Walk the Plank with Bambuco

Review in Issue 14-3 | Autumn 2002

0o longitude: It was a beautiful summer evening and the perfect location, adjacent to the Cutty Sark in Greenwich, Bambuco’s organically geometric structure of poles mirroring the wooden masts of the famous tea clipper. We had walked – no, marched – through the under-river foot tunnel from the Isle of Dogs, having admired the view across the river – the two wooden constructions created for different reasons by people at different points in time united in a space overloaded with historical and geographical significance. So even without the presence of the human performer, here was a theatre of space and design, evoking many responses and reflections on human voyage and endeavour, on the interaction of cultures and commodities, on the relationship between land, air and sea.

As the sun set, the sculpture was activated by waves of light. This being the work of pyrotechnic masters Walk the Plank, these colours were not the pure primaries of a regular firework display but the rich jewel tones of ruby, jade and lapis lazuli which seemed to skip along the structure. Performers climbed and clambered – the introduction of the human figure giving an immediate sense of scale, a changed perception of the dimensions involved: short spaces between bamboo poles were suddenly great gaping holes to the sky that a person could easily fall through. An aerialist swung her trapeze gracefully and carelessly out over the water. The choreography was the sort of simple perfection that makes it all look as easy and enchanting as watching a child on a swing – no sense of someone up there doing ‘tricks’. In its magical combination of site, visual design and physical skill this was an event that showed that outdoor performance has as much power to touch the soul as any other form of theatre.

Presenting Artists
Site

Greenwich Meridian

Date Seen
  1. Jul 2002

This article in the magazine

Issue 14-3
p. 26