Schubert’s intimate Lieder and Stravinsky’s riot-inducing Rite of Springmay not seem the most natural pairing in the world, but they will come together in innovative Australian circus company Circa’s new work for the Brisbane Festival, En Masse. “I’ve been wanting to do a circus-acrobatic setting of Rite of Springfor a million years,” explains Circa’s Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz.

Lifschitz has, in a way, done this already with Rite of Spring, which premiered on the Gold Coast in April before traveling to Lyon, France. “But it felt very much like a dance piece, I suppose, and I was kind of interested in making theatre of it,” he says.

Circa, En Masse, Brisbane Festival Circa’s  En Masse. Photo © Damien Bredberg

“I wanted originally to sort of shatter the Stravinsky across into all these fragments that fit in this kind of landscape,” Lifschitz explains. “Then the Stravinsky estate said, ‘No, you have to play the whole thing all the way through. In its entirety, unaltered. Every note.’ And I was like, well, OK, that’s an interesting challenge: what does that turn into?”

From that “creative provocation” was born a show...