Circa’s Sacre Brings Contemporary Circus to Vancouver

Circa, the internationally renowned contemporary circus company from Australia, comes to Vancouver January 17 to 21 with the Canadian premier Sacre at the Vancouver Playhouse. The work is a reimagining of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring that combines elements of ballet and acrobatics into a visceral, multidisciplinary performance.

Presented by DanceHouse and The Cultch, Sacre is directed by Yaron Lifshitz, Circa’s Artistic Director and CEO. The performance features ten acrobats that move through a sequence of high-energy, technically complex athletic feats set to fast-paced musical score by Philippe Bachman, with accompanying lighting design by Veronique Benett.

Sacre - Director Yaron Lifschitz. Photo by Jessica Connell.
Sacre – Director Yaron Lifschitz. Photo by Jessica Connell.

Lifshitz has taken Stravinsky’s famous composition, which caused a scandal when it premiered in Paris in 1913, and reinvented it for a contemporary audience. The performance explores humanity’s relationship with the self and the divine. Human interconnectivity, desire, and relationships take center stage.

“This is a work of powerful juxtapositions, blending the sacred with the profane; the ethereal with the visceral,” said Jim Smith, Artistic and Executive Director of DanceHouse, in a statement. “On one level, Sacre is a work of mesmerizing beauty, drawing on the lyrical movement of contemporary dance and the intense physicality of the circus arts. At the same time, the work offers a raw and bracing social commentary, drawing upon the ancient pagan traditions referenced within Stravinsky’s transgressive work – in which a virginal young woman dances herself to death. This offers an intriguing and gritty contrast to the pure spectacle of the performance, and invites reflection on the nature of humanity’s responsibility toward one another in a world on the brink of disaster.”

Sacre - Photo by Pedro Greig
Sacre – Photo by Pedro Greig

Since its premier in Australia in 2021, Sacre has been praised for its precision, as well as the speed and dexterity of the performers. Circa has performed world-wide in more than 40 countries, and the company has been featured at major festivals and venues including Brooklyn Academy of Music, Les Nuits de Fourvière, and the Chamäleon Theater in Berlin.

Canadian audiences won’t want to pass up this chance to see one of the leading contemporary circus arts companies perform live.


Don’t miss out! Sacre runs January 17 to 21 at the Vancouver Playhouse. Tickets are available through the DanceHouse box office here.



About Shannon Page 15 Articles
Shannon Page (they/she) is a writer, film critic, educator, and digital storyteller who has been teaching and writing about literature, movies, and popular culture for almost a decade. Their reviews, articles, essays, and short fiction have appeared in various online and print publications including, Filmotomy, Grain magazine, and Plenitude.