Head over Heels Head over Heels CREDIT: KM Photography

NICA excited to host CPIT CircoArts students

Thursday 7 April 2011, 10:39AM


Nine Christchurch CPIT CircoArts students will head to Melbourne’s National Institute of Circus Arts tomorrow to complete their circus training for 2011.

CPIT’s CircoArts training facility was damaged during the February aftershock, the result of which meant the institute had to find an alternative training venue for its Year 2 CircoArts students.

Dr. Jane Gregg, CPIT’s Dean of the Faculty of Creative Industries, said Melbourne’s prestigious National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA), part of Swinburne University, had been incredibly generous in reaching out a hand to CPIT’s CircoArts school, the only Circus school in New Zealand, to assist CPIT.

“Circus teaching and learning is highly specialised and highly site-specific. Without this offer of help from the Circus family in Australia, CPIT's continuing circus students would have had no options or alternatives this year,” said Gregg.

“CPIT has worked tirelessly with TEC and StudyLink to ensure that these students will be able to continue their learning. The students themselves have also been patient in waiting to make sure this works well for them.”

Renowned for producing artists who are employed all over the world, including in the well-known Cirque de Soleil, the NICA’s extensive facilities and staff will enable the CPIT students to extend their circus and performance skills in an elite, stimulating environment.

CPIT Head of Performing Arts Tom Rainey says the training at Melbourne’s NICA will be similar to that provided at CPIT.

“The curriculum at NICA will not differ enormously from what they have been studying in Christchurch, with much the same mix of circus skills, body training, practical performance and industry courses on offer,” he said.

“They will also benefit enormously from being able to access, and be immersed in, the Melbourne arts scene for the next nine months.”

Rainey said the focus on circus skills training will be a little more intense, under the watchful eye of CPIT tutor and trainer, Stanislav Shchukin, whose son Ludwig teaches at the Melbourne institute.

“The students are very excited about this opportunity, and we know they will make the best of the experience of studying at one of the world’s finest circus schools” he said.

The students will return to CPIT in 2012 to complete their final year of CPIT's new Bachelor of Performing Arts (Circus Arts and Physical Theatre) programme.