Image: Kate Disher-Quill

Women's Circus


Women’s Circus is a deeply interconnected and cohesive creative community in Melbourne’s West. For over 30 years we have created an inclusive space for those of a marginalised gender to connect, to develop self-confidence and ultimately find a community that positively transforms their lives.

Since 1991, Women’s Circus has made over 35 shows, performed to audiences of over 50,000 people, partnered on over 300 community projects, delivered thousands of circus workshops, employed hundreds of artists and trained thousands in circus and performance, using its model of intersectional feminism and community cultural development practice.

Women’s Circus has embedded access and inclusion deeply within the fabric of our organisation. Building on years of programs working with d/Deaf and Disabled artists and ensuring access and inclusion, 2020 saw the creation of an Inclusive Ensemble. The ensemble’s creative enquiry is grounded in the principles of aesthetic access and collaborative models of art making exemplified by Weave Movement Theatre, Back to Back, Rawcus, and the UK’s renowned Extraordinary Bodies.

The eight members of the Inclusive Ensemble embody diverse identities, perspectives and experiences and come from practices spanning circus, dance and theatre. Members identify as being first generation Australians, mothers, Disabled, Deaf, aging, early career, queer, gender diverse, and this makes both the ensemble itself and the work they create so artistically and culturally rich. The ensemble is supported by a creative team, childcare workers, support workers and all the Women’s Circus staff.


Momentum is the inaugural work of the Women’s Circus Inclusive Ensemble. Unusually, it can be performed in two very different modes: as a large scale outdoor site-specific spectacle, or an indoor black box immersive theatre performance. Both versions place accessibility for artists and audience members at the centre of the work.

The work explores how a simple shift can initiate momentum, an energy, revealing connection between all of us and the power we all possess to create change. Momentum invites the audience to take a journey, experiencing moments of connectedness, change and possibility. It takes place over 60-70 minutes, and either version sees audience members travel between performance zones, taking in the work around and above them.

It’s funny, poignant and awe-inspiring. The work features a range of circus disciplines such as walking globe, hand balancing, Chinese pole, aerial cube, aerial harness work, aerial wheelchair, aerial tissu and wall running as well as dance and spoken word. The work is amplified by a binaural soundscape created by Sharyn Brand and lighting design by Bronwyn Pringle.

Each season of the work carefully considers audience accessibility and the community in which the work is being performed.

Momentum has completed a sold-out season (as a site-specific work) in 2022 at Alter State Festival at Arts Centre Melbourne and performed indoors at The Bowery Theatre in St Albans. The work requires bold and committed presenting partners who want to push beyond traditional theatre practices, and can meet the challenge of creating an environment of care and accessibility at all stages of the partnership. This work is extremely rewarding and will impact both audiences and presenters far beyond the performance season.