Circa, Australia. Brisbane Festival and QPAC presentation. The Playhouse, 8-15 September 2012

Strong, lithe bodies are aesthetically beautiful. Push them beyond the normal limits of their capabilities, then that beauty becomes spectacular fascination.

S is a combination of ballet, gymnastics, tumbling, contortion, and mystique.

The ensemble of five females and three males never leave the stage empty, even when new equipment is needed; that need inspires yet another startling moment in this tightly choreographed eighty minutes. The abstruse musical score entrances and establishes the mood changes of the show.

Their human illustrations of things we learnt at school are amazing. Remember, in science, the line of metal balls hanging in contact; you drew the end one back, let it go and the ball on the other end shot out? They do a human version. Likewise, a man supporting an artist in a precarious balance is wiped out by another flying artist … and the top artist transfers instantaneously to a different supporter without losing balance.

Even anatomy is challenged: In an adagio sequence, a man roughly grabs one leg of a supine woman, shoves it up behind her shoulder, stands on it, then walks across her body! Sadism? You bet it is. For goodness sake, don’t try any of these tricks at home. Health and Safety in the Workplace has no place here.

You may not draw breath until the curtain call. Circa is amazing, Australian and internationally acclaimed. Be proud.

Jay McKee

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