Hot on the heels of acclaimed and award-winning seasons in 2022 at The Melba Speigeltent and at Adelaide Fringe, Australian company Na Djinang Circus’ production of Common Dissonance will have its Brisbane premiere in QPAC’s Cremorne Theatre from 22 June this year.

An intimate contemporary circus show featuring two artists, Common Dissonance uses the magic and wonder of circus to tackle challenging issues both at a relational level and those that we face as a community and society.

Na Djinang founder Harley Mann, a proud Wakka Wakka man, says that for thousands of years in Australia, understanding of the world came from dreamtime stories, song lines, and oral histories all of which are still relevant to many Australians.

“Our environment is riddled with the hypocrisies of a culturally diverse past lingering in the wake of a globalized present. Common Dissonance explores not only the harmony and discord of contemporary Australian reasoning but finds a Common Dissonance.”

Mann believes that circus is the perfect artform to tackle complex issues. “It creates a space where an audience is alert, engaged and primed to connect with the inherent trust between the artists,” he says.

“Circus is hugely vast as an artform but the style we use in Common Dissonance is really about the body and the relationship between the two artists: we get to see their strengths and their vulnerability.

“The intention for this work is to create a dialogue moving forward towards reconciliation so I felt that we needed to use a medium where we really saw two people who are both active and reliant on one another which is why the production is crafted mostly around partner acrobatics.”

Mann also took inspiration from the two very different lived experiences of the artists to bring together this idea of a ‘common dissonance’ and speaks to the notion that sometimes artistic movement can communicate when words cannot.

“The body is layered with nuance and our brains are designed to read that. When you bring circus into the mix and you see people risking their safety, trusting each other unconditionally, all of a sudden you enter this space where you are with these people,” he says.

“You trust what they are saying with their bodies and so the messaging resonates on a more primal, subconscious level.”

The Melbourne-based Na Djinang Circus is First Nations owned and operated and Mann says this means the decision-making sits in the hands of mob and as a result, the way the Company creates work is deeply tied to their cultural morals.

Na Djinang aims to create work by and for young Australians and has a passion for telling intimate and authentic stories through thrilling circus feats.

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