Show’s over

Sunday Star-Times - - NEWS - JESSICA LONG

The cir­cus is over for dis­ap­pointed per­form­ing arts stu­dents af­ter the only place to gain a cir­cus qual­i­fi­ca­tion in New Zealand an­nounced cuts.

Al­most a year af­ter Whi­tireia Polytech­nic’s $25 mil­lion Te Auaha NZ In­sti­tute of Creativ­ity opened, a drop in stu­dents and fi­nan­cial strife have led to cuts.

And cir­cus stu­dents – some of whom starred in this year’s World of Wear­able Arts show – have been told they have 12 months to com­plete their stud­ies.

Whi­tireia chief ex­ec­u­tive Chris Gosling said there weren’t enough en­rol­ments last term although ‘‘dance and other per­form­ing arts are go­ing strong’’.

First-year cir­cus stu­dent Kieran McDer­mott said his plans to be­come a teacher had now been dashed and the ax­ing high­lighted a pat­tern in New Zealand to ‘‘un­der­cut and un­der­value the per­form­ing arts’’.

WOW show di­rec­tor Malia John­ston said the school’s clo­sure would ‘‘of course be a blow to the cir­cus com­mu­nity’’.


Kieran McDer­mott said cor­po­rate life had not been a nat­u­ral fit for him and in­stead he found pur­pose in the polytech­nic’s course.

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