Jesse Scott – Co-Founder – jesse@casus.com.au

Jesse Scott has grown up living and breathing circus for as long as he can remember. Having worked with companies including Legs on the Wall, A4 Circus Ensemble, Candry Stripe Circus and The Australian Opera. Training and touring for 11 years with The Flying Fruit Fly Circus as well as touring international with Circa for 3 years; Jesse has a wide range of perfected circus skills and an in-depth understanding what it is to be a circus performer. A Casus co-founder, Jesse loves that Casus “gives a human face to circus, we don’t hide anything, we make it true – this is our world.”

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Natano Faanana – Co-Founder – natano@casus.com.au

Natano Fa’anana’s unique style of performance draws inspiration from his Samoan roots, fused with acrobatics, aerials and dance.

“As Samoans we are encouraged to sing and perform our old songs and dances from the islands. At a family function, a wedding or a traditional ceremonies we sing or dance to celebrate or acknowledge that particular event. This remains part of you wherever you are and this is a driving force for my performance and creating process.”

He has achieved international recognition through his work with the award winning Polytoxic Theatre Company, as Co-creator and Performer in Briefs Factory, and in his current role as Co-founder, Creative Director of Casus Circus.

Natano is also the Director of Chasing Smoke, Australia’s first all indigenous contemporary circus show which won the Green Room Award in 2017 for Best Circus and Physical Theatre.

Independently Natano has a string of awards both as a circus performer and director. Significantly more recently winning two Matilda Awards for We Live Here, in the categories for Best Circus and Physical Theatre Show and Best Director, in conjunction with co-director Bridget Boyle.

Natano was awarded the prestigious Sidney Myer Fellowship 2019 acknowledging his contribution to Humanities through his artistic practice.

Natano was in his thirties when he pursued a career in performance. His choice to learn from individuals rather than through schools or institutions has given him the freedom to blend different styles of performance, movement and culture ultimately creating artistry unique to Natano values: accessibility, culture, quality and diversity. His commitment to campaign for greater diversity on the contemporary circus stage a driving force and well reflected in his works to date.

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Lachlan Mcaulay – Co-Founder – lachlan@casus.com.au

Lachlan McAulay never had to wonder what he would be when he was older. At the young age of 13, Lachlan joined The Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Australia’s leading youth circus, and immersed himself in every aspect of circus training. His dedication and talent for ground, aerial and ensemble work soon caught the eyes of his trainers. He spent his teenage years combining circus training with touring and performing throughout Australia and the world, an education he describes as “unique, exhilarating and very, very inspirational.” He continues his passion as a freelance performer and circus trainer before joining Circa. Lachlan is a “jack of all trades” in the circus world and is a highly skilled rigger, a ropes technician and prop maker.

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Kali Retallack – Ensemble member

Kali Retallack began training in circus with The Flying Fruit Fly Circus when she was a teenager. Kali went on to perform in Helpmann award winning Smoke and Mirrors, opened Emporium for Bas Lurmann, formed her own company A4 Circus Ensemble and has toured the world with companies such as Strange fruit and Acrobaitca. Kali’s passion for creating circus that fuses movement and skills in a beautiful and honest way that transcends any barriers between performers and audience there is no wonder why she is a perfect fit with the Casus Company.

Phoebe Carlson – Ensemble member

Phoebe began her performance journey in the South of Western Australia, where she developed her love of theatre, dance and circus. In 2011 this took her to the National Institute of Circus Arts, where she specialised in corde lisse, hula hoops and acrobatics.

Phoebe explored the independent circus scene as a co-creator and performer in Madhouse Circus, with whom she performed 5 seasons around Australia. She then went on to work with After Dark Theatre on the show “The Barbaroi”. In 2015, she also toured with contemporary circus company “Circa”.

She is enthused by toying the limits of the human body, how different bodies move together and what meanings an audience take from these interactions. As well as the links between different art forms and how they can be intertwined to tell a story or send a message.

Mayu Muto – Ensemble member

Mayu is a circus and physical theatre performer with a strong background in Ballet and Contemporary Dance. She specialises in creating conceptual circus/physical theatre work using unconventional aerial apparatuses, and she is particularly passionate about creating work that derives from ideas and concepts. As a culturally diverse artist, she often investigates and creates work that is relevant to her cultural identity as a Japanese woman. She loves collaborating with artists from across various art forms and actively attends theatre workshops and improvisation workshops for a broader understanding in creative process and in performing.

Johnathon Brown – Ensemble member

Johnathon Brown – Company member

Johnathon Brown or Johnny, is a proud Anawin man from Armidale, NSW in the New England region. He first started dancing when he was three years old with his family in his home town. Johnny earned his Diploma in Dance 2016 at NAISDA, (The National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association Dance College) where he majored in jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, Indigenous contemporary, and cultural dance. Shortly after graduating Johnny performed in works Silver City, Kamu, Circle of Cultures and in South Koreas, Seoul Friendship Fair.

Johnny has a passion to challenge himself no matter how difficult or dangerous it is. This was proven when he joined Casus Circus having only graduated from NAISDA several months earlier. Having no conventional circus training Johnny quickly learned and excelled in this field borrowing from his formal and cultural dance training and adapting into the contemporary circus genre, in affect creating a style of circus unique to Johnny.

Pearl Thompson – Ensemble member 

Pearl is a proud Aboriginal woman. From an early age she always wanted to perform. She attended the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA) from 2010 to 2014 and graduated with a Certificate III & IV in Diploma in Performing Arts. Pearl has performed at leading venues including The Sydney Opera House, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane Powerhouse, Darwin Entertainment Centre, and the Judith Wright Centre for The Contemporary Arts.

As an independent artist, Pearl has explored different art forms and has recently fell in love with circus after completing the BLAKflip program with Circus Oz as well as the company’s Strong Women Program. Chasing Smoke is Pearls’ first circus show and she hopes to continue various artistic pursuits including exploring circus and creating new works by combining her knowledge of dance and theatre with circus.

Sarah McDougall – Ensemble member

Originally a volleyballer, Sarah ventured into the circus world seeking only a backsault for use in punctuating winning points! As she discovered the exciting things circus offered, the game soon slipped away and circus took hold. Her first steps into this world were through tumbling, manipulation and aerial, all of which she fell in love with, along with a taste for the hilarious and the absurd! Amusingly, despite being scared of heights, aerial work fast became her passion and she graduated from the National Institute of Circus Arts, where she specialised in Single Point Trapeze, Aerial Chains and Hula Hoops.

Shannon Vitali – Ensemble member

From a young age, Shannon Vitali dreamt of being on the stage. At fourteen, she began dancing at the Graham Academy of Dance in Far North Queensland, Australia. In 2010 she pursued a Bachelor of Circus Arts degree at the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) in Melbourne. Her passion for circus developed in her first year of NICA, where she specialised in contortion, Adagio (partner work), Risley (Human Foot Juggling) and Aerial Acrobatics.

Since graduating NICA in 2012, Shannon has been performing professionally in the circus industry. She has performed for corporate functions, cruise ships and for world renowned circus companies, such as Circa. She is now currently touring with Casus.

Harley Mann – Ensemble member

Harley Mann is a Waka Waka man from Melbourne Victoria. He has been in and amongst the circus community for the past 15 years working as a student, trainer, performer and director. As a performer he specializes in aerial Corde Lisse and is still pursuing this discipline at the National Institue of Circus Arts as he studies his Bachelor. Harley has been performing casually for corporate functions and has also worked in productions including Insomni_Air and Chasing Smoke.

In 2017 Harley developed his own independent circus company Na Djinang Circus and directed their highly successful first show Social Staples. 

Ally Humphris – Ensemble member

Ally Humphris is a proud Wakka Wakka woman with a strong commitment and connection to her Aboriginal culture. Ally has studied dance and fitness with professional experience as a circus performer. As a student at the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts Brisbane, she was part of the Opening Ceremony of the 2013 Clancestry festival at the Queensland Performing Arts Complex. It was also in 2013 that Ally joined the Blakfip program at Circus Oz.  Ally has performed in the Brisbane Festival Opening Ceremony and in 2014 she was part of an all Indigenous ensemble in Corked Up at the Melba Spiegeltent. In 2017, as part of Blakflip, she had the honour of being in the cast of Chasing Smoke which she now continues with Casus Circus.

Lara Croydon – Ensemble member

Lara Croydon is a proud Gudjala Kabulba woman and an emerging circus performer from Brisbane. She began her circus career at Vulcana Womens Circus in 2013 and has since trained with Circa Contemporary Circus and Circus Oz. Lara participated in the BLAKflip program with Circus Oz from 2015-2017.

In 2015 Lara founded her independent production company PlayOn Productions. This company’s focus is twofold; to produce their own high quality circus performances and to support artists in the production and staging of new independent work.

Her credits include: Performing: Chasing Smoke (Yirramboi Festival 2017, Mullum Circus Festival 2017), NAKED (2high Festival 2016), Playgound Project (Bleack Festival 2016), CabaretRED (Woodford Folk Festival 2015), Learning to Love Gravity (Anywhere Festival 2015), Small Change (Wonderland Festival 2014), Directing: Tree of Dreams (Woodford Folk Festival 2017), Caution: Wet Floor (2High Festival 2015).

Dylan Singh – Ensemble member

Dylan has lived a life surrounded by circus. His mother, Tanya Lester introduced him to circus at a young age as she was a performer with the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Australias premiere Youth Circus. After leaving the Fruities, Tanya went on to be a performer for Circus Oz amongst other companies of which Dylan would travel.

Growing up Dylan trained alongside his mum, as well as doing gymnastics. Dylan and his mother performed together both on stage and as street performers busking throughout Australia. In addition to being a performer in Casus’ Chasing Smoke Dylan is also an ensemble member of Circus Oz having recently performed in Precarious.

Cluster Arts – General Management

Cluster Arts works with extraordinary artists to bring their work to the stage. We provide essential backend services to small to medium performing arts companies and independent Artists. With a passion for discovering and supporting unforgettable work, we are a networking and advocacy leader for Artists in Australia.