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Circus show: Taking their dirty laundry for another spin

Circus/Theatre show: Between the Lines

“Taking their dirty laundry for another spin”

A group of local performers are once again putting themselves on the line at BATS this February, in a show blending circus, dance and poetry. Between the Lines features a giant Hill’s Hoist, the iconic washing line found in the backyard of many NZ homes. The cast will use their circus skills on the washing line to hang, spin, dance, flip and balance, turning a childhood pastime into a visually stunning performance.

This is the show’s second outing and will differ greatly from last year’s outdoor version performed in Glover Park says the show´s creator, Tess Munro Pedreros. “This year’s version is closer to my original vision. It uses the story of a laundry cycle to explore domesticity, femininity, bodies and emotional renewal. The fact that it’s in a theatre means we can have various apparatus, so it’s a great way to combine our different aerial skills into one cohesive work.”

And cohesive is what it’s all about. The aerial apparatus are things the audience can recognise, a washing line, a swing, a sheet soaring off the line in the Wellington wind and more. The show is narrated by Wellington performance poet Genevieve Fowler, whose poetry connects the circus elements to the story. Tess describes Between the Lines as a contemporary circus show or even an aerial dance show. Contemporary circus is a growing field in New Zealand with a new dance/circus course opening up at Whitireia this year. “It’s very exciting to see shifts in theatre, dance and circus industries towards combining art forms and creating something new. I’m happy to be a part of that movement because I’m passionate about performance being something people can connect with.”

“Traditional circus is entertaining, whereas theatre is engaging. We want to bring circus into a relatable realm where audiences recognise everyday moments”, says Tess. “When the idea of a giant washing line popped into my head, I felt I had found something interesting that anyone can identify with. Almost everyone I know who grew up in New Zealand remembers swinging on a washing line as a kid, whether it was in Nana’s garden, the neighbour's backyard, or at their own home.”


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