Scarabeus and Piano Circus, Landscapes of the Heart

Review in Issue 14-2 | Summer 2002

Innocence and experience. Peace and confusion. Dreams and reality. These are just some of the oppositional trajectories that Scarabeus and Piano Circus hurl themselves along in their new collaboration, Landscapes of the Heart. Inspired by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, this vertiginous display unites visual and sonic artistry in a textured narrative that conjures the energy and chaos of city life.

The action is multi-layered, arresting the full range of our senses. Suspended in mid-air high above us, five celestial ‘Angels’ float at their keyboards and set the changing mood of the piece with a seductive mesh of fugues, tangos and modern house. Below them, ‘Humans’ stalk nervously among the audience, straitjacketed by tight white robes, then abseil up the walls on either side and unfurl slowly from their cocoons to be reborn in ragged red. Their transitions from the panic and fear of the mad to the joy and curiosity of the newborn, from shared amorous passion to the pleasure of solitary abandonment, are magnified by the soundscape of the music and the gigantic video images projected onto the blank canvas of the walls. And the audience embarks on the same journeys, engulfed by the hectic lights of London at night, soothed by the wings of stone angels in city cemeteries.

Scarabeus invites us in this production to explore and interrogate the complex relationships that exist between people and the landscapes that surround them – both real and imaginary. What are the secret reasons that draw people to inhabit cities? A question that remains unanswered, but lingers in the air around us as we leave the studio and return to our daily lives with a renewed wonder.

Artforms
Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. May 2002

This article in the magazine

Issue 14-2
p. 26