Tuesday 19 October 2021

Na Djinang Circus' Harley Mann on circus, culture and Common Dissonance

In 2017, Harley Mann founded Na Djinang Circus, a First Nations led circus company that has quickly made a name for itself for creating work that challenge ideas about contemporary Australian society. With three shows under its belt, Melbourne audiences will be treated to an encore season of one of its works, Common Dissonance, which highlights the struggle between traditional and modern modes of reasoning.

"We previously premiered the show as part of the Circus Oz SideSault Festival in 2019 and it went way better than we could have hoped," Mann recalls. "It was a work that was a bit experimental and different to what we had seen previously so we weren’t sure how people would react. Unfortunately, Covid put a stop to all our momentum and plans for 2020 and 2021 and so this is actually the first time we have had the chance to remount the work. Common Dissonance is deeply related to the artist and how they relate to their cultural identity, so every show is different, and I don’t mean from season to season, but I mean show to show. Of course, the structure and the choreography is the same for safety but the heart of the work comes from us and who we are as people. After two years of craziness, great times, horrible times and a complete shift in our understanding of the importance of art, this season will be a new representation of who we are now."