Circa, The Space Between

Review in Issue 21-3 | Autumn 2009

At the Australian Performing Arts Market 2008 I saw one show excerpt that really stood out. A woman was thrown in the air repeatedly by two men. She then donned a pair of killer heels and walked across one bloke’s back, him writhing underneath – excruciating to watch, yet strangely alluring. The show was By the Light of Stars That Are No Longer… and the company was Circa. Now, good Australian circus is not rare – but the lyricism and edge that this company communicated in ten short minutes transcended the usual fabulous tricks and daring skill.

Fast-forward to the Norwich and Norfolk Festival 2009 and a different Circa show, The Space Between. This symphony of solos, duets and trios, presented on a small stage at close proximity in the Spiegeltent, brought the immense talent of the company into sharp relief. What distinguishes Circa is the fluid combination of dance and acrobatics, with ideas that transcend the circus form and take the viewer somewhere else. The bodies are lithe, strong and sensual but also raw and expressive. They speak of desire, disappointment, and yearning – all with a touch of typical Australian humour.

The show may have been a little long and the use of Jacques Brel seemed out of place, resonating very differently in Europe than it would in Oz. I missed the sharpness of the imagery I had seen in Adelaide, but was still absorbed by the poetic physical conversations. This is not traditional circus and there is no story, something colleagues at the same performance craved. This company’s work is contemporary, unique and pushing boundaries – definitely worth a look.

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Spiegeltent

Date Seen
  1. May 2009

This article in the magazine

Issue 21-3
p. 33