Briefs: Bending Gender in Australian Contemporary Circus


  • Kristy Seymour Griffith University Gold Coast, Australia


An excerpt from Seymour’s doctoral thesis Bodies, Temporality and Spatiality in Australian Contemporary Circus, this paper explores the work of openly queer[i] Australian male burlesque circus company Briefs Factory. Seymour demonstrates how the independent company utilizes performativity to articulate political and social views and diverse representations of gendered bodies. Through a short case study centring on the provocative performances of founding member Mark Winmill, Seymour discusses ideas of gender performativity, body theory and the notion of "other." Drawing on concepts from Judith Butler, Peta Tait, and Deleuze and Guattari, this paper aims to provide a small insight into the diverse work that makes up the thriving Australian contemporary circus sector.

[i] The Briefs Factory collective uses the term queer to describe their work as openly embracing themes of homosexuality and sexual ambiguity.  

Author Biography

Kristy Seymour, Griffith University Gold Coast, Australia

Kristy Seymour, PhD, is a circus artist and emerging scholar with over eighteen years’ experience in the Australian circus sector. Seymour‘s Circus Stars school is solely dedicated to children with autism and was the focus of her honours research and her 2017 TEDx Talk. Kristy recently completed her doctorate, “Bodies, Temporality and Spatiality in Australian Contemporary Circus,” at Griffith University Gold Coast.






Gender and Difference in Contemporary Circus (Section Editor: Karen Fricker, Brock University)