Ross is passionate about working with groups and communities, amateur and professional artists, to create large-scale spectacle-theatre that is ritualistic and transformative, that deals with the big themes; light and dark, love and loss, sorrow and joy. He likes to use whatever skills he can find amongst participants to tell stories that reflect them and their communities in some way. Past productions have used circus, projection, live music, pyrotechnics, dance, lavish sound, lighting and design to convey mythic or historical narratives. He has a regular team of artists that he loves to work with, but is always interested in new collaborations with enthusiastic people.
Sad and joyful, funny and spectacular, sentimental and uplifting, Ageless will combine the talents of the Sliders Youth Circus, St Pats Community Choir, and the Perth Discovery Singers. Highly skilled circus acts by WA’s most talented young acrobats and aerialists, to the haunting and uplifting sound of multiple voices of all ages singing popular songs about age and youth.
The Martyrdom of Hypatia and the Destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria
In November 2016, fourteen of Perth’s most accomplished artists came together to develop a blueprint for the largest theatre work ever created by Western Australians.
Hypatia will be a large-scale outdoor spectacle-theatre work, telling the true story of Hypatia, 4th century philosopher and mathematician, her life and work researching and teaching at the greatest library the world had ever seen, her death at the hands of religious fanatics, and the subsequent burning of the library: events that plunged the world into a dark age that would last a thousand years.
The event will be free to the public, performed 3 times, and will incorporate circus, theatrical fireworks, aerial acts, narrative, live music, projection, lavish sound, and lighting. It will involve more than 50 participants, including aerialists, acrobats, a choir, a youth dance company, and a core team of professional performers.
The venue will be the terraces of the south-facing roof of the Alexander Library, utilising the long, windowless, flat vertical surfaces for abseiling, the very top of the roof, the inside spaces (which, highlighted with the right lighting, can be seen from outside), the undercroft for aerial acts, and the marble surfaces above the windows for projection.
This video shows a fraction of the material developed during that process; some imagery projection-mapped for the building, some relevant images from the teams’ previous work, and some choreographic experiments on the building, all to music created and recorded for the show. The process also produced a storyboard of the narrative, a rigging design, and a complete creative, logistical and financial plan for the production, due to be presented in 2020.
The story of Hypatia and Alexandria reads like myth, reverberating with themes that are now more current than ever: the struggle between tolerance and xenophobia, between knowledge and superstition, and the destruction of a great building by religious fanatics. The story will be presented with whimsy, magic, and hope, to appeal to all ages, with an overall theme of the importance to humankind of knowledge in general, and libraries in particular.
The core creative team are;
Ross Vegas: Writer / Director
Roly Skender: Projection Design
Jacob McGrath: Rigging Designer
Sophie McGrath: Assistant Rigger
Nicole Warren: Production Manager
Steve Richter: Musical Director
Phil Thompson: Mentor
Finn O’branagain: Dramaturg
Dawn Pascoe: Aerial Choreographer
Gabrielle Mazalevskis: Fireworks Designer
Chris Donnelly: Lighting Designer
George Nikoloudis: Sound Designer
Nathan Kell: Acrobatics / Fight Choreographer
Judy Hendrikse: Dance Choreographer
The Enlighten Festival Canberra (Where spectacle theatre and projection is presented around the Parliamentary Triangle) has expressed an interest in hosting a second season of Hypatia, to be performed on the National Library of Australia.
The development was made possible the assistance of the Government of Western Australia through the Department for Culture and the Arts, the State Library of Western Australia, and the State Theatre Centre of WA.
High Visibility with the Sliderz Youth Circus
Notify the site’s health-and-danger officer, because Sliders Youth Circus have a new show, constructed before your eyes, from spectacular acrobatics, skilful hula-hoops, beautiful aerial silks, and other hazardous materials. No induction is required to enjoy this industrial-strength circus fun for the whole family.
CirquePop with the Sliderz Youth Circus
Merging explosive pop-glam, muscular manipulations and social commentary, WA’s premiere youth circus troupe ‘Sliders’ deliver their most challenging and exciting performance yet. Woven with acrobatics, trapeze, hip-hop, live music, and comedic mayhem, this fresh new performance will challenge stereotypes and celebrate vibrant youth culture. Come and be charmed by some of WA’s most promising emerging circus artists as they demonstrate skills far beyond their years. This show is for the whole family and not to be missed by lovers of fun.
Trick of the Light
In 2010, the students at CircusWA put on a show at the Fremantle Arts Centre, based on the history of the 19th Century building; former Asylum for the Criminally Insane, WW2 American Naval Base, and turn-of-the-century Maternity Hospital. This is the true story of the horrors they uncovered…