INTERVIEW: 360 ALLSTARS CIRCLE BACK TO ADELAIDE FRINGE

360 Allstars is a hugely popular Adelaide Fringe favourite boasting a powerful physical performance exploring all forms of rotation.

Connecting street with elite, the show features the two time world champion BMX Flatlander, world champion breakdancers, a cyr wheel world record holder and a world class basketball freestyler all ready to amaze and amuse.

Founder and Creative Director Gene Peterson says the show is a reinvention of the circus with a different spin.

“We’re replacing traditional stereotypical circus art forms with contemporary street style. Instead of acrobats we have break-dancers, instead of a juggler we have a basketball freestyler, instead of a unicyclist we have a BMX flat-lander and so on. So all of these traditional stereotypical circus art forms have been replaced by urban contemporary street styles, almost like a hip hop circus, if you will,” he says.

With a line up of impressive performers ready to stun and surprise audiences, Gene says the cast came together through his desire to show off the best in the business.

“It was a really interesting process, actually, because part of the process of creating the show was about trying to remove those parameters that you would normally work within when you’re creating a body of work that’s purely dictated by budget or timeframes or any other sort of logistical constraints. So with this one I really wanted to just let my mind go free like a kid in a candy store and think without any of those limitations,” he says.

“That was where I guess the ideas for all these art forms came about. It was: ‘What’s awesome? BMX flat landing, that’s awesome. Basketball free styling, that’s awesome. Break dancing, that’s awesome.’ Then with the artists, removing those limitations it was: rather than, who do I know that does this? Instead it was: Who’s the best in the world?” he says.

And while the line up is made up of male performers, Gene says he is keen to cast women in the show (so get in touch if you are a woman with mad skills!).

“That’s not an intentional thing, in fact it’s a very unintentional thing and it’s something we really want to resolve. That’s not the message we want to be sending to young people: that you have to be a boy to be an all-star. Some of these art forms lends themselves to being a male purely just because of the nature in that the world champion BMX rider is a guy, same for the basketball freestylers, I mean there’s only a handful that can do what our basketball freestyler does in the world full stop and they are all guys at this point, which is a shame, it would be great if that wasn’t the case,” he says.

“But then certainly there’s some art forms in the show where it would be really, really wonderful to have a girl, like a kick-ass b-girl or vocalist, drummer as well, there’s some awesome chick drummers. Although I’ll be out of work if I cast a female drummer! We tried a couple of times when we’ve changed cast members to get a girl in and make sure that we aren’t sending the message that boys are doing these cool things and girls aren’t. We’re always on the lookout, but at the moment also we are loyal to our artists, I’m not going to kick anyone out just because of their gender. So the next time we’re re-casting any particular role, it’s on the top of my list and has been the last two times we’ve had to recast.”

Playing at Gluttony, 360 Allstars is around for the bulk of the Adelaide Fringe Festival and Gene says he loves coming here to live, hang out and put on a great show.

“I love Fringe, I think that’s my favourite festival of the whole year. We tour 10 months of the year and I look forward to Adelaide Fringe every year, it’s like the beauty of Edinburgh Fringe with good weather. So normally when you’re touring through theatres and festivals, you’re chasing your friends around the world. You’re on a similar circuit but never at the same place at the same time but then when Fringe comes around, all of the artists are all in town, all at once. For a full month you get to live like normal humans and find a local place to hang out and do grocery shopping and cook in your apartment rather than just bouncing in and out of hotel rooms,” he says.

“It’s nicer from a lifestyle perspective, it’s great from an arts perspective because you can go and see everyone else’s work, get inspired and see what new shows have been created and meet new artists. Then from a performance perspective it’s just great to be in the one place and build on that word of mouth and have the audiences spreading and growing, and share what you do with people, not just for one night but for a whole month. So it’s a wonderful environment.”

You can catch 360 Allstars at Gluttony. Grab your tickets HERE.

By Libby Parker

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