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Personal profile


Jon Burtt is an artist, teacher, and scholar working across dance, theatre and circus. He is a Lecturer in Dance and Performance Studies in the Department of Media, Music, Communication, and Cultural Studies (MMCCS) at Macquarie University in Sydney. In 2016 he was recognized with a Vice Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning. In 2017 he launched a new Circus and Performance unit in the Dance and Performance Major, and is the founder of the Macquarie Circus Training Group. He is one of the Team of Directors at MMCCS.

Jon is an ex-performer and director and enjoyed considerable success performing in and directing works which toured widely across Australia and Asia. He publishes across a number of research areas, including social circus, circus training and creative practice. His Masters thesis, based on field work, was an investigation into the practice of rope and pole Mallakhamb in India. His Doctorate was based on an in-depth study of new cognitive approaches to circus training at the National Circus School in Montreal where he was Researcher-in-Residence.  He publishes in academic journals such as New Theatre QuarterlyTheatre, Dance and Performance Training; and the Journal of Arts and Communities.

Jon Burtt's co-authored book, Contemporary Circus, is forthcoming 2019 from Routledge. Jon is currently researching and writing a new book on social circus drawing on his background in social circus, in particular, his time working for Cirque du Monde in far-North Canada. 

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Jon Burtt is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Research Outputs 2009 2020

Contemporary circus

Lavers, K., Leroux, L. P. & Burtt, J., 2020, London ; New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group. 246 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review


Unreal limbs: Erin Ball and the extended body in contemporary circus

Lavers, K., Burtt, J. & Ball, E., 2020, (Accepted/In press) Circus, science and technology: dramatising innovation. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

Alexander McQueen

Terrorist/Apostate: a multi-arts project

Burtt, J., Lavers, K. & Barkat, I., 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Performing Islam.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Art Projects

Circus Oz's Model Citizens is a triumph of skill and political satire

Burtt, J., 9 Jan 2018, The Conversation.

Research output: Contribution to Newspaper/Magazine/WebsiteBook/Film/Article reviewResearch

Open Access

BLAKflip and Beyond: Aboriginal performers and contemporary circus in Australia

Lavers, K. & Burtt, J., Nov 2017, In : New Theatre Quarterly. 33, 4, p. 307-319 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review



Activities 2016 2018

  • 2 Invited talk

The Extended Body: Imagineering Performers for Future Circus

Katie Lavers (Speaker), Jon Burtt (Speaker)
5 Apr 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Social Circus in Arctic, Cultivating Resilience

Jon Burtt (Speaker)
15 Jul 2016

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk