Director: Yaron Lifschitz
Performers: Valerie Doucet, Casey Douglas, Freyja Edney, Darcy Grant, Scott Grove, Emma McGovern, Lewis West
Reviewer: Glen Pearce
Circa’s self-titled show should come with a health warning. The feats that these seven Brisbane based artists perform induce a feeling of pain just watching. One can’t help think that the human body shouldn’t be able to endure the things these talented acrobats inflict on themselves.
The seven-strong company takes us on a physical, but also personal, journey. There’s no through narrative as such but there’s a strong feel that we are looking at an examination on what it means to be human, our loves, life and the pain our bodies go through.
A mix of acrobatics, contortion, aerial work and dance, the piece is a constantly shifting visual feast. There’s also though a more subtle edge to the piece, with the company imbibing each section with heartfelt emotion and expression. It’s a punishing performance, necks, limbs and torso put under extreme pressure that would send untrained performers straight into A&E. There’s also grace and beauty though as balance and control create fragile tableaux.
There’s a real mix of circus styles and disciplines but these meld into a beautiful and uplifting whole. It is also clearly an equal opportunities company as a female performer finds herself as the support for a male counterpart balanced on her head. Before any complaints of sexism are raised, she later exacts her revenge balance precariously in red sequined stilettos on the bare chest of a man.
Music, lighting and staging combine with the physical feats on stage to create a wholly engrossing evening. The rapturous response from the capacity festival audience clearly demonstrated the admiration of the skill on show. A fitting showcase for the impressive skills of these Antipodean Acrobats.