For nearly two decades, Circa’s artistic approach has taken its cues from the boundary-pushing physicality of its ensemble.

Under Yaron Lifschitz’s artistic directorship, the company has presented “contemporary circus” as fluid and conceptual, melding it with other performance arts – theatre, dance – to create a form capable of inspiring emotion beyond awe and excitement.

Circa’s quest to connect on a universal human level has resonated with audiences around the world, reaching more than a million people in 40-plus countries across six continents.

That huge impact by a small group – cast numbers vary, but in this production, just ten artists – attests to the notion that limited resources fuel creativity.

Sophie Seccombe (White Swan) and Kimberley Rossi (Black Swan) in Circa’s Duck Pond. Photo © Pia Johnson

Duck Pond is an inspired mash-up of two stories beloved by adults and children alike: it’s The Ugly Duckling meets Swan Lake.

Reflecting the company’s international regard, NYU Abu Dhabi’s Arts Center joined five regional Australian venues, in addition to regular co-presenter QPAC, in co-commissioning this world premiere.

Given the amalgamation of two storylines...