Alumni interview: Rhiannon Cave-Walker

Rhiannon Cave-Walker grew up in Byron Bay Australia and was determined to be a professional acrobat and circus artist from a very young age. She is now a member of the renown Australian circus company CIRCA Contemporary Circus, with which she tours and make shows with.
Rhiannon is lying on a floor in a split position, looking into the camera
Photo: Billie Wilson-Coffey

In connection with SKH’s 10th anniversary, we wanted to ask some alumni how they experienced their time at the university. Those we have interviewed studied at the time when we still used the names University College of Opera (OHS), Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts (StDH) and DOCH School of Dance and Circus alongside SKH. Second up is Rhiannon Cave-Walker, who was a student at the Bachelor's programme in Circus at DOCH from 2013–2016.

Could you please tell us a little bit of your background and why you choose DOCH for your education?

– I grew up in Byron Bay Australia and was so very lucky to have the wonderful youth organisation Spaghetti Circus as my second home from the age of 4 to 18. Spaghetti Circus is one of Australia's leading youth circuses and has been an integral part of my life in developing an array of circus skills but also self-confidence, relationship values, respect and performance abilities. I come from a hugely supportive and creative family, so it wasn't a surprise that my aspirations from a young age was to be a professional acrobat and circus artist.

­I then chose DOCH because of its interesting relationship and reputation with dance, movement research and collaborations with inspiring guest- and resident teachers. I was also super keen to learn from the wisdom of Alexandra (Sasha) Gavrilov in hand balancing and hand to hand.

How did you experience your time at the university?

– My time at the university was one of the most challenging yet rewarding times. My focus was on hand balancing and hand to hand as a flyer. When I was there, the demanding discipline training and constant search for your personal flavour became such a priority that it felt like the world, but that bubble and focus is what makes it such a special place. Working so close with a diverse, yet wonderfully amazing group of peers in my class, as well as hard working, yet supportive teachers, was nothing short of inspiring. I wouldn't be the artist or acrobat I am today without the experience and time spent at DOCH/SKH!

Did the merger of the three schools into SKH affect you and if so, in what way?

– I don't feel like the merger of the three schools had much of an impact as far as I can remember, as our structure and environment stayed relatively the same, it was just the behind the scenes that shifted.

What did you do immediately after graduation and what do you do today?

– After graduating I became an ensemble member in the Australian Acrobatic company Gravity and Other Myths for over two years and then went on to co-create my own company called FAUNA of which consisted of five other SKH graduates (Matt Pasquet, Imogen Huzel, Enni-Maria Lymi and Dan Liddiard) and a live musician (Geordie Little). We toured successfully for four years and then I moved back to Australia to become a member of renown Australian circus company CIRCA Contemporary Circus of which after four years, I am still touring and making shows with currently.

Was it beneficial for your future professional network to attend a school with many different artistic specialisations?

– Yes, it was super beneficial for my journey and where I am today to attend a circus school. I don't currently work with any other graduates, but my past company was made up of all SKH graduates and I have a great network of friends and contacts in the industry thanks to DOCH/SKH.

How do you see SKH today?

– I still see SKH as a high-level training school that creates interesting and very skilled artists pushing the boundaries physically. It has been hard to stay up to date and follow many of the students, but I do my best.

Photo: Billie Wilson-Coffey

Photo: Christina Zauner

SKH ten years

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SKH is celebrating ten years as a university college in 2024, ad we'll be filling the year with retrospection, foresight, articles and events that connect to the decennial in various ways.

Read about the anniversary and our history on our website

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Rhiannon Cave-Walker (photo: Billie Wilson-Coffey)

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