Kali Retallack (Downpour) Q & A
By Crimson Cookie
with Kali Retallack - Hula Girl
CC: Being a newly developed circus troupe, was it difficult to break away from Flying Fruit Fly Circus and form your own group – A4 Circus Ensemble?
KR: Personally for me it wasn't too difficult as i had been out of fruit flies for 5 years already and had done some other work already, but we all still have the association with the Fruit Flies, but i think that is a great thing, as it means we have had lots of great training and performance experience that is pretty well respected in the industry.
CC: With so many amazing and talented circus performers out there, does it feel overwhelming at times when creating performances that need be more theatrical and more thrilling then the competition?
KR: Yes it can always be overwhelming to put together something when there is so many other great shows out there, but in the end it is more important to stay true to your artistic intentions and make a show that reflects who you are and the skills you have and hopefully that translates to a show that audiences can relate to and enjoy watching.
CC: What inspired you to create a performance based on Dostoevsky’s ‘White Nights’? Did any of you feel a personal connection to the story?
KR: For me White Knights had a lot of themes and stories within it that people can relate to, in terms of love, relationships and the fact that no matter how hard you try, sometimes life just 'rains' on you when you least expect it.
CC: Your physical performance skills are extraordinary, I’m sure fans are dying to know how long does it take to perfect certain acts?
KR: I think most acts take a very long time to perfect, and there is always something different to work on or a new trick to learn. For me, I started to learn hula hoops a year ago and still have so much to learn, as it takes lots of repetition just to perfect one trick, which can prove pretty testing sometimes.
CC: What does it take to endure such physical performances? Is there psychological training as well as the physical?
KR: It’s definitely a combination of enough physical training and also feeling relaxed and confident enough onstage to not throw yourself off your skills. Having enough rehearsal time is also important, so you can orient yourself to the stage and be sure of all your cues etc.
CC: What is the next move for A4 Circus Ensemble?
KR: Adelaide Fringe and also a regional tour next year as well, which is very exiting!
CC: Have any of you suffered an injury as a result of your training and/or performances
KR: Lots of bruises, scrapes, burns, tendonitis and shin splints, but I've been lucky enough to not suffer any major injury!
CC: Any advise that you can give to aspiring circus/theatrical performers?
KR: Work hard, watch and do things that inspire you and put something of yourself into every act/piece you do!