Generating Company, Lactic Acid

Review in Issue 16-1 | Spring 2004

Lactic Acid plays with the fusion of circus technique and dance aesthetics. Well, that's what it says in the programme, anyway. What I actually saw was a great set, a fantastic soundtrack, funky costumes, solid circus acts – and a lot of comical running around between scene changes. This, apparently, was the dance part. But back to the circus: we had trapeze, hoop, juggling tumbling and acrobalance, each act followed swiftly by another, lit by the fluorescence of what we imagined to be lactic acid coursing through the transparent framework of the cleverly designed set. This was an urban cyberworld, the movement raw and powerful, the performers athletes, urban clubbers, city gangs...

So far so good. What didn't work for me was the dance element or, more accurately, the theoretical importance that dance was given within the makeup of the production. The relationship between dance and circus is interesting to play with, but I didn't feel that it was explored as fully or as daringly as it could have been here. Limp dance sequences seemed to have been tacked on awkwardly to the main body of the piece and sat uneasily with the coarse, sexy fluidity of the main circus acts. What was the point of these? Where was the 'different movement language’ that artistic director Abigail Yeates claims emerges when you begin to question the relationship between circus and dance? And – I'm being really provocative now – is this emphasis on questioning really necessary?

What I saw in Lactic Acid was a new and exciting strain of circus flexing its muscles. What grabbed me was the living, breathing, unapologetic contemporary circus that pulsed in front of me. And hopefully it's this that GenCo will explore when it develops the show into a full-length production.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Nov 2003

This article in the magazine

Issue 16-1
p. 26 - 27