• "Sideshow Alley" on the Pacific Eden. Photo: Scott Ogier.
    "Sideshow Alley" on the Pacific Eden. Photo: Scott Ogier.

Sally Clark finds out why the massive growth of the cruise industry is a win for dancers.

THE last 25 years has seen phenomenal change in the cruise industry worldwide. More boats and larger vessels now boast on-board experiences and facilities to rival the world’s best resorts and amusement parks as well as theatre
entertainment options you’d once have to travel to Broadway, the West End or Las Vegas to see. Whilst technical innovation can be attributed to many of the developments, much of the change is a result of direct investment by the cruise companies in facilities and experiences. The aim? To lure the traveller to their product, as they compete for passengers in this everburgeoning industry.

It’s not just the travel industry that’s reaping the rewards. As global cruise brands vie for their share of this lucrative market, increasing numbers of Australian production companies, agents, triple threat performers, dancers, musicians and specialty acts are being engaged. The impact? A huge improvement in both the quality and quantity of performance opportunities on boats out of Australian ports. Better still, securing a contract on these luxury liners –
which venture to exotic locations like the Caribbean or the Mediterranean and boast the opportunity to perform in Broadway productions like Cats, Mamma Mia or Legally Blonde – has never been more accessible for Australian artists.

The fascination with ocean travel is big business, as the figures in the box on p.34 show. According to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), a unified global organisation for the cruise community, global cruise travel continues to experience record growth, with Australia leading that trend between 2005 and 2015. The change in holiday habits of Australians has had a global impact, encouraging bigger and better ships to our shores. In 2014 /15 a record number of ships was based in Australia, including some of the biggest liners in the world, courtesy of companies like
Funhouse from Sideshow Alley, performed on the Pacific Eden...

This is an extract from an article in the April/May '17 edition of Dance Australia... OUT NOW! Read the rest of the story! Buy Dance Australia from your favourite magazine retailer or subscribe here, or purchase an online copy via the Dance Australia app.


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