Friday, February 4, 2011

Critical Perspective: C!RCA by Circa

Michael Thomas Taylor
February 3, 2011

Like everyone else in Theatre Junction, I was awed by C!RCA – their physicality, control, and sheer virtuosity. You can read about it in superlatives elsewhere or, better yet, experience it for yourself. What I liked more was the way the show was balanced, like the cast members themselves, between these amazing feats and supple emotional encounters. This too is announced online, and this experience also exceeded what I could have imagined beforehand. All the same, I came away from the show feeling like I had seen a series of vignettes rather than a choreographed performance, a “physical poem.” Each scene was poignant in its own regard. The intimacies and conflicts remind us that acrobatics and circuses have long been family affairs, which are re-imagined here as physical contact and conflict, trust and support. And some of the performances display a wry wit about the eccentricities and oddities of the circus, not to mention the strengths and unexpected, unbelievable abilities of each individual performer. The taught line throughout the entire evening was above all the performers’ control and rapport, itself a continuous ring encompassing each fantastic exploration of the circus’s physical vocabulary – its ups and downs, free-falls and impossible twists, its slapstick, its real and hidden dangers, its sexuality, and its uniquely amazing power of theatrical display and absorption.

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