Image: Annie Fitzer

Na Djinang Circus

Of The Land On Which We Meet

Na Djinang Circus is a self-determined First Nations-led circus company. We create bold work that is centred around the stories, ideas and opinions of young First Nations people. Our work is carved from an Indigenous perspective of fundamental human characteristics, and draws on tools from contemporary dance and physical theatre to create striking visual metaphors. We predominantly use group acrobatics and choreography that highlights the body in search of a deeper understanding of humanity.

Na Djinang Circus is made up of a range of First Nations and non-First Nations creatives, striving to create powerful stories from the heart of Naarm, Melbourne. Founded in 2017, Na Djinang Circus is built of the trust, connection, vulnerability, and joy of our mob.

Na Djinang Circus has created a variety of works presented at festivals around Australia. Our highly successful work Common Dissonance was nominated for a Green Room Award for Best Circus 2020 and made its international debut at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2022. In 2021, we premiered a sold-out season of Arterial as a part of YIRRAMBOI Festival and won a Green Room Award for the Contemporary & Experimental Performance – Physical Performance category.

Alongside platforming contemporary circus from the unique point of view of First Nations artists, Na Djinang Circus actively provides an entry point into the Melbourne’s creative community for First Nations artists with our commitment to providing pathways, training, and employment for First Nations peoples through our artist development program Making Tracks.


Building on the success of Na Djinang’s previous works, Of The Land On Which We Meet is a contemporary circus work which intends to challenge the audience’s understanding of Acknowledging Country, shifting the gaze away from the performative colonial aspect to instead embracing the different ways we can all acknowledge and be connected to place.

The cast consists of three magnetic circus artists with diverse and complex relationships to the land they live on, the land they ‘came from’, and the lands of their ancestors. Written and directed by Wakka Wakka man, Harley Mann, Of The Land On Which We Meet experiments with the western understanding of time, challenging circus form and presentational structure through traverse staging, acrobatic rhythm and technique and a mixture or mediums including spoken word. The artists from three distinctive ancestries of Australians (First Nations, Colonial and Migrant) untangle their relationships across both time and place, as the movement of people is tracked through generations of human history.

Set on a piece of Country that has been dislodged from time, the three narratives overlap and connect in a single place. They recount anecdotes from their lives that create a collage of how people connect to Country. The work concludes with the artist breaking the fourth wall, with an explanation or the importance of Acknowledging Country.

Of The Land On Which We Meet is a 70-minute ground-based performance, designed to be performed from the Sydney Opera House to Auntie’s house: it meets audiences where they are, and welcomes them in. Na Djinang Circus is at the forefront of Circus and First Nations storytelling in Australia, and Of The Land On Which We Meet is another example of the creative excellence that can be achieved by colliding thrilling acrobatics with the world’s oldest living Culture.

Harley Mann