Developing networks and learning from each other
In the mid-1980s the Australia-China Council boosted Australian circus arts and acrobatics through a series of exchanges. The Playbox Theatre received funding to bring leading members of the renowned Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe to Albury-Wodonga for three months to train members of local troupes. In Carrillo Gantner's words, this exchange utterly transformed Australian acrobatics, circus and physical skills. It led directly to the establishment of the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne, it led to putting Circus Oz and the Flying Fruit Fly Circus on the map, changing the nature of their performance and the acts they did.
Carrillo Gantner, Founder of the Playbox Theatre and former Cultural Counsellor, Australian Embassy Beijing, tells the story.