What comes to your mind when you hear the term “Model Citizen”?
Personally, my mind goes straight to heavily tattooed aerial acrobats, violin playing tightrope walkers, and demonic bovine women cackling over flaming BBQs.
No I'm not tweaking. I've just been to the new show from Circus Oz, Model Citizen, as part of the Sydney Festival 2018.
Depending on your perspective, the term “Model Citizen” may bring to mind an Orwellian nightmare ie. crushing of creativity by societal norms, and the flushing away of personal freedom by the relentless tide of a capitalist economy.
Or “Model Citizen” might simply conjure for you image of someone whom always puts their trash in an appropriate vessel, volunteers at the local surf club and never ever engages in criminal activity (pinkie promise).
Circus Oz humorously and skillfully explore all of these assumptions; encouraging a passé term to be looked at with a fresh perspective. Circus Oz then take the extra step that all powerful works of art do; it asks you to imagine what a “Model Citizen” could and should be, and moves you to action. Historically, Circus shows are about entertaining, even distracting, the Masses. This circus show conversely, intends to activate them.
Model Citizen is a cacophony of boundary blurring and mould breaking, with even a little gender bending for good measure. Live music is used unconventionally and magnificently; Musicians tumble, aerialists sing. The show is a two hour testament that that you don't need to let a predetermined box or stereotype determine your performance or contribution. Even its Visionary Director Rob Tannion, helps moves props between acts.
It left a real impression on me.
Photo: @miss_furi being impressed upon at Circus Oz' Model Citizen.
As I left the Circus Oz big top, I remarked at all this. It struck me how programmed we must all be to accept barriers to our own expression and contribution everyday that are probably as artificial and man made as political lines drawn on a map.
If you let it, Model Citizen dares you to rethink your acceptance of being fenced in; be it by the white picked variety or otherwise. It nudges you to take a closer look at the walls we build as individuals and as societies...Why not try seeing past some? Heck maybe even tear the odd one down.
Get tickets to "Model Citizen" it in Parramatta until January 28th as part of the Sydney Festival 2018.