Commencing as part of the Roots and Routes season at Hull UK City of Culture 2017, Depart will play in the city’s General Cemetery (18 - 21 May), the production will then take over the Woodvale Cemetery at Brighton Festival (25 - 28 May) and finally Blackpool’s Stanley Park (1 - 4 June).

Inspired by the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, Depart takes audiences on a path through the underworld in atmospheric locations. Transforming these evocative environments, world renowned circus artists will dance above the heads of a roaming audience to create genre-defying spectacles. With direction from Yaron Lifschitz and a creative team including Lapalux, Depart brings together acrobats, aerialists, local community choirs and video artists for an inimitable, immersive evening of entertainment.

The world premiere of Depart took place as part of LIFT 2016 and Spitalfields Music’s Summer Festival in the sprawling Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and was seen by 4,000 audience members and received great public acclaim.

Local singers from The Hull Freedom Chorus, community choirs from around Blackpool and the Fylde Coast and from various Brighton-based choirs will be a part of the 100+ strong cast who perform Depart each night. Alongside this, performers from Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) and National Centre for Circus (NCCA) will join the company throughout the tour.

Yaron Lifschitz said, “At the heart of the experience is the attempt to grasp the ungraspable - to connect ourselves with the very liminality that makes us human, to look up, even as the long-buried dead lie beneath our feet. Depart is a meditation, a playground for the soulful, an art gallery without walls, a circus in search of transcendence and a hundred moments of joyous beauty. It is performed with respect and aims for rapture.”

Mark Ball, Artistic Director of LIFT, said “With circus performers defying gravity at every turn and Lapalux’s beautiful electronic score soaring above the treetops, wandering around Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park during Depart last June was a personal highlight of last year’s LIFT. I’m delighted that we’re now able to share Circa’s epic and emotionally-charged show with audiences across the country, bringing an array of exceptional circus artists, composers, singers and dancers together to create a spine-tingling piece of work. I hope Depart stays with audiences for as long as it has stayed with me.”

A Circa production, co-commissioned by LIFT, National Centre for Circus Arts, Spitalfields Music, Hull UK City of Culture 2017, LeftCoast and Brighton Festival. Supported by Arts Council England.


Director: Yaron Lifschitz
Composer & Sound Designer: Lapalux
Composer: Sam Glazer
Associate Director & Costume Designer: Libby McDonnell
Lighting Designer: Lee Curran
Resident Director: Alice Lee Holland
Video Designer: Ben Foot
Video Designer: Valentina Floris
Choir Mentor: Isabelle Adams

2017 tour dates

18 – 21 May
General Cemetery
Hull City of Culture, Spring Bank West, HU5 3SE
On Sale on 15 February

25 – 28 May
Brighton Festival
Woodvale Cemetery
Lewes Road, Brighton, BN2 3QB
On Sale to Brighton Festival Members now
On Sale to the General Public on 24 February

1 – 4 June
Stanley Park
West Park Drive, Blackpool, FY3 9HU
On Sale Soon


Yaron Lifschitz is Artistic Director and CEO of Circa. He has created works with the company such as by the light of stars that are no longer..., CIRCA, Wunderkammer, How Like an Angel, “S”, Beyond, Opus, Carnival of the Animals and Il Ritorno (The Return). His recent works have been reviewed as being “stunning”, “exquisite” and “the standard to which all other circuses can aspire”. Yaron lives in Brisbane with his son, Oscar. His passion is creating works of philosophical and poetic depth from the traditional languages of circus.

Lapalux is known for his experimental use of texture and off-kilter beats. He has released two albums to great acclaim: Nostalchic and Lustmore as well as contributing tracks to numerous video games including Grand Theft Auto V. Lapalux has recently collaborated with Tristan Sharps of dreamthinkspeak, creating an ambient soundscape for the director’s most recent work, ABSENT, presented by LIFT in 2015.

Sam Glazer is a composer, cellist and workshop leader who has led creative projects for Spitalfields Music, Wigmore Hall, Britten Sinfonia, RPO and Glyndebourne, working with babies and parents, children and teachers, vulnerable adults, people living with dementia and adults in a community choir. Sam has worked for a number of years at the Royal Academy of Music, mentoring young musicians who are studying Music in the Community.

Libby McDonnell works across disciplines as a designer, choreographer, director and performer. With her dynamic visual sensibilities her work is always firmly connected to choreographic exploration, her curiosity about humans and the fantastical. Libby has designed costumes for all of Circa’s major creations since 2010 and has show-directed and managed tours in Australia and abroad. Libby was recently appointed Associate Director at Circa. In 2015 Libby co-directed and choreographed Before Your Eyes. This performance experience launched MA Scené Nationale’s 2015/2016 seasons in Montbéliard, France. It was an immersive performance activating 88 local participants as performers and was created in 4 weeks by working extensively within the community.

Lee Curran is a lighting designer of dance, theatre, opera and music, working with numerous artists and organisations including Hofesh Shechter, Royal Court, Royal Shakespeare Company, Rambert Dance Company, Royal Exchange Manchester, National Theatre of Wales, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Donmar Warehouse, English Touring Opera, HOME, Frieze and Breakin’ Convention. Lee was recently nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Lighting Design for Constellations.

Alice Lee Holland is a director, choreographer and dance animateur. Born in Perth, she began her artistic career as a member of STEPS Youth Dance Company. She is a graduate of the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Unafraid to think from zero, Alice is an ambitious artist committed to the contemporary arts as a place for innovation and change. Her six-year tenure as Artistic Director of STEPS saw the organisation take full flight. Alice joined Circa as Resident Director in 2015.

SDNA is a creative studio based in London producing distinctive digital artwork, they explore techniques of interaction within public spaces, using emerging technologies and unusual presentation media. Their interdisciplinary approach, integrating site-responsive installation and live performance, aims to widen the scope of digital art. They collaborate across disciplines and scale whilst keeping a recognisable approach and distinctive aesthetic.
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