Vulcana Women's Circus takes its name from a British strong woman who performed amazing feats of strength throughout the world, including Australia, in the early part of the twentieth century. Vulcana was renowned for her ability to lift an adult man above her head with one arm, she received medals and awards throughout her career as both an athlete and variety performer. Vulcana was also an early feminist, and in particular an ardent member of the sensible clothing movement, which lobbied against the wearing of corsets and other restrictive, dangerous clothing for women.
Vulcana Women's Circus is proud to take its name from this inspiring forebear of women's circus and to draw inspiration from her astonishing abilities.
Founded in West End in 1995, Vulcana is Queensland oldest women’s arts organisation, in response to the need to create a safe, non-competitive space where women could feel free to explore their physical potential.
Steeped in rich cultural arts history, West End has been the foundation of Queensland’s best-known circus companies. Rock & Roll Circus (now Circa), Flipside Circus and Vulcana Women’s Circus all developed from humble beginnings and even humbler performance spaces in West End, before moving on to new permanent homes - for Vulcana that was a move to the Brisbane Powerhouse in 2000.
As a leader in social circus, Vulcana Women’s Circus has been working in greater Brisbane community through bold performance and programs that empower through the learning, teaching and performance of circus.
Women's Circus is unique to Australia and has developed alongside the development of Community Cultural Development practices. Vulcana is increasingly becoming recognised as a leader in "Social Circus" and continues to create opportunities for women, young people and communities to participate in physical and creative processes, ensuring our model of practice is responsive and dynamic, giving people the best chance to experience personal revolution.
Vulcana provides incentives for the celebration of identity, as the diverse backgrounds of participants are privileged through Vulcana's supportive and encouraging practice.
Vulcana is proud to have inspired, supported and celebrated the achievements of many remarkable women in circus. Some of the people who learn, train, devise and perform with Vulcana have gone on to tour the world with renowned circus companies as well as with their own work. In addition, some of the people who learn, train, devise and perform with Vulcana pursue other interests, hobbies and careers that are in no way related to circus. We are proud of our diverse community and each individual's success in their chosen field.