are just drawn to it.”

Flipside’s motto is Unthink the Impossible.

“To me that means what possibilities are available to you if you put yourself with risks,” he said.

“Because it is a risky endeavour both in a physical sense and a psychological sense.”