Somersaults and tumbling at ground-level. Generally speaking, circus' particular blend of acrobatics is a little bit rougher than gymnastics, with more space for deviation and invention. For artists who've gone through the school system in France acrobatics is at the core of the training and its vocabulary is therefore highly developed; elsewhere it's interesting to see the vernacular styles that evolve in countries like Morocco and China, where there are traditions of families who pass down skills from generation to generation.
a.k.a.: Tumbling, Acro
Blindscape takes place in near darkness, in underground caverns, across rooftops, beside waterfalls and under the ocean. The audience are free to move wherever they like, but are guided by sound queues delivered by smartphone as they search for light to reveal the performance happening around and among them. John Ellingsworth talks to the artist Skye Gellmann about glitch art, losing control, the character of light, and combining improvised physical performance with game design.
When was the last time you saw a circus artist thinking? On stage, I mean, in a performance — and not acting a character who’s thinking, nor adopting a soulful posture in relation to a tress of silk about to be climbed, but actually caught for a moment in some personal and inscrutable introspection.
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.
As we enter the auditorium, we see the members of Groupe Acrobatique de Tanger loitering onstage, a motley assortment of men and women of various ages – some tall, some small; some stocky, some svelte.
There's a certain kind of artist for whom their life is their work—meaning not just that they dedicate themselves full-time to their art-making, but that what they present on stage, or in books or on canvas, is, or feels, very close to the way they must conduct themselves from day to day.
Circus has always understood the appeal of the mechanical process. It's intrinsic to the artform at close examination, but just in the course of LIMF10 ideas in this line have taken more explicit form in The Mill (a giant, human-powered factory) and Öper Öpis (an unstable, tilting stage).
Controlled Falling Project invites us to ‘enter a laboratory of acrobatic impossibilities, where old science meets new circus in a heart-stopping, high-energy creative experiment’ – and, for once, what we get is pretty much what it says on the can….
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.
A double review of two recent productions that combine aspects of hip-hop (music or dance) with circus performance: Tom Tom Crew at the Udderbelly, and Avant Garde Dance (with Gemma Palomar and Telma Pinto)'s The Silver Tree, part of the Paradise Gardens festival.