Friday, 8 January 2016

Sydney Festival 2016 Circa - What Will Have Been

CIRCA WHAT WILL HAVE BEEN MAGIC MIRRORS SPEIGELTENT FESTIVAL VILLAGE January 2016 What a wonderful way to open this year’s Festival of Sydney !.Terrific Circa from Brisbane have returned - this time they are in the Magic Mirrors Speigeltent at the Festival Village, bringing us their astonishing production What Will Have Been , which has a small cast – a violinist and three extraordinary , mesmerizing , acrobatic performers . Directed by Yaron Lifschitz, the dynamic trio of acrobats use everything at their disposal – trapeze, aerial ropes, each other’s bodies – to dazzle with their virtuosity and enchant. There was dramatic , atmospheric lighting and the ‘stained glass window’ design of the tent added to this .The soundtrack was eclectic , combining Bach , waltzes , Phillip Glass and electronic works including The Velvet Underground's Pale Blue Eyes . The performance is ‘ In the round’ and there are also special ‘premium ‘ booths ( think cabaret venues / what used to be called The Showroom at The Star.) . While the audience was packed , there was also a feeling of intimacy. What Will Have Been begins with the voice of Robert Oppenheimer ruminating on the first atomic bomb testing, and what follows appears to have at its core the interaction of particles and physical forces: repelling, colliding , attracting Newtonian equal and opposite reactions. Sometimes it feels as if the we are inside a (small) hadron collider, where bodies explode around the stage to collide, creating yet more movement. At others it is as if the cast are stunned , mourning , post nuclear holocaust survivors . The show is mostly tumbling and balancing sequences with amazing trapeze and aerial segments as well. The cast , full of pantherine grace , seem boneless yet made of steel – breathtaking at times with just – caught ( or missed ) leaps , back flips, balances , vaulting feats and bellyflops all performed with split second precison timing .Some of it was perhaps in the style of Australian Dance Theatre’s ‘Held ‘ , full of hurtling, crashing energy. The human body is treated as a sculptural form , precariously flipped, twisted, stretched , entwined , balanced and molded .. Lauren Herley has an amazing extended opening aerialist solo .She is sinuous and mesmerizing , hypnotic like a snake charmer. The mood is elegaic and reflective. At some points in the show she also takes on some heavy lifting work All three acrobats appear to be able to see something only they can see just over the horizon .. The two men (Daniel O’Brien and Lewis West ) wear black pantaloons with white tops ( which they at times remove) . The female performer wears a black leotard and sometimes a pair of tight blue jeans or a slinky black outfit . Rebecca Seymour the violinist wears a sensational blue gown . There are some almost death defying duos for the men – trapeze and tumbling and a sort of wrestling ‘ strap match ‘ with stretchy elastic , balancing on poles , at times arms like hoops for the cast to jump through ...There is a tenderness and attentiveness , as we observe the changing relationships between the two male and one female performer evident throughout the performance . The delicate , fluid alliances in each pairing suggests something darker and of greater depth than the standard girl-comes-between-male-friends plot. The show ended with the three acrobats hugging each other and cheers and wild applause from the most enthusiastic audience Circa’s What Will Have Been runs at the Magic Mirrors Speigeltent at Festival Village 7-16 January 2016 Running time 65 minutes, no interval Created by Yaron Lifschitz with the Circa Ensemble A Norfolk and Norwich Festival and La Teatreria (Mexico) commission. Cast : Lauren Herley, Daniel O’Brien and Lewie West with violinist Rebecca Seymour.

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