Mr Lu takes on a new role in the International Circus Arena

Mr Lu takes on a new role in the International Circus Arena

NICA’s founding member and Head of Circus Studies for the past 15 years, Mr Guang Rong Lu OAM has taken on an exciting new position as Director (International Engagement) at NICA.

In 1999 NICA ran a pilot national training project in an un-renovated warehouse located in the Melbourne Docklands. Mr Lu saw an opportunity to integrate circus into the Australian education system and provide young people with a formal qualification, but it was not without its risks:

“It was a very unknown time. You were not sure how it would be received, but you knew that you had a very strong wish to make it happen.”

Mr Lu was the lead trainer/advisor in the pilot project which led to the establishment of NICA. During the pilot project, he delivered circus training, managed all the rigging and performed a wide-range of duties, working hard to ensure that all eight participants graduated with a Diploma of Circus Arts from Swinburne University in 2001.

Mr Lu became involved in circus at a young age in China, and graduated from the Nanjing Drama School in the early 1970s. Following this, he performed and toured worldwide with the Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe until 1987.

He was an original member of “Nanjing I” and “Nanjing II”, cultural exchange projects between Australia and Nanjing Province in China in the 1980s. Mr Lu was instrumental in influencing the circus training landscape in Australia through these projects.

Following a celebrated international career as a renowned circus performer, he settled in Australia and began a long relationship with circus arts education and training. Some major highlights of Mr Lu’s work include the creation of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus training program; designing and creating the Pole Act for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Opening Ceremony; his role as the Head of Circus Studies at NICA; and being honoured with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). Mr Lu received the OAM in 2015 for his services to the performing arts as a director, performer and aerial designer.

In 2016 NICA is embarking on a new and exciting period of growth and development. As part of this, the organisation has introduced the new position of Director (International Engagement). This position is responsible for bringing to fruition a number of projects centred around circus arts education and graduate outcomes. NICA has already established itself as a highly regarded Centre for Excellence in circus arts education and training. It is now time to further progress its international standing with the circus industry. In the new role Mr Lu will be responsible for:

Managing the alumni program, including further development of the resource base for graduates; creating opportunities for graduate placement in the international industry; and exploring the possibility of a graduate touring troupe. Creating and maintaining international relationships with circus schools and circus production companies. Assisting the younger generation of circus trainers by creating a standardised digital teaching manual.

This will be a very exciting time as NICA’s engagement with the international circus community continues to grow.

Mr Lu will continue to work closely with the new Head of Circus Studies to lead an innovative circus arts program, producing the next generation of elite circus performers.

25 Feb 2016