Australian Circus Group Returns to GIAF With Backbone, A High-Octane Exploration of Human Strength

11 April 2018

Galway International Arts Festival is delighted to announce that the sensational circus​ ​and p​hysical​ theatre group Gravity & Other Myths will return to the Galway International Arts Festival in 2018 with their critically acclaimed new show Backbone.


With jaw-dropping virtuosity and extraordinarily disciplined teamwork and choreography, Backbone is utterly charming, contagiously joyful, and a thrilling high-octane exploration of human strength.

In just a short few years, Adelaide’s acrobatic sensations have rocketed to stellar acclaim with a series of disarmingly accomplished and daring ensemble work, which has taken contemporary circus to a whole new level.

Backbone examines​ ​the​ ​various​ ​perceptions​ ​of​ ​what​ ​strength​ ​is,​ ​where​ ​it comes​ ​from​ ​and​ ​how​ ​it​ ​is​ ​measured.

This​ ​frenetic​ ​celebration​ ​of​ ​human interconnectedness​ ​will​ ​test​ ​the​ ​limits​ ​of​ ​strength:​ ​physical,​ ​emotional, individual​ ​and​ ​collective.

It​ ​is​ ​set​ ​in​ ​the​ ​here​ ​and​ ​now, with the artists ​on​ ​stage in front of the audience.

Gravity & Other Myths

Gravity & Other Myths (GOM) is an internationally renowned circus company pushing the boundaries of contemporary circus.

Formed in Adelaide, Australia in 2009, they have received international acclaim with a series of disarmingly accomplished ensemble works. Their work utilises an honest approach to performance, to create shows with a focus on human connection and acrobatic virtuosity.

GOM’s show A Simple Space, which was presented at Galway International Arts Festival in 2016, achieved huge international success, receiving multiple awards, and having performed more than 500 times, at​ ​76​ ​festivals ​across 24 countries.

Backbone, their follow-up show created in 2017, has already been nominated for multiple awards, had stellar reviews, and toured to festivals internationally.

Galway International Arts Festival would like to acknowledge the support of its principal funding agencies the Arts Council and Fáilte Ireland, its Festival Partner Ulster Bank and Education Partner NUI Galway.

Backbone​ ​has​ ​been​ ​assisted​ ​by​ ​the​ ​Australian​ ​Government’s​ ​Major Festivals​ ​Initiative​ ​in​ ​association​ ​with​ ​the​ ​Confederation​ ​of​ ​Australian International​ ​Arts​ ​Festivals​ ​Inc.,​ ​Commissioned​ ​by​ ​Adelaide​ ​Festival​ ​and Sydney​ ​Festival,​ ​co-produced​ ​by​ ​Melbourne​ ​Festival.

Backbone will run at the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway at 7pm from 17-21 July, with a matinee at 2pm on 21 July. Tickets, priced €20-€29, will go on sale on Friday 13 April on the GIAF website. The show will run for 80 minutes, with no interval, and is suitable for a general audience.

Creative Team

Acrobats:​ ​Martin​ ​Schreiber,​ ​Lachlan​ ​Binns,​ ​Jascha​ ​Boyce,​ ​Jacob​ ​Randell, Lewie​ ​West,​ ​Lewis​ ​Rankin,​ ​Joanne​ ​Curry,​ ​Mieke​ ​Lizotte,​ ​Lachlan​ ​Harper and​ ​Jackson​ ​Manson.

Musician/Composers:​ ​Elliot​ ​Zoerner​ ​and​ ​Shenton​ ​Gregory

Director:​ ​Darcy​ ​Grant

Stage​ ​&​ ​Lighting​ ​Designer:​ ​Geoff​ ​Cobham

Producer:​ ​Craig​ ​Harrison

Creative​ ​Associate:​ ​Triton​ ​Tunis-Mitchell

Gravity & Other Myths accolades

Audience​ ​Choice​ ​Award,​ ​Theater​ ​Spektakel​ ​2016​ ​-​ ​A​ ​Simple​ ​Space

Australian​ ​Dance​ ​Award​ ​2015​ ​-​ ​A​ ​Simple​ ​Space

Greenroom​ ​Award​ ​Outstanding​ ​Circus​ ​2015​ ​-​ ​A​ ​Simple​ ​Space

Adelaide​ ​Fringe​ ​Festival,​ ​Best​ ​Circus​ ​2014​ ​-​ ​A​ ​Simple​ ​Space

Praise for Backbone

‘Circus at its best. Extraordinary.’

Sydney Morning Herald

“Magnetic world premiere, a perfect combination of fluidity, mettle and danger … The sheer strength of body and character needed to round out this frenzied performance demonstrates a discipline and camaraderie, rarely seen on stage. Simply a joy to watch.”

Limelight Magazine

“Circus, as you’ve never seen it before, pushed to its conceptual and cerebral limits. A genre-defying, thought-provoking, visual extravaganza … so intensely beautiful it makes you proud to be human.”


“A glorious flow of action and reaction … The acrobatics are eloquent and sensational, full of original twists that spell out a new language.“

The Advertiser

“A complex performance that wouldn’t be out of place on the world stage.”

The Adelaide Review

“The performers’ agility and stamina are beyond impressive. The trust they must have in each other and their absolute focus and understanding of limits is nothing short of spectacular. This is a new kind of circus.”

– The Barefoot Review

Backbone accolades

Backbone has been nominated​ ​for​ ​3​ ​Helpmann​ ​Awards​ ​(2017): Best​ ​New​ ​Australian​ ​Work,​ ​Best​ ​Choreography and Best​ ​Lighting​ ​Design.