Jasper Cunningham reviews Circa: Humans at the Underbelly, Edinburgh
In a surprisingly spacious circus tent a group of people all the way from Australia put on a show that is both spectacular and bizarre.
This piece of physical theatre combines gymnastics, dance and circus with precision that is completely necessary when attempting to flip from one person’s shoulders to another’s. The idea of a circus act definitely does not appeal to everyone in its traditional sense but this is something entirely new. You would struggle to be unimpressed at this high flying spectacle set to a variety of music from all over the world.
The audience tense up and inhale together at every seemingly impossible aerobic feat. It truly is a gasp a minute as the performers hurl themselves both at each other and the floor but manage to land with a smooth elegance that could only be pulled off with extreme talent.
Despite all its successes, it must be said that a little more variation is needed as the impossible seeming feats look all the more possible and less shocking as they are repeated. This is not to say it is completely repetitive, sections featuring contortion and trapeze are both equally as mind blowing and even humorous at times. To quote the audience member next to me “where were the lions and tigers?”. Whilst this not quite how I felt, the point is underlying; another element is needed.
All in all, the show put on is still something worth watching. The performers, clearly passionate and involved in their performance, are truly impressive to watch. If you’re looking for something like Olympic gymnastics mixed with abstract art, this is for you. It is a combination that fits together better than it sounds like it would.