by Robert Bell
7 p.m. Walton Arts Center. $39-$49.
Since it was founded in the late '70s, Circus Oz has been blending old-school circus acrobatics with rock 'n' roll and a comedic sensibility. "They wanted it to be funny, irreverent and spectacular, a celebration of the group as a bunch of multi-skilled individual women and men, rather than a hierarchy of stars," according to the group's bio. Some of the company's guiding principles include collective ownership, no gender discrimination, no rock-star attitudes and no exotic animals.
In the mid '80s, Circus Oz performers began training with acrobats from the Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe and incorporating some of the Chinese company's techniques and acts. A Circus Oz performance is a mix of slapstick, Keystone Kops-type stuff, with lots of traditional circus hoop-jumping, music, comedy and Australian eccentricity. This tour finds the company incorporating a sort of steampunk motif.
The show runs through April 3, taking a day off April 2.