Acquired Taste, 2018

Circus WOW has its very own choir, the first dedicated circus choir in Australia. The choir is facilitated by Kim Irwin and Helen Richards, who with their different strengths have created a choir like no other. First formed in 2018 as the brainchild of Fiona McKay and Gabrielle Quigley, the intention was to create a class that was accessible to more women in the community, with a particular focus on those who for various reasons could not participate in the more physical aspects of Circus WOW.

A strong, diverse core of women soon joined the choir, seeing these sessions blossom into one of WOW’s largest ongoing classes. Experience with singing or perceived ability to sing is not a requirement to participate, as the group supports a wide range of vocal expertise. Sessions include a variety of circus play and warm-ups designed to promote creativity and increase confidence. Arrangements of our songs are developed via improvisation and collaboration, and each week we choose a new song to explore and make our own, usually with hilarious but often poignant results.

While performance is not our sole objective, our first performance was at Portraits of WOW in 2018 just 3 months after forming. In 2019, we opened Libby Bloxham and Kim Irwin’s joint art exhibition to a very full house! Later, we supported the performance class in the delivery of No Planet B at the opening of the EcoArts Australis national conference.

Circus WOW is about nurturing women and celebrating creative potential, and Acquired Taste holds these values at its core. The many benefits of group singing include tension release, social connection, and increased confidence and mental alertness. Sadly, the pandemic has paused our classes for now, but we look forward to meeting again soon.

Helen Richards and Kim Irwin

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