Acrobatics in tasteful grey-scale. With a hint of the Australian penchant for flatness and anticlimax, Circa have nonetheless developed a style that is all their own – working with very high-level acrobats to develop a pure circus language, like contemporary dance in its self-sufficiency but unlike contemporary dance otherwise. They work with featureless sets, and make shows with no narrative except what narrative exists in the technique of the artists; their palette is muted and steely. In Australia they have developed into an important artistic influence – through their performances, but also through a training centre and a youth programme, Circa Zoo.
The Circa essence is sort of this: there are ideas and concepts and emotions that inhere in circus and they fly out in the moment of performance. Trust, risk, failure, pain, vindication, joy, hardship, strength.
A short interview with Circa artistic director Yaron Lifschitz, talking mostly about his work on the latest show C!rca.
'I think, though, ultimately, circus functions like a poetry cycle rather than a narrative. Like I think it is the ultimate actual real-time artform. I find that circus that makes too much of its connectivity, its threads, generally doesn’t interest me very much. I figure the juxtaposition, placement, quarrels between things are as interesting as, you know, "narrative" for want of a better word. Our work isn’t narrative-based.'
A woman in red heeled shoes walks over the body of her partner, leaving red inflamed marks where she treads; an acrobat loses, regains, loses again the control of his limbs as he tumbles across the floor; an acrobalance duo continually set up and dismantle the trick that never comes.