Terje Bernadt from Tsirkusestuudio Folie (Estonia) tells us about her mobility project in Australia:
I am Terje Bernadt and I am a director of Circus Studio Folie, a circus organisation in Tallinn.
I visited Australia during Feb 15-March 1st 2016. My program was prepared by Clare Toms from NICA, the professional circus school in Melbourne.
During my stay I visited circus Oz, an Australian circus company with a long history and great fame, in their beautiful building tailored for circus performance production.
I was a guest at NICA, meeting with the director, several trainers and program leaders, visiting classes and talking to artists.
Then I spent 3 days at the Flying FruitFly circus in Albury, meeting trainers and staff members, visiting classes and learning about handstand teaching methods. And back in Melbourne I met with 2 young trainers at the Westside Circus in their brand new circus building.
I had a very big cultural shock. Australian government has recently built amazing buildings, huge, well-equipped circuses for all those institutions I visited.
The number of staff working for one school is 8-12 times bigger than we could ever afford in our country. The people are nice and free and never having any pretensions about others. It´s a happy nation living in a country which is run for its people. They seem to have plenty of resources.
The natural wonders, beautiful places in the nature and many museums are for free. As humans, citizens, Europeans we have a lot to learn from the Australians.
We took a walk in the rainforest, swam in the ocean and took pictures of koalas. We visited Yarra chocolate factory and ice-creamery, which is absolutely divine. We had a tour in Melbourne and visited the ACMI centre and museums. In Albury we visited the MAMA museum and drove to the top of Huan Hill for great views over Albury-Wodonga. Since there was 42 degrees in Albury, it was essential to spend the time left from the well air-conditioned circus school in the swimming pool.
Professionally I learned a lot and there were probably too many things I wanted to go into more deeply. I focused on handstand, since this is currently the most challenging part of my work as I am teaching the advanced group.
I saw several inspiring classes and disciplines that we could adapt in our school. I see, that actually we should continue this partnership in order to import some teaching methods in our school. It was quite educative to see motivated trainers doing their work and more. Many people spent their valuable time with me talking about their work, circus and Australia.
It was very challenging to drive in the other side of the car on the wrong side of the road.
We were lucky to have been in Melbourne during the White Night Festival. It is a major cultural event and within the program, first time this year, they had an all night long circus event going on.